Ridley Scott’s newest science fiction milestone commands the cover of the May 18th issue of Entertainment Weekly, whose sidebars in previous issues about the Alien prequel/spinoff/homage/whatever may already have said too much. If the official American trailers, several international trailers, viral-marketing future DVD extras, epic-length WikiPedia entry, and half-baked rumor sites haven’t whetted your appetite for advance knowledge (true or false), EW’s article also reveals which character is not quite human, which ones are corporate toadies, and which one is our primary protagonist. Along with those Dell-logic-problem clues, factor in the Hollywood pecking order of Academy Award Winner Charlize Theron, Academy Award Nominee Young Magneto, Lisbeth Salander Prime, Stringer Bell, Leonard Shelby, two male unknowns, and one female unknown. Savvy viewers should be able to calculate their order of elimination in the finished product with a margin of error of ±1 corpse.
If you mean to save yourself for the American release date of June 8th, hiding from the Internet will not be enough. TV ads have now been unleashed to the networks so that the Midwest will finally get a look-see. Expect more magazines to follow in EW’s footsteps in the weeks ahead, including the inevitable TV Guide cover straining to cash in on the hype with the most tenuous of TV connections. I predict a showcase along the lines of “Twenty Best Movies Starring Actors from The Office: Prometheus, Bridesmaids, Get Smart, and More!” I won’t be surprised to see ancillary merchandise at the comic shop. The true danger zone begins June 1st when the movie opens early in England because of favoritism. Expect Internet hall monitors to place their sites futilely on emergency spoiler lockdown when waves of soccer-hooligan trolls begin tweeting drunken screen shots and plot-loophole complaints live from their theater seats.
I count myself among the wave of fans who saw James Cameron’s Aliens before seeing the original Alien and consequently have a hard time discussing contrary opinions with old-school fans who were marked for life when they saw the classic chest-bursting surprise on the big screen. I may rank the four films differently, but to this day I don’t hate any of them (the two crossovers are another story). I hope not to hate this one as well, but with so much time remaining for so much more to be ruined, I may need to play the hermit card and go underground like Newt till it’s safe. I can’t just nuke the Internet from orbit, so there’s no way to be sure.