As part of the Prometheus viral campaign, here’s a TEDTalk from the future by Peter Weyland, as played by Guy Pearce. The talk itself isn’t really all that interesting, but it does set up the movie universe nicely — or perhaps, rather, the themes of the movie. About the talk:
Peter Weyland has been a magnet for controversy since he announced his intent to build the first convincingly humanoid robotic system by the end of the decade.
Whether challenging the ethical boundaries of medicine with nanotechnology or going toe to toe with the Vatican itself on the issue of gene-therapy sterilization, Sir Peter prides himself on his motto, “If we can, we must.” After a three year media blackout, Weyland has finally emerged to reveal where he’s heading next. Wherever that may be, we will most certainly want to follow.
And how does Peter Weyland fit into the Alien/Prometheus universe? Well, it turns out his character is the key linking the two movies. According to io9, director Ridley Scott is quoted as saying:
When the first ‘Alien’ movie and ‘Blade Runner’ were made, I thought that in the near future the world will be owned by large companies. This is why we have the Tyrell Corporation in ‘Blade Runner’, and Weyland-Yutani in ‘Alien’. They sent the Nostromo spaceship.
The Prometheus is owned by an entrepreneur called Peter Weyland, and is played by Guy Pearce. That’s the connection between the two films, and nothing more. Prometheus is a new film, a new world, and is full of new ideas. And of course new monsters as well.
That’s according to a Hungarian newspaper, so grain of salt and all that. It makes sense though. In Alien, the ship Notromo was sent out by the Weyland-Yutani company. In Prometheus, Ridley Scott’s quasi-prequel to Alien, Peter Weyland invents humanoids and sends out the Prometheus ship to investigate the universe. Obviously, he started the Weyland Company that eventually becomes the Weyland-Yutani company.
I suppose it would be easy to be disappointed in that connection, but I like that the new movie only exists within the same universe and doesn’t have an overt connection to the old movie.