Director Ridley Scott scared a generation of movie fans with his sci-fi horror hit Alien back in 1979, and five films later, the franchise is still going strong with the introduction of a prequel series set decades before the crew of the starship Nostromo first tangled with a terrifying, acid-blooded xenomorph.
The next installment of the prequel series, Alien: Covenant, serves as both a sequel to the 2012 film Prometheus and a bridge — possibly one of several bridges — between the events of that film and the franchise-spawning 1979 movie.
Directed by Scott from a script penned by Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Logan (Gladiator, The Aviator), Alien: Covenant stars Michael Fassbender, Billy Crudup, James Franco, Katherine Waterston, and Danny McBride, among many others. With Alien: Covenant scheduled to hit theaters May 19, 2017, here’s everything we know about the movie so far.
Dark and getting darker
That Alien: Covenant will be scary is a given — we’ve seen the blood-spattered images, after all. Still, the sci-fi horror flick might be even more chilling than you expect. Ridley Scott makes the Prometheus sequel sound head and shoulders above its 2012 predecessor in terms of fear factor.
“When I decided to resurrect the story, I felt I couldn’t let it go so dark so soon,” he told Variety. “When we did Prometheus, it was a more genteel way of easing back into it.”
While Prometheus (arguably) wasn’t as scary as the original Alien films, “genteel” is still an interesting way of putting it. If that was “easing” us in, now is probably a good time to prepare yourself for Covenant. Scott’s goal for the film is, in his words, to “scare the s–t out of you.” He also revealed that he considers the sequel “a thinking man’s scary movie;” it will explore the origins of his creepy creatures and why they exist. Answers are coming at last.
The next chapter
Alien: Covenant still hasn’t even opened in theaters, but the studio already has the next film is in the works. It looks like there will be a quick turnaround. Ridley Scott told Yahoo Movies that John Logan has delivered the script for the next movie in the prequel series and Scott expects to shoot the film “within a year.”
“It’ll be out within a year and nine months,” he said of the sequel. “It’s weird when you’re writing, doing, planning, thinking about franchises, it’s amazing how it opens up and starts to evolve.”
Unfortunately, Scott has not been forthcoming about how many films will follow Alien: Covenant before the prequel catches us up to the original film in the series, 1979’s Alien. It doesn’t seem like he plans to reveal that information, either. He would only put the number of horror flicks ahead at “maybe two more, or maybe one more.”
Either way, we’re glad the answer is “more.”
The return of the xenomorph
Prometheus was sadly lacking in xenomorphs, but as we’ve seen in promotional images and videos, Scott has reintroduced the deadly creatures in Alien: Covenant. The decision was made years ago, but he was recently candid about why he brought them back. It turns out that we have our fellow Alien fans to thank. Scott told Yahoo Movies that frustration from fans made him reevaluate the decision.
“They wanted to see more of the original [monster] and I thought he was definitely cooked, with an orange in his mouth,” the director said. “So I thought: ‘Wow, OK, I’m wrong.'”
When Alien: Covenant premieres, the xenomorphs will be back to terrify us all, alongside other horrors, like the terrifying neomorphs. This certainly doesn’t bode well for the passengers on the Covenant.