Naked Push-Ups, Time Warps and 7 Other Revelations About Ridley Scott's Prometheus

There's a reason you don't know much about Prometheus, the Ridley Scott sci-fi project that was originally conceived as a prequel to Alien: the director doesn't want you assuming anything about the movie before sitting down in theaters next June. Even so, Fox began promoting the 2012 blockbuster at yesterday's Comic-Con with a press conference and panel featuring Scott, screenwriter Damon Lindelof and stars Charlize Theron and Noomi Rapace. (Both Scott and Rapace appeared via satellite) So, just how do you promote a movie without giving away even the most minor plot details? Very, very carefully. Even so, Movieline managed to gather nine new bits of information about Prometheus, the most secretive project since Super 8.

1. Prometheus will take place both before, after and possibly during the Alien time frame.

"We begin at the beginning and Ridley has been very cryptically obtuse about everything and he will probably kill us if we say too much about the movie," said Lindelof during the press conference. "Suffice to say, there are some very big ideas in Prometheus and therefore, it covers a very vast, expanse of time. Past, present, future. Is that oblique enough? We cover all three."

("God, you're talking like the guy who created Lost," Theron snapped. "So cryptic, so annoying.")

2. Charlize Theron wasn't responsible for making her character awesomely multi-dimensional, but she also wasn't not responsible for it either.

"I play this lady called Vickers, Meredith Vickers," Theron said. "She's kind of the suit that runs the company that has nickle and dimed this whole thing together, this mission, and initially she really was just that. And Ridley came to me and said, 'You know, do you want to do this?' [...] Obviously, I wanted to work with him but I felt like the character was just a little one-dimensional. [...] I got on the phone with [Damon] and Ridley and I threw very loose cannons towards him with no specific ideas but just wanting her to kind of be somewhat more layered I guess. I can't tell you what [Damon] came up with, but he came up with some good shit."

3. Ridley Scott returned to the Alien concept because of unanswered questions, not money.

"I never really thought about [returning to the franchise] until I realized that there was something in the first Alien that no one really asked about, and it nagged at me," explained Scott. "I realized there was something there that we could explore. None of the other movies used it, either. And so I wanted to play with the DNA of Alien a bit."

4. Thematically, yes, the film Prometheus is related to the Greek figure Prometheus.

"We're not going to talk about how it ties into the movie other than yes," said Lindelof. "Prometheus was a titan who stole fire from the gods because they were keeping it to themselves and they were worried what mankind would do if we got our little paws on it," revealed Lindelof. "So that theme is a resonating idea with what humans are doing that we shouldn't be doing in terms of technical innovation and perhaps exploration. Is there a line that shouldn't be crossed?"

5. Prometheus is set somewhere far away from Earth.

"It doesn't take place on Earth in any real significant way," Lindelof revealed. "The way we're exploring the future is away from Earth and [asking] what are people like now? What have they gone through and what are they thinking of?"

6. You may or may not see the "space jockey," the pilot whose crashed vessel held the monster in Alien.

"A lot of the fun in going to see [Prometheus] is if and how we're going to try to connect that," Lindelof said. "If you're a fan of the original film, there will be little Easter eggs for you to find."

7. There might be "two robots" but if so, they will be innovative.

Scott hinted that "there may be two robots in Prometheus...I think robots and androids and Replicants have become so much part of the actual science fiction scenario and landscape, that they're no longer unique. [So] you've got to come up with those unique notions that make something fresh."

8. There probably won't be any flying cars or any other Jetsons-esque futuristic technology.

Lindelof explained that the film explores "the idea that we're going to basically all be the same a hundred years from now but we may be driven by different ideas. You will probably see some things that sort of prognosticate what the future is going to look like that you haven't seen before but the movie isn't as interested in the gadgetry and flying cars of it all as what the people are going to do and...what's driving them and motivating them as humans in the first place."

9. Charlize Theron does naked push-ups!

After watching yesterday's teaser reel -- a compilation of behind-the-scene and actual film footage -- Lindelof pointed out that Theron's character spends some of her onscreen time doing cardio in the buff: "I just want to bring up the fact that we saw you doing what appeared to be doing naked push-ups in that clip and that is gross and pandering and if you think that is going to make this crowd go see this might work."

A few minutes later, Lindelof wrapped up the Hall H panel by asking, "Just to clarify, Ridley, there are naked push-ups in this film, right?"

"Very naked push-ups," Scott replied.