Saturday, March 3, 2012

Obsessive Cinematic Disorder: Who is Peter Weyland?


Hey, folks. Watch this clip, a viral video that popped up on JoBlo.com and other sites around the web this past week. It's promoting Prometheus, Ridley Scott's pseudo-prequel to Alien due later this year:


Now who the hell is Peter Weyland? Because Lance Henriksen already portrayed a character named Charles Bishop Weyland in Alien Vs. Predator. Check him out at the beginning of this trailer.



So who’s the Weyland of the evil Weyland-Yutani Corporation from the original Alien, Peter or Charles Bishop?
Wikia
Perhaps these are two separate yet related characters? AVP is set in 2004 and Prometheus supposedly takes place in 2023 (or at least that TED video does), so maybe Peter Weyland is Charles Bishop Weyland’s son or something? But Peter Weyland is obviously very British OWMYBRAIN.

Maybe Ridley Scott and company have simply retconned the Charles Bishop Weyland character out of existence and replaced him with Peter? The former character’s IMDb page lists Pearce and Henriksen as essentially playing the same part. Seems like kind of a strange move by the Prometheus crew.

Don’t get me wrong – I know AVP (and its sequel) – sucks hard. It shows you what people who want to piss on two great franchises at the same time can accomplish when they really put their minds to it. Lance Henricksen as Weyland was one of the few – if only – things the film got right, however. It was a cool bit of connective tissue between the original Alien films and AVP plus it made sense that Bishop, the android character Henricksen portrayed in Aliens and Alien3, was modeled after one of the founders of the company that created him.


Scott and company have most likely just ignored the AVP character. I guess the director can do whatever he wants, since he did start the franchise all the way back in '79. And Guy Pearce always turns in a great performance, even in a brief viral video.

So what do you guys think? Who's the real Weyland? Are Peter and Charles Bishop two separate characters in the same story or is one of them bogus?

24 comments:

  1. I'm curious about this as well. Just wrapped up an appearance on a podcast where we spoke about this a little. I only hope that these viral videos don't end up in the finished film and are only considered supplements. Alien had this amazing feeling of dreaded isolation and I feel any scenes on earth would ruin that atmosphere.

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    1. @Markus - Is it the LambCast? I'll have to check it out.

      I hope that clip isn't in the film. It's cool but I guess Pearce has said he's only in the film briefly and I don't want that to be his only screen time. It doesn't really look that great.

      I agree on Alien. I hope Prometheus has that same feeling.

      Thanks for reading!

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    2. yeah, the next lambcast episode coming up should be the one.

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  2. Peter Weyland being British only means that he grew up in a place with that accent. -His rich daddy sure gets around! They never say on the movie where he is from. And he and David sure do know a lot about the Space Jockey technology, don't you think? The best way to connect all 7 movies would be to have the derelict ship from Alien already crashed long before the voyage of Prometheus ever even happened. The Aliens were in existence before Prometheus, obviously from their picture being painted on the wall as clearly as it was. By no means do I encourage the continuation of the AVP series, but I also don't like having that twisted universe of cannon "non-cannon" cannon films -(although given the proper writer and director treatment A vs P could be redeemed and become incredibly EPIC)

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    1. I used to play the AVP games in high school and an AVP movie done right would be fantastic.

      I think after watching Prometheus it's pretty clear it came before Alien.

      Thanks for commenting!

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  3. I agree that AVP could be redeemed, and no matter how many hate the AVP franchise, the first one was pretty good in terms of story, and made more sense than Prometheus.

    One question before I go on: Why does so much hollywood sci fi have to always point back to the destruction of Earth? As if that was the scariest thing that could ever happen?

    It took me some digging after seeing the film today to realize that there are 2 Weylands because I was like WTF when Weyland died... again, since he already died in AVP1. Who is Peter Weyland and what is his relationship to Charles Bishop Weyland? The ages don't really match up to be related, do they? If Charles Bishop Weyland dies in 2004 and he looks about 50 or 60 then how could his kid (Peter?) look like he's close to 100 in 2023? Can someone answer me this?

    Even though Ridley Scott started the Alien franchise, he can't just start over from scratch when there's so many other films that came after it, but then again I guess he can because he has and me posting this to some random forum isn't going to change that.

    M.

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    1. Peter looks 100 because in Prometheus they land on the planet in 2093 not 2023.

