Prometheus: Pyramid in the Prequel

Leading from
Prometheus - The Return of the Space Jockey

profile of the pyramid mound from Imax 3D trailer  Yotube 18th March 2012
leading from:  Prometheus - The Return of the Space Jockey

a.) During the time when the project that became Prometheus was still in the stages of being at least one Prequel movie, it was revealed in the Alien Legacy Forums on October 29th, 2010, by a user named Necronom (which shows the person to be a Giger fan): I’m not sure if any of this is known, but my Brother works in TV and one of the crews he works with came back from Morocco about 10 days ago (I waited until I knew it would be okay to mention). He was told that the area of desert they were shooting (where Scott shot Kingdom of Heaven) on had just been recced by Scott and he’s given the go ahead for them to start work on a pyramid! 
skeletal eyeholes seen over the side from official full trailer,  Youtube 18th March 2012
The person who told my Brother thought it was going to be a part of Earth, but the pyramid sounds suspiciously like the original pyramid idea for Alien, so might actually be Acheron, or another planet.
detail of skull in official full trailer,  Youtube 18th March 2012
b) Financial Times on December 10th, 2010,  it is supported though by an interview with Nourreddine Sail, head of the Moroccan Cinema Centre, confirmed that there would be filming in Morocco’s southern Ouarzazate film studios in February and March of 2011.
bottom of pyramid mound with entrance in official full trailer, Youtube 18th March 2012
c) It was once a trailer for the film Prometheus finally came out in 2012  we firmly discover at least strange dome shaped building with an elongated head on top similar to Giger's design for the Harkonnen Castle in Jodorowsky's Dune project. Some might have guessed it earlier and some may have tried to deny the possibility because they had seen that design for some years already in the form of Giger's Harkonnen Castle painting and also Ridley's silo drawing. Ridley started drawing a similar image in his storyboard for an earlier version of his egg silo inspired by images fro Giger's Necronomicon for the early Alien storyboards, the images were revealed as supplementary material in the Alien DVD sets, we can see how it was loosely inspired to some extent by Giger's Harkonnen Castle that could be found in the book Giger's Necronomicon. He actually drew more than one of these "pyramid mounds" in his storyboards, there appear to be a line of them in the images shown in one of the Prometheus trailers and upon the mound he put a simple head like structure that served as an entrance and gave up the concept when Giger worked on his own, a breast shaped egg silo.  
bottom of pyramid mound entrance from inside from International Trailer UK released

d) It can be easy to see where Ridley was coming from with this design in Prometheus. However at the time of the trailers release, we find ourselves asking still about whether this reused old concept of Giger's was supposed to be the pyramid that has been talked about before hand in the rumour, in the way that a pyramid was supposed to be found on the planetoid in Dan O'Bannon's original script and had been replaced by different ideas relating to Giger's work and labeled as an egg silo before the chamber had been integrated with the derelict ship in the way it's finally found in the Alien movie

Ridley's Egg Silo sketch

e). On April 18, 2012 , we can now firmly tie the news of the pyramid that was going to be built in Morocco and the presence of the ancient alien structure on the alien planet together. Going back to find out whether this strange building is exactly the pyramid structure talked about in the early rumours, Spotlightreport revealed that Morocco was the initial location where their alien planet would be filmed and this planet landscape would feature the alien building:

Giger's Dune II Castle Harkonnen

f)  "When the crew of the Prometheus land on the alien planet at the core of their expedition, they find an inhospitable, barren environment and a strange, vast alien structure. It will, assures director Ridley Scott, look like nothing we’ve seen before in science fiction, and the production went to great lengths to shoot on location in Iceland, at a location so remote that the cast, crew and equipment had to be airlifted in.

The Icelandic location, it transpires, wasn’t the first choice. “We were planning to shoot in Morocco,” reveals production designer Arthur Max. “But with all the geopolitical turmoil in North Africa, we weren’t able to do so. We’d scouted it several times with everybody and had worked out all our locations, and we’ve had to rethink.”

The change means a very different aesthetic to the look of the planet – Morocco’s deserts have been replaced by the cold, icy rock of the Iceland location. “When we first scouted Iceland it was winter, and 20 below, and you couldn’t see anything,” remembers Max. “But thank God we’d pre-scouted it. When we went back we nailed the locations and got Ridley over there and he liked them.(

Giger's Dune V

g). Spotlightreport also directly made the connection between the pyramid and the alien structure are revealed "Constructing the “pyramid mound” – its shape was described as a pyramid in the script, explains (Arthur) Max, but the final conception is a little different, hence the contradictory descriptor – took 16 weeks to complete with more than two hundred technicians working on it."

h) After seeing the eye holes of the head peaking down the side of the pyramid mound in the earlier trailer, the clip of the face shown in full the April 25th Featurette  found at. Possibly rather than putting the Castle Harkonnen as the full inspiration, it seems more like the head piece on the creation provides the source point for Ridley's image which of course remains part of the castle from Dune. However the one in Prometheus looks as if it has been roughly carved out of rock
Brightened image of the pyramid mound face as seen

i) Ridley's Storyboard from the April 25th Featurette featuring the mound seen in the distance half way down the page.
storyboards as seen in April 25th Featurette at


  1. Interesting article; Moebius said ones that Star Wars and the other movies like Alien copied the idea of Dune's Jodorowsky, this is the level of the important of that project of Jodorowsky that lamentably never looked the light.
    Many thanks for this extraordinary post.

    1. One thing about Moebius' work, it certainly seems that there were keen fans of his in the Star Wars team, and they'll have been borrowing from his work in Metal Hurlant and Heavy Metal for sure, while George Lucas can be accused of borrowing ideas from Frank Herbert's Dune. Thanks!