Some potential spoilers ahead, but we're sure they're mild.
When Ridley Scott announced that he was making Prometheus, his own prequel to Alien, we rather thought he'd be throwing films like Paul W.S. Anderson's AVP: Alien vs. Predator out the window. Maybe not. While it's too probably a stretch to say that Scott actually considers Alien vs. Predator canonical – when asked about his opinion on Anderson's film, Scott simply said that 20th Century Fox "[knows] how I feel" – he apparently thought the movie had at least one pretty good idea. In a Hungarian interview, he revealed that Guy Pearce will be playing entrepreneur Peter Weyland in Prometheus, much like Lance Henriksen played Charles Bishop Weyland in AVP.
Scott was quick to remind us that his science fiction films all take place in futures run by corporations, like The Tyrell Corporation in Blade Runner, and Weyland-Yutani in the Alien franchise. While we'd seen representatives of Weyland-Yutani before, most notably Paul Reiser in Aliens, Alien vs. Predator was the first film to make a point of including an actual "Weyland" in the film proper, played by Lance Henriksen. (Although casting Henriksen in the role seemed to imply that his character at the end of Alien 3, called "Michael Bishop" in the script, is probably a relative, at least.) Unlike Alien vs. Predator, Pearce's character of Peter Weyland probably won't be a main character. As AvPGalaxy (who broke the story by translating the original interview) pointed out, Guy Pearce told MTV that he's going to be in the movie "only for a minute."
While Scott is going the AVP route by including a Weyland in Prometheus, it seems that he's wisely keeping him on the sidelines, as opposed to Anderson's film which cast Henriksen as a lead character. Gotta keep that air of mystery going. Here's Scott's full quote:
"When the first Alien movie and Blade Runner were made, I thought that in the near future the world will be owned by large companies. This is why we have the Tyrell Corporation in Blade Runner, and Weyland-Yutani in Alien. They sent the Nostromo spaceship.
The Prometheus is owned by an entrepreneur called Peter Weyland, and is played by Guy Pearce. That’s the connection between the two films, and nothing more. Prometheus is a new film, a new world, and is full of new ideas. And of course new monsters as well."
There has been some speculation online since the story broke that this is somehow a major spoiler, but we don't see it, at least not in a vacuum. If Guy Pearce is supposed to be some sort of big reveal, they probably wouldn't have gone nuts announcing that he was cast in the film, and Scott certainly wouldn't have revealed it in an interview, no matter what the publication.
CraveOnline will be back with more Prometheus news after we unbind ourselves.