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    2. Peter looks 100 because in Prometheus they land on the planet in 2093 not 2023.

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    3. Peter looks 100 because in Prometheus they land on the planet in 2093 not 2023.

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    4. Please excuse the mistaken dates (and thanks for reposting 3 times, you have tact)... still... wtf is the relationship between peter and charles?

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    5. Matthew - I still don't know what the relations are, even after watching Prometheus and reading the comment below.

      I guess the destruction of Earth is the scariest thing ever if we're all on the planet when it goes boom (or whatever).

      I suspect Ridley Scott treated the rest of the Alien films much like Wes Craven treated the rest of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies when making New Nightmare. As in, he pretty much ignored them because he didn't understand them (or didn't care to).

      Thanks for the comments!

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  4. Actually Charles Bishop Weylands date of birth is unknown but he was born in England and established Weyland Industries Corporation in 1973. Sir Peter Weyland was born in Mumbai, India on October 1, 1990 to his mother, an Oxford-educated Professor of Comparative mythology, and his father, a self-taught engineer. So it is quite possible that Charles is Peters father and he is killed in 2004. The above video clip of Peter is from 2023 and the movie Prometheus is set in 2093 the year Charles dies. Michael Bishop who looks exactly like Charles Bishop Weyland was born in 2127 in New York and has a android in his likeness in Aliens and is supposedly himself in Alien 3 with his ear almost ripped off. Alien is set in 2122 and Aliens and Alien 3 are set in 2179 and Alien Resurrection is set in 2380s.

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    1. Thanks for the info! Although I don't understand how Michael Bishop looks exactly like Charles Bishop Weyland if he's not an android. Unless he's a clone or something. I don't even think I was considering the supposedly human Michael Bishop from Alien 3 when I wrote this post. I guess it's the movie-law of "If they're supposed to be related we can cast the same person to play different characters" (assuming CBW is related to Michael Bishop - they have different last names). Now I'm just rambling.

      I'm starting to think that we should just not consider the AVP films to be in the same canon as Aliens.

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    2. I dont think we shouldn't consider the AVP films, my theory is that Michael Bishop is a clone of Charles Bishop Weyland created by the company, i'm not quite sure why they did that. I aslo think that Charles Bishop Weyland is the father of Peter Weyland, its very possible.

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    3. Thanks for this answer..help me a lot. I just pay attention for this franchise.

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  5. I take Peter to be son of Charles Bishop Weyland. This might make sense even if it was not intended to be as such by the scripters.

    Peter Weyland is then the super-old director Wayland on the spaceshift Prometheus in the Prometheus movie.

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  6. I think reading the company timeline, Scott has made it open for those who choose to acknowledge AVP's cannon and those who wish to ignore it. He can be percieved as Charles son who inherited the company and who made the company biger inc'ing it to Weyland industries, later to become Weyland-Yutani after his death in Prometheus. 2004 being a convenient year to choose.
    Or Peter (in "Alien-only" cannon) is simply a self made billionaire
    genius who started Weyland Corp. himself. Lance Henrikkson could of
    been the successor to Peter but no relation eventually being the
    inspiration for the "Bishop" line, which is well after the "Ash" line.
    Ridley really has opened a giant can of worms here, and of course wont answer any questions because we wouldnt be talking about the film.....

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    1. Good points. I like the "Bishop inherited the company" theory.

      Thanks for reading!

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  7. Oh a link to this Weyland Industries webpage is here, cool and humorous in places (see Davids emotion slideshow with a downloadable gif.

    http://www.weylandindustries.com

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  8. I like the first AvP film and the portrayal of Charles Weyland as it shows connection with Aliens. I would rather think of Charles Weyland as father of Peter Weyland than to dismiss Charles Weyland all together. If Scott would allow it, Charles Weyland fits in the timeline just nicely before his son Peter takes over the company after Charles Weyland's untimely demise. That, as a fan, is the way I'll see it.

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  9. The answer is actually quite easy albeit not very satisfying. Both AvP films are not official canon of the actual Alien franchise. Only Alien, Aliens, Alien 3, Alien: Resurrection, Prometheus & the upcoming Alien: Covenant are canonical.
    AvP & AvP 2 is just 20th Century Fox (20thCF owns the rights to both intellectual properties) trying to make some mo' money.
    Both Ridley Scott and James Cameron have expressed on numerous occasions that they have no interest in the AvP franchise. Scott hasn't seen either AvP or AvP2 to this day.

