As a prequel (of sorts) to Alien, the film seems just as invested in parricide as the other films, but it's also a mirror of our own very Earth-bound obsession with the origins of life. In that sense, the Scott-directed Prometheus serves as an appropriate origin-story to a franchise that includes everything from Scott’s original sci-fi/horror masterpiece to action figures and key chains. It is almost as though the offspring spawned by Scott’s brainchild, after having passed through the hands of three other directors (James Cameron, David Fincher, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet), have overrun their creator’s intentions. With Prometheus, Scott has both reasserted control and brought the series back to something like its former glory.(2)
Before Prometheus, the only sequel Ridley Scott had made was Hannibal.
Based on an utterly outre novel by Thomas Harris and (sort of) a script by David Mamet, Hannibal exists within a previously established universe. Anyone watching it already knew who Clarice Starling was. And they certainly already knew Hannibal Lecter.
Hannibal, which screens this Sunday night at the Film Society at Lincoln Center, is built on that foundation of knowledge. He and screenwriter Steven Zaillian thus made an ungainly but weirdly compelling follow-up to Jonathan Demme’s wholly superior Silence of the Lambs adaptation.(1)