H.R. Giger has gone down in history as one of the most famous science fiction illustrators and artists ever to be born. Anyone who's ever flipped through H.R. Giger art books could tell you why — his artwork and imagination is uniquely dark, sexual, and foreboding.
In the movie industry, Giger first got his major break when working on Jodorowsky's Dune — one of the greatest sci-fi movies never made. From the people he met there, he was able to work on the character design of the monsters from Alien.
Ridley Scott, one of the greatest directors of sci-fi film, was a huge fan of Giger's work. H.R. Giger's influence on Prometheus, then, shouldn't come as a surprise. Here are some of the ways this Swiss surrealist legend was able to change the course of Prometheus and turn it into the film we all know today...
Giger allegedly provided 30 sketches for Ridley Scott prior to the making of the movie.
Though there isn't much crediting of H.R. Giger's influence on Prometheus directly, it's said that he gave Ridley Scott around 30 drawings on what would make the film better, more dreamlike, and darker. So, if it seems like a movie that was really heavily influenced by the biomechanical stylings of Giger, that's because it was.
You can actually see some of Giger's last murals in the movie, too.
Just because he wasn't officially part of the design team doesn't mean you can't see Giger's designs in the movie. One really noticeable sign of H.R. Giger's influence on Prometheus is the fact that Scott sneaked some of the artist's murals into the backgrounds of the movies' sets.
The designs of the "space jockeys" are clearly influenced by Giger, too.
Everyone knows that Giger's influence on Alien involved the creature designs. It would have been foolish of Ridley Scott not to continue that design line with Prometheus. The "space jockeys" featured in the film have very clear parallels to Giger's work in his Necronomicon.
There's that same biomechanical aesthetic, the same dark, human-but-not-human appeal, and just enough of that gothic unworldliness to make it feel like a work from H.R. Giger himself. Needless to say, the space jockeys are also fairly obvious signs of H.R. Giger's influence on Prometheus and its visuals.
If that isn't enough, the "Head Room" set of the movie is basically an altar to Giger's work.
Sci-fi and tech magazine io9 pointed out that the "Head Room" scene they developed was basically an homage to H.R. Giger's influence on Prometheus. The set shows a lot of Giger-esque motifs, easter eggs, and very subtle references to the shape of a xenomorph's head.
Believe it or not, the Head Room wasn't actually made by H.R. Giger. It was created by designers Steven Messing and Julian Caldrow — both of which apparently are major fans of Giger's work.
Ridley Scott also may have borrowed a little bit of Giger's work from Jodorowsky's 'Dune.'
One of the most well-known illustrations from the never-filmed masterpiece known as Jodorowsky's Dune is a sketch of what would have been Harkonnen Castle. If you take a look at the pyramid in Prometheus, it becomes clear that H.R. Giger's influence on Prometheus also went into the architecture.
Many people believe that Ridley Scott may have borrowed some of the concept art from Dune to add that visually stunning ambiance to the exterior of the alien planet.
Then, there's also the fact that 'Prometheus' is also a prequel to 'Alien.'
It's hard to have a prequel to a movie which was partially spearheaded by an artist, without having serious influences from that particular artist. You have to remember, it was H.R. Giger's Alien art that led to the birth of the Prometheus franchise.
Alien's backstory is supposed to be explained in this movie and to a point, that means that H.R. Giger's influence on Prometheus is already there. It has to be, because how else are people going to get into the beginnings of these creatures?
In order to be a real part of the Alien franchise, Prometheus had to have some of those classic visual aspects from Giger. Otherwise, the movie just wouldn't have the same ambiance that people have started to expect from the Alien franchise.
Ridley Scott knew this, and knew excluding a Giger-esque vibe would have made the movie a box office flop. So, he made a point of keeping in line with the visually striking work from his favorite artist.