Ridley Scott has said the market has become so flooded with monster and action films, that the science fiction genre is becoming tired.

The director of Alien and Blade Runner said he had to work hard to make sure his new space epic Prometheus is something completely different.

Ridley said: "Over the past few decades, we've been 'action filmed-out' and 'monster filmed-out' and almost 'science fiction filmed-out'. So the baseline question is: how original are you going to be?"

The 74-year-old triple Oscar nominee sat down with screenwriter Jon Spaihts and Lost veteran Damon Lindelof to hammer out an original idea which used Alien as a springboard to examine one very simple, universal question: where did the human race come from?

Ridley revealed: "Out of the creative process in developing the picture emerged a new, grand mythology, in which this original story takes place.

"The keen fan will recognise strands of Alien's DNA, so to speak, but the ideas tackled in this film are unique, far-reaching and provocative.

"Prometheus is the singular genre tale I'd been searching for."

He explained: "The film's central metaphor is about the Greek Titan Prometheus, who defies the gods by giving humans the gift of fire, for which he is horribly punished.

"When you talk about the myth on which the title is based, you're dealing with humankind's relationship with the gods - the beings who created us - and what happens when we defy them."

:: Prometheus is released in cinemas on Friday, June 1.