If you left Prometheus thinking, “Well, that was certainly intense, but what it was missing was more baffling philosophical exploration into Freidrich Nietzsche’s concept of the Übermensch,” you’re in luck! (Note: SPOILERS follow.)
Eagle-eyed and endlessly patient moviegoers noticed that at the very end of the end credits for Prometheus, a logo for the fictional Weyland Corporation rolled onto the screen, with the tagline “Building Better Worlds Since 10. 11. 12” and an address for the “corporate timeline” for Weyland Industries. That timeline does indeed note that the company was founded on October 11, 2012, but it’s been available online for a while now. It turns out this end credits bumper was really pointing to a brand new easter egg: Whatis101112.com, a curious website that basically serves as an oblique advertisement for the seminal work of German philosopher Freidrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None.
At this point, the site includes a fancy 3-D rendering of the book, a cursory synopsis of the tome — “Much of the work deals with ideas such as the ‘eternal recurrence of the same,’ the parable on the ‘death of God,’ and the ‘prophecy’ of the Übermensch” — and a video of actor Guy Pearce as company founder Dr. Peter Weyland. The 27-second clip appears to be shot just before Weyland delivers the “TED talk” that launched Prometheus‘ viral video ad campaign. But if you’re hoping the video will illuminate some of the film’s dangling imponderables, well, it doesn’t. But check it out anyway:
In case you couldn’t make out what Weyland was saying, it’s “I am a law only for my kind, I am no law for all,” also a quote from Zarathustra. This all appears to have something to do with the giant albino “Engineers” at the heart of Prometheus‘ creationist mythology, and Weyland’s monomaniacal desire to meet them so he can learn how to live forever. The suggestion is that the Engineers, in Weyland’s mind, are the Nietzsche’s Übermensch, but the viral site also seems to indicate that four more high-minded literary allusions are yet to be featured on Whatis101112.com. After which, all questions will be answered, humanity’s true origins will be finally revealed, and we can all get back to contemplating how Ridley Scott cast the 44-year-old Pearce to play the elderly Weyland in his feature-length motion picture so the actor could appear as a young man in viral videos hidden on the Internet. [First Showing]