You probably thought that once Prometheus touched down with all its grandiose ideas and underwhelming follow-through we would just be left to ponder our own half-baked theories. But Ridley Scott and co. seem to have accounted for some of the confusion by releasing yet another piece of viral marketing. It’s an unexpected move: Most often viral marketing is used in advance of a movie’s release, to tease plot details and worldbuilding. You know, like the video of Prometheus‘ corporate leader Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) giving a TED talk.
Since this post concerns stuff that popped up at the end of the film, expect it to be open season regarding spoilers. OK? Great. So my friend and I left the theater right after the Alien-like creature burst out of the Engineer’s chest, but apparently if you stayed for the end credits you’d see this date: 10.11.12. Almost immediately, the site WhatIs101112.com popped up, pointing to philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche‘s book Thus Spake Zarathustra and focusing on the quote “What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end.”
There’s also a link to another video of a young Peter Weyland:
Giant Freakin Robot points out that this could be Weyland at the age in which he gives his TED talk, although he seems more agitated than the calm, confident man in the prior viral video. The new Weyland video has him quoting more Nietzsche, and it takes us to an interactive Weyland Industries timeline. If you scroll all the way to the bottom… yep, October 11, 2012 is a date, and an important one: It’s when Weyland Industries is recognized as an corporation. (Perhaps even more important to note is that Peter Weyland was born in 1990—yep, he’s a Millennial!)
More background unfolds via the rest of the site: You can learn more about Michael Fassbender‘s David android, or go to the “Project Prometheus” page to make your own ID and other typical viral marketing stuff. But let’s return briefly to that Nietzsche quote… The idea of man being a bridge “and not an end” speaks to the movie’s ambitious questions about who created humanity, as well as the strange ending where Noomi Rapace‘s Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, with the head of David in tow, decides to fly back to the Engineers’ planet to ask why they created and then tried to destroy us. Especially since Dr. Shaw represents humans, who made androids like David but were themselves “made” by the Engineers. It seems we shouldn’t worry about humans getting wiped out yet.
And outside of the world of Prometheus, we’ll have our eyes peeled come October 11 for any other viral shenanigans.