Ridley Scott Talks 'Prometheus' Rating & 'Alien' Universe with Empire

March 28, 2012
Source: Empire

Prometheus Head / Ridley Scott

Now that we've seen numerous trailers and learned a lot about Ridley Scott's Prometheus, there are a few pressing questions on our mind. One of them is what will it be rated, considering the Alien series began with two R-rated movies, but has gone PG-13. So will it be the same? Ridley answers that, and much more, in a new feature in Empire magazine on Prometheus. The mag recently debuted their shiny cover, and with the issue hitting stands a few websites have posted scans (see here and here) of the full article, with photos. However, Empire online also posted a few pertinent quotes, like the one about the movie's rating. Read on!

Ridley first addressed the idea of revisiting the Alien universe, touching on another question still on many fans' minds, about just how connected to Alien this is. "[I've wanted to revisit it for] years! Years, years, years," Ridley tells Empire. "I always wondered when they did [Aliens] 2, 3 and 4 why they hadn't touched upon that, instead of evolving into some other fantastic story. They missed the biggest question of them all: who's the big guy? And where were they going? And with what? Why that cargo? There's all kinds of questions." So it kind of is an Alien prequel, but still existing in its own story. "The idea of having lots of facehuggers and xenomorphs running around -- we've all seen that, it's all been done. It shouldn't just be a progression of the events you totally expect. There should be some surprises in there," Damon Lindelof says.

He then addresses the question of the rating, skirting a direct answer (since they still haven't announced it / shown it to the MPAA just yet), but at least satiating us—I think—by hinting that it'll be a hard PG-13, but it could go either way. As far as I know, we're still waiting for them to get a rating, but his answer in full states:

"Right now I don't know where we are. The question is, do you go for the PG-13, or do you go for what it should be, which is R? Financially it makes quite a difference, or the risk makes quite a difference, and yet you also have to apply the question -- if you soften it, will you financially suffer? As opposed to just going for the throat and gambling. Essentially, it's kinda R. The little bastards will still get in anyway, so what's the difference? It's not just about blood, it's about ideas that are very stressful. I'm not an idiot, but I'll do everything I can to get the most aggressive film I can."

At least we'll be getting an "aggressive film", but it sounds like it'll be PG-13. From what we've seen in the trailers, the footage, I don't think we have to worry. We know that Christopher Nolan can deliver amazing movies at PG-13, and it's likely even The Dark Knight Rises will be PG-13, so if Ridley can do the same with this I think we're fine. He's aware of at least "what it should be", which is R, so he'll try to get as close to that as possible. "With science fiction you have the opportunity of being able to do anything you want, with the digital assistance, and it's up to you to not do anything foolish or silly or daft, or non-credible. Within that universe, you have to stick to your own rulebook," Ridley says. There's a lot more in the full Empire article.

If you can't tell, I'm incredibly excited for Prometheus, and I honestly don't think I mind what rating it is, especially considering all the footage looks amazing so far, and I trust Ridley is headed down the right path. Ridley also reveals a tease in the magazine article at what one of the future Weyland Corp viral videos will be, but don't ruin it if you don't want to, as I'm sure we'll get to see it soon and it sounds awesome. We'll be sure to keep you updated on Prometheus, in the meantime visit Empire to grab the full Prometheus issue.

Find more posts: Discuss, Hype, Movie News, Sci-Fi



"The little bastards will still get in anyway, so what's the difference?" So true, Sir Ridley. So true. Got me a new tag for Disqus! "It's not just about blood, it's about ideas that are very stressful. I'm not an idiot, but I'll do everything I can to get the most aggressive film I can." Do we need any more reasons to love this man!? Cannot wait for Prometheus. Bring on June 8th! Gonna be an awesome Summer! Prometheus and Roger Waters: The Wall Live 2012!

Xerxexx on Mar 28, 2012


 It's funny you should mention that.  It's going to be a busy week here.  June 5 The Wall at Joe Louis Arena followed by the Pometheus premier that same week!

Jedi on Mar 28, 2012


 You going to the concert?

Xerxexx on Mar 28, 2012


You're no a jedi! You're a sith!

David Banner on Mar 29, 2012


I've always wondered who might point that out.  I've thought it kind of ironic that I took the name Jedi but have a Sith as my avatar.

Jedi on Mar 31, 2012


"The little bastards"! mpaa IS GOING DOWN, BABY!

