In advance of the Prometheus DVD/Blu-ray on October 11th, we’re getting teases of all the behind-the-scenes footage that will hopefully help us to better understand the Alien prequel/spinoff/whatever. This latest tidbit isn’t some overarching answer to the many questions the movie left us with, but it does give us a fascinating look at one of the alien beings that didn’t make it into the movie.
You’ll remember that early in the movie, two of Prometheus‘ rather dumb crew members end up alone in the caves and make friends with some water-dwelling creature, only to get grotesquely killed in two different ways. Scratch that—Millburn gets choked, while Fifield gets a faceful of corrosive liquid that mutates him into some inhuman creature that tries to kill the rest of the crew. In the movie, he’s super strong and, weirdly enough, resembles a crab, but originally Ridley Scott wanted him to look more melted.
This concept art from Cinefex magazine has actor Sean Harris‘ character Fifield more resembling a particularly blob-like zombie with half its flesh melted off. How they made it happen is pretty damn impressive, and required lots of layering CG imagery over Harris actually in a ton of make-up. The article explains,
“To mutate Fifield beyond what was possible using practical makeup effects, Weta Digital generated a digital character with elongated limbs and an engorged, transluscent head, incorporating a semblance of Harris’ face. Scott filmed the sequence both with the actor in makeup and without, providing clean plates that would allow for the insertion of the digital character. The final cut featured mostly makeup effects, which Weta enhanced with digital wire removal, bullet hits, and one shot of the digital creature’s body blended to the actor.”
And that’s Harris at right in some alien make-up that makes him pretty terrifying even before you bring in the digital effects. One io9 commenter joked that the rejected concept art brings to mind the laughable alien invaders in Mars Attacks!, and io9 points out that the blobby, melted quality of the alien is out of place with the other aliens we encounter on the Prometheus planet. And yet, I’m kinda disappointed this didn’t make it into the movie. See, I had trouble following the whole Fifield-is-a-mutated-murderous-alien plotline, and got him mixed up with Dr. Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) who was slowly breaking down after David (Michael Fassbender) infected him. When Fifield goes after them at the end, I thought it was Holloway who had somehow survived Vickers (Charlize Theron) torching him with a flamethrower. Suffice to say, I kept mixing up the two mutated humans. But if I’d been staring at that face, I wouldn’t have made that mistake.