    That's why there is so much incoherence between the AvP movies and the Alien movies, the biggest being the origin stories in the first AvP and Promotheus totally contradicting each other.
    So, for the Alien franchise, Michael Bishop really was human, he really was the creator of the Bishop series synthetics and Peter Weyland is the founder of Weyland Corp.

    And for the AvP films... well, I guess they cast Lance Henriksen in an important role because his character Bishop from Aliens and Alien 3 is the most well recognized and beloved in the Alien franchise, giving the fans something to like and get them interested. The AvP films don't care much for canon anyway, they should be viewed more like two glorious pieces of fan fiction.

    That doesn't mean that one can't enjoy the two AvP movies, just saying don't bother trying to wrap your heads around the fact that some stuff just doesn't add up. It's not supposed to ;)

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  10. Although I agree this issue may seem really problematic at first glance, but take a closer look, then zoom out unto the bigger picture.

    First off, each released title in this "Xenoverse" franchise (including "Alien" (1979), "Aliens" (1986), "Predator" (1987), "Predator 2" (1990), "Alien 3" (1992), "Alien: Resurrection" (1997), "Alien vs. Predator" (2004), "Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem" (2007), "Predators" (2010), and "Prometheus" (2012)) as well as unreleased titles (including "Alien: Covenant" (2017), "The Predator" (2018), and presumably "Alien: Awakening", "Prometheus 4", "Alien 5", and "Alien vs. Predator 3") are all property of 20th Century Fox, and unless explicitly stated otherwise, each film should logically be regarded as mere expansions upon the very same fictional cinematic universe, with the only major difference being that each film takes place at different points in the very same canonical timeline of that universe.

    I mean, sure, you can choose to ignore certain chapters in this timeline, but they still won't go away and they would only actually be considered "non-canonical" in your own mind (this includes any individuals who actually worked on any of these films).

    And no, literary works such as "Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report" does not have any actual bearing on the cinematic events, and even if it did then it would still not contradict or reject the events of any of these films, but all that this book does is setting a certain focus on certain futuristic events of this cinematic timeline by delving into Weyland-Yutani's involvement with the Xenomorph across the "Alien"-series alone (including "Prometheus" as a prequel-series).

    That being said, setting all personal issues and potential grudges aside (noting that I personally have no problem at all with any installments in this franchise and rather appreciates each of the ten films released thus far and am thoroughly excited for any upcoming titles), let's delve into the established details.

    Peter Weyland was born on October 1, 1990, in Mumbai, India, to an Oxford-educated Professor of Comparative Mythology and a self-taught engineer (whose name is not revealed, but it should and could logically follow that he's the heir of Charles; perhaps this even was a fan-service to those who want to acknowledge the "AVP"-films and those who don't as well, this is not the first time subtle hints to the other related films have been introduced; noting the Alien-skull on the Predator mothership in "Predator 2" as well as the Alien-jaw on the Berserker mask in "Predators").

    Charles Bishop Weyland, as a rich, handy and famous man and traveler with several connections, (assuming the character is about the same age as the actor) would have been about 50 years old when Peter was born (you can definitely have children at this age), and about 64 years old when he is killed by a Predator-alien on Antarctica on October 10, 2004, (leaving Weyland Industries without its founder and head) and Peter turned 14 years old on October 1 just a few days earlier.

    When Peter turned 22 on October 11, 2012, he established the new Weyland Corporation (replacing and regenerating his father's previous orphaned company).

    In 2093, the Prometheus-vessel arrives on planet LV-223 where Peter is killed by an Engineer-alien (in a similar fashion and a similar setting to his father's demise) when he is 101 years old.

    Now, I must ask, where should there supposedly be any inconsistency or real issues here? I sure don't see any.

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    1. I'm also currently writing my very own script treatment for "Alien vs. Predator 3", in which I intend to correct the flaws of earlier installments and connect each and every film through one story (with potential plans for an even darker "Alien vs. Predator 4" or "Alien vs. Predator 5" conclusion of sorts), and were I to some day be given the opportunity then I would have loved to helm the production of that picture.

      Bottom line, they're fictional stories of the entertainment world, there's really no need to get upset or think too intensely about these issues.

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    2. Forgot to mention the Engineer-skull in the Predator scout ship in "Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem".

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