Isildur_of_Numenor on Mar 28, 2012



Xerxexx on Mar 28, 2012


Nice one, Xerxexx.  I'm picking up a copy of EMPIRE, and honestly, I don't care what PROMETHEUS' rating is.  I just want it to be a good (okay, great) film.

Scopedog on Mar 30, 2012


 I concur!

Xerxexx on Mar 30, 2012


I've been so disappointed with sci-fi movies in the last few years, but I'm gonna watch this one no-matter-what; even if it's the last movie I'd ever see. Greetings from Slovenia. 

joze on Apr 17, 2012


Yep.  I'm not thrilled that it's on a Tuesday night, but it's better than not going at all.  Are you going when it comes your way?

Jedi on Mar 28, 2012


Indeed I am. Got my tickets ages ago. Went to see Waters in Atlanta last year. I'm ready to hear "Does anybody else here Feel the way I do" again, the audience gets pumped with that Atlanta anyways.

Xerxexx on Mar 28, 2012


I think that's the standard reaction!  If you haven't seen it already you should check out YouTube for the video of David Gilmour joining him on stage at the 02 in London for Comfortably Numb.

Jedi on Mar 31, 2012


I'm a fan of a number of Ridley Scott movies but I've always felt he fell off quite a bit after Black Hawk Down.  Interestingly, it was that 'drop in quality' which spurred me to read some of his interviews and get to know a little more about him, and I must say I find him one of the more intriguing Hollywood personalities.  He has an understated, almost laid-back intelligence to him.  He's opinionated but not divisive, outspoken but not offensive, bold but not reckless.  I love his awareness of the repercussions of his directorial decisions, and how he communicates those facts in the interview.   I'm not sure if those recent films of his which have been poorly received are a result of distractions, laziness, or just a run of 'fun' passion projects. Whatever the case may be, I can't help but make a leap of faith and predict that this film will be pretty amazing.  I've been tricked before (see Spielberg's 'War of the Worlds' and M. Night's...well basically everything) but this film has an air of excitement and promise to it that few films manage to arouse.

Waffles on Mar 28, 2012


well said.

Solo_Calrissian on Mar 29, 2012


if its pg13 ill just wait for the unrated directors cut bluray. not gonna pay to see something dulled down because of marketing.

happy camper on Mar 28, 2012



Davide Coppola on Mar 28, 2012


Honestly, I don't understand why the film being PG13 should be such a bummer. Are we all saying that no film can be good unless it's R-rated? Did Nolan dull things down to get a PG13 on Dark Knight? Of course not. In fact, let's be honest, an R-rated Dark Knight would have been a little bit stupid. That would have totally changed the tone of the film--and the tone of that film was absolute perfection! Alien Resurrection was probably the hardest R of the whole series, and that movie sucked! I'm just curious why we have this assumption that a movie MUST be R-rated in order to be good because that flies against the obvious evidence of so many great films that are not R-rated.

Arik on Mar 28, 2012


Batman is family friendly, Alien is not. Dont pander my Aliens to appease the little ones.

happy camper on Mar 28, 2012


THE DARK KNIGHT sure as shootin' wasn't "family friendly". Neither was INCEPTION or the 2005 WAR OF THE WORLDS. Do you care more about the rating for PROMETHEUS or whether it will be a good film or not?  Just asking.

Scopedog on Mar 30, 2012


Alien was a horror movie, not a superhero comic movie.

Bobby on Mar 30, 2012


I can not see comparing Ridley Scott to Nolan. Ridley, as iffy as his more recent film history has been, is still a very solid filmmaker who is known to pushing limits. I can easily name several films of his that really pushed some limits aggressively. Nolan on the other hand, as amazing of a filmmaker as he is, has films with a slightly "soft" edge. Yes, even in The Dark Knight, which was still very PG-13.

Marty on Mar 28, 2012


Guess you did not see Momento

Leadoff_200 on Mar 28, 2012


But if its rated R, I can't get in! Unless I can find that formula that turns me into a "little bastard".

ur_babys_daddy on Mar 28, 2012


Sucks to be you!!! Nah maybe one of us here would be kind enough to sneak you in! But DONT tell anyone on the Internet word gets out Fast and before you know it the Cops will be there waiting to take you in at the Theater even before you Sneak in! You know this might be harder than I thought! If only I was 21 Oh wait.....

N. on Mar 28, 2012


It's all relative...  I'm sure either way we'll come away having seen a pretty decent summer movie.   

