The mystery of what Ridley Scott’s Prometheus is really all about just took on yet another heady wrinkle today, with the debut of what purports to be a TED Talk from the future — March, 2023, to be exact. Appearing as technology magnate Peter Weyland, actor Guy Pearce gives a micro-treatise on the history of technology, starting from the fire gifted to humanity from the titan Prometheus and running all the way up to Weyland’s ambition to create “cybernetic individuals who, in a few short years, will be completely indistinguishable from us.” It all sounds very much like the TED Talks about super-cool, bleeding-edge tech that many have lost hours to, while streaming them on the Internet. But then Weyland concludes his talk with a decidedly un-TED-like proclamation: That it is his “unlimited” ambition “to change the world.”
The video was conceived by Scott and Prometheus screenwriter Damon Lindelof and directed by Ridley’s son Luke Scott. Check it out below:
Weyland’s “official bio” from the TED website notes that by 14, he’d registered “a dozen patents in a wide range of fields from biotech to robotics,” and his ability to generate a “synthetic atmosphere above the polar ice cap” is what launched his current empire. “In less than a decade,” concludes the bio, “Weyland Corporation became a worldwide leader in emerging technologies and launched the first privatized industrial mission to leave the planet Earth. ‘There are other worlds than this one,’ Sir Peter boldly declared, ‘And if there is no air to breathe, we will simply have to make it.'”
Knowing that the core story of Prometheus is humanity’s search for its origins — and that the search somehow leads us to the origins of Ridley Scott’s Alien — what do you make of Peter Weyland’s speech?