DirectorRidley Scottnamed the film "Prometheus", seeing the name aptly fit the film's themes: "It's the story of creation; the gods and the man who stood against them." In Greek mythology, the Titan Prometheus was a servant of the gods, who stole and gave to mankind the gift of fire, an immeasurable benefit that changed the human race forever (for better AND worse).
The film was originally to be called "Paradise" in December 2010.
Was originally intended as a prequel toRidley Scott'sAlien, but Scott decided to turn it into an original film withNoomi Rapace(who was already set to star) still in the cast as one of five main characters. Some time later however it was confirmed that while the movie will take place in the same universe as Alien and greatly reference that movie, it will mostly be an original movie and not a direct prequel.
Michelle Yeoh was originally considered for the role of Meredith Vickers.
Ridley Scott instructed Charlize Theron to stand in corners and move in lurking movements, in order to accentuate Vickers's distant, enigmatic nature.
Ridley Scott decided against featuring Xenomorphs (the titular Alien of the film series) in the film, as "the sequels squeezed him dry, he did very well... and no way am I going back there." Instead, this being an indirect prequel to Alien, he decided to feature a Xenomorph ancestor/parent.
While Ridley Scott suggested that the cast could have slept and effectively "lived" on the Prometheus interior set during initial filming, this didn't happen due to health and safety precautions.
Charlize Theron found herself struggling during her action scenes due to her smoking habit, particularly the segments that required her to run through sand in boots weighing 30 pounds (14 kg).
Ridley Scott stated that he was filming "the most aggressive film [he] could" by not caring about MPAA ratings, having support for such bold movement from 20th Century Fox CEO Tom Rothman, who addressed Alien fans by saying that he was "very aware of their concern", and that "they can take it that the film will not be compromised either way. So if that means that the film is R, then it'll be an R. If it's PG-13, then it'll be a PG-13, but it will not be compromised." Scott shot the film with both adult-only R and more accessible PG-13 film ratings in mind, allowing the more adult content to be cut if necessary without harming the overall presentation, given the case it was asked to be cut down. Eventually, the film was rated "R for Sci-Fi violence including some intense images, and brief language", and it was released without any demanded cuts.
In May 7th, 2012, Guillermo del Toro declared that his long proposed adaptation for "In the Mountains of Madness" was indefinitely delayed as he felt Ridley Scott's film was extremely similar to the approach he penned for H.P. Lovecraft's novella, even to the point of having "scenes that would be almost identical. Both movies seem to share identical set pieces and the exact same big revelation (twist) at the end."
According to Ridley Scott, the film's plot was inspired by Erich von Däniken's writings about ancient astronauts: "Both NASA and the Vatican agree that it is almost mathematically impossible that we can be where we are today, without there being a little help along the way. That's what we're looking at: we are talking about gods and engineers, engineers of space. Were the Aliens designed as a form of biological warfare, or biology that would go in and clean up a planet?"
The "beginning of time" sequence that opens the film was shot in Iceland. The whole shoot took two weeks to complete.
Ridley Scott approached SOAS, University of London, in 2011 to find experts who could help create a new language for the film. Anil Biltoo from SOAS' Language Centre worked to create the language, as well as the alien script, which can be seen throughout. Anil Biltoo can be seen briefly in a scene with Michael Fassbender. Other SOAS staff members appear briefly and are credited, including Wambui Kunya, Sonam Dugdak, Shin Okajima, Kay Rienjang, Zed Sevcikova and Reynir Eggertsson.