Solo_Calrissian on Mar 28, 2012


Happy Camper makes a great point. Ridley is worried bout the financial ends of releasing an R rated film but think about all of the people who already know that DVD's are released in what 3 months these days? What about the financial loss of people who would rent this, versus actually going to the theater to see it in hopes of seeing the version that was originally intended. Shit man it's not like it's the early eighties and not seeing a flick in the theater might mean you never see it at all.  Damn I miss those days. 

Gigerbrick on Mar 28, 2012


You're right. I don't think they ever consider the audience they're losing with a move like this. If people are crazy stressed out because the universe as they know it could end, I expect them to say 'fuck'...a lot. It affects the realism and marketing is the worst reason to justify it. It'll be more successful if it's PG13? Like Terminator 2? Or The Hangover? If it's good, people will go see it.    /rant

FrightTherapy on Mar 28, 2012


This News doesnt bother me and it really shouldnt bother any of us the Rating System is different now not better but different and as long as it is Ridley's Proper Vision then it really doesnt matter!

N. on Mar 28, 2012


The problem I have with a PG-13 rating for this movie is it might mean paying $12 dollars for a movie that has been cut. I am paying for the full product, not an inferior version. Otherwise I will wait for the Blu-ray.

Max Renn on Mar 29, 2012


I don't understand why the same movie is not released with both PG-13 and R rating(or even "Unrated"), at the same time, now that movies are digital and not cans upon cans of film? Not to mention the costs are much lower with digital then with film, and don't tell me it costs more to have more versions, the movie is allready edited in R and needs to be re-edited to PG-13. I think the reason is all down to the movie theatres? They want profit, the product is not importent, as long as no religious group complains, they will show anything. PG-13 = "everyone can see it", R = fewer asses in the seats(no kids). So they are more likely to set a PG-13 up than a R. But if we take a peek at Walmart, they control the music industry, as they have the most stores in the US to sell shit, they say any CD labled with "Explicit lyrics" won't be sold there. Is it maybe the same in the movie theatere business? That some large chain says always "NO!" to R rated movies? The same movie often goes in multiple theatres at the same time in the same multiplex, so I don't see a problem there either with having the same movie with 2 different ratings. I heared from a friend of mine that R rated movies are not shown before 8pm where he lives(??), I do not know how common this is in the US? If so, that would make it even easier to seperated the flock. had some info on how much money R rated films had earned at the boxoffice vs PG-13 at the boxoffice, but I can't find it now to link. It's a no-brainer, I think R rated was less than 5% of the total, since the '50. LaserDisc/DvD/Blu-Ray Unrated or R versions of movies have always sold well. But what sells even more, is the "Director's Cut"....and Riddley is guilty of this. I think Prometheus will be PG-13 at the movies, and we have to buy it on Blu-Ray to see the "real Director's Cut" at home, "Unrated". If a film is suspenseful or "too exciting", it will get a higher rating. Violence is not always a sure R rating. I do not expect there to be any of the 2 greatest dangers for americans in this film, any of these 2 taboos = NC-17 or R rating: Nudity and/or women talking about masterbation. True story, go look it up.  

David Banner on Mar 29, 2012


Fuck the studio man

Adam Lubicz on Mar 29, 2012


PG-13 makes me sad. Hopefully it is R.

Filmfan222222 on Mar 29, 2012


The reply from Ridley about the rating say it all: Prometheus will surely be PG-13. He knows it from day 1. He doesn't want to upset the Alien fanboy, knowing the targetted demographic group preferred R rated. Hence the reply twisting and turning, kinda remind me of the SOB Paul WS Anderson about Alien vs Predator's rating.

SowYau on Mar 29, 2012

35, can you read Ridley's mind? In all seriousness, though...should it matter what the film rating is?  Or should whether the film is good matter?  When I watch ALIEN now, I have to say that if it were made today exactly like how it was made back in '79, it could have passed with a PG-13. Giving a film an R rating doesn't necessarily make it better.  And think about this--the '78 remake of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS had a PG rating--although I sure as hell wouldn't call that a "family film".

Scopedog on Mar 30, 2012


Thank GOD george lucas is not around to screw things up!

Curtis Sulaski on Mar 30, 2012


If you would acknowledge  simple existing math proof  that 4 harmonic corner days  rotate simultaneously around  squared equator and cubed  Earth, proving 4 Days, Not  1Day,1Self,1Earth or 1God  that exists only as anti-side.  This page you see - cannot  exist without its anti-side  existence, as +0- antipodes.  Add +0- as One = nothing. 

Timecube on Apr 11, 2012

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