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updated 6/7/2012 3:19:59 PM ET 2012-06-07T19:19:59

"Alien" fans, take note: "Prometheus" opens Friday (June 8). And it's been a long time coming.

Born out of a desire to create a prequel to the 1979 film "Alien," the movie was shelved as work began instead on "Alien vs. Predator," which itself would spawn a sequel.

Five years after "Alien vs. Predator: Requiem," director Ridley Scott — away from the franchise since the first "Alien" movie — is ready for another extraterrestrial thriller. While similar to "Alien" in concept, "Prometheus" will have its own mythology and unique storyline, Scott has said.

What’s the movie about?

The movie begins in the Cambrian period (about 550 million years ago) as an advanced life form lands on Earth. One of these aliens is left behind and sacrifices itself to start the evolution of life.

Fast forward to the late 21st century. A star map is found within the artifacts of unconnected cultures, and the Weyland Corporation commissions an expedition aboard a spacecraft to find the place depicted. Four years later, the crew of the Prometheus arrives at the designated planet to seek the “Engineers” who created humans.

Who will like it?

Science fiction fans have a lot to like here. The movie is chockfull of top-notch special effects and action sequences along with that familiar "We’re not alone" plot. For the horror buff, there are graphic scenes of alien infestation and blood, blood, blood. If you’re squeamish, you may want to skip this movie.

How close is it to 'Alien'?

Despite what the movie’s creators have said, it’s hard not to see the similarities to "Alien."

The lead character in "Prometheus," Elizabeth Shaw (played by Noomi Rapace, star of the original "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" trilogy), has a rough-around-the-edges attitude reminiscent of "Alien’s" Ellen Ripley. The plot is also similar: The monsters in the "Alien" series had the eventual destination of Earth. And "Prometheus" was originally envisioned as a prequel set 30 years before the events in "Alien."

If you haven’t seen "Alien" in a while (or ever), you may want to catch up on the storyline to understand the concept behind "Prometheus." Amazon sells a box set of the first four movies for Blu-ray ($52) and DVD ($50). You can also buy each movie on iTunes for $10 or rent them for $3 apiece.

How can I connect with "Prometheus"?

The movie has set up a page on Facebook that discusses not only the film itself but space-related tidbits and current issues connected to topics in the film. The creators also have  a Twitter account, and even a YouTube channel featuring interviews with the cast and creators, as well as trailers and clips.

No new video games based on the series have been announced, but fan forums on the movie’s website are filled with posts expressing interest. And gaming site Kotaku reports that a game, "Aliens: Colonial Marines," is in the works for release later this year. If you can't wait until then, there’s Sega's 2010 "Alien vs. Predator " for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC, or 2011's "Aliens Infestation"  for the Nintendo DS.

© 2012 TechNewsDaily

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