|Gerhard R. Steinhäuser - Jesus Christ Heir to the Astronauts, 1976|
a) Spaihts' Coffee and biscuits with Ridley and Scott
Jon Spaihts found it a delight spending a lot of time with Ridley Scott working up the script.
Ridley would have every time they met a beautiful silver tray brought in with a china pot full of wonderful cofee and a plant of English shortbread.
Spaihts obviously wasn't getting skinnier this way making the movie but he was very happy all the time
They would sit there eating cookies and drinking the very good coffee, as they talked about story, parasitic infections, ancient mythology and everything that dove tailed with what they were working on,
It was during one of those moments when Ridley said "Maybe Jesus was one ".
Then he cackled and drank his coffee.
b) Loving a blasphemous notion
Spaihts loved the blasphemous notion that perhaps Jesus was a scion of some giant alien. He would add it in a non incendiary way so that it seemed like a throwaway joke in the way the idea was pitched to him
The way that Ridley was thinking about it through that Jesus Christ would be an emissary of the Engineers and it was because the Roman Empire had got out of control leading to the death of Jesus that the Engineers decided to terminate the human race.
In Prometheus, the Engineer who has awoken from 2000 years of sleep decides that he has to go and finish the job and exterminate the human civilisation.
In Jon Spaihts script there's a throway line about fifty seen pages in, Holloway says "something killed them off back around the time of Christ, maybe he was one of them, a great teacher sent from heaven, Jesus the last engineer" which Watts (who later is renamed Shaw) laughs off.
c) A Chinese whisper
By 2015, Premier magazine suggested that in the prologue for Prometheus it would show Jesus being created by extra-terrestrials in the prologue of Prometheus, which Ridley declared was a false assumption
d) Adamski's tale of Jesus as an alien master
George Adamski who was a contactee for extra-terrestrials during the 1950s especially for those from the planet Venus received the information that Jesus was an alien master who had incarnated on planet Earth.
e) Von Daniken denies any thoughts about Jesus as an astronaut
However Erich Von Daniken was at one point thought to have made a claim that Jesus was an astronaut but he denied the claim when interviewed by Playboy in 1974
- Movies.com: You throw religion and spirituality into the equation for
Prometheus, though, and it almost acts as a hand grenade. We had heard
it was scripted that the Engineers were targeting our planet for
destruction because we had crucified one of their representatives, and
that Jesus Christ might have been an alien. Was that ever considered?
Ridley Scott: We definitely did, and then we thought it was a little too on the nose. But if you look at it as an "our children are misbehaving down there" scenario, there are moments where it looks like we've gone out of control, running around with armor and skirts, which of course would be the Roman Empire. And they were given a long run. A thousand years before their disintegration actually started to happen. And you can say, "Lets' send down one more of our emissaries to see if he can stop it." Guess what? They crucified him. (http://www.movies.com/movie-news/ridley-scott-prometheus-interview/8232)
- Erich von Däniken: I am asked questions by people who say Jesus was an astronaut. That makes me laugh. I’m definitely sure Jesus had nothing to do with astronauts, and I want to say so once and for all. […] There’s no reason to say Jesus came from space. (1974 Playboy interview)
- Premiere: Il parâit qu’on devait voir la création de Jésus par les aliens dans le prologue de Prometheus
It seems that we should see the creation of Jesus by the aliens in the prologue of Prometheus
Ridley Scott: Non, non, c’est complètement faux. C’est une légende
No, no, that's completely wrong. It's a legend
(Première Décembre 2014/ Janvier 2015 )
- Al Horner: That's
interesting, And man you're not kidding about the er biblical elements
in your draft, there's like a throwaway line about an hour in, fifty
seven pages, Holloway says, "something killed
them off back around the time of Christ, maybe he was one of them, a
great teacher sent from heaven, Jesus the last engineer", and
it's a bit of a throwaway line that Shaw or Watts as she's known in this
draft kind of laughs off but it did make me kind of make me like wonder
if there was ever a moment kind of during the (17:00) evolution where
you were working in even more biblical material or you were leaning in
even harder the idea that that Jesus was an engineer and that's all
Christianity mythology kind of stem from there. Was there a moment at
all before you kind of for where you kind of changed through this draft
where you were kind of going even harder on the biblical elements?
Jon Spaihts: That's... that's the deep water right there and that line specifically is Ridley.
Al Horner: Oh really?
Jon Spaihts: : Um, right, I spent a ton of time with Ridley working up that script which was a non stop delight, and that was a thing that came to him, almost exactly as it comes to the character in that scene. He bless his heart would have, every time we met he would have this beautiful silver tray brought in with this china pot full of great coffee and like a plate of kind of English short bread, so I did not get skinnier making this movie but I was very happy all the time and we would sit there eating cookies and drinking this very good coffee and riffing about story and parasitic insects and ancient mythology and just everything that dove tails with what we're up to (18:00) um and it was one of those moments where he says "Maybe jesus was one" and he cackled and drank his coffee, and I just loved the idea that blasphemous notion that maybe Jesus was a scion of some giant alien, erm, so it felt like the only non-incendiary way was to insert that idea would be in the same throwaway and jocular mode in which it was pitched in the room, to let it be a throwaway joke.
Uh yeah, but that was, but that was Ridley's bit
(See: Transcript for Script Apart podcast Episode 41: Prometheus with Jon Spaihts)