Five years ago, director Ridley Scott revisited the Alien universe with the prequel movie Prometheus. Over the half decade since, the film that would have been Prometheus 2 has morphed into another full-fledged prequel called Alien: Covenant. Whereas the previous movie saved the Xenomorph reveal for the final seconds of the story, it’s a pretty safe assumption that we’ll be getting a lot more of the Aliens this time around. With the release of Alien: Covenant coming up fast on May 19, we’ve put together a comprehensive look at everything we know about it. We’ll also be updating this post when new info comes in, so keep checking back for the latest revelations.
Since this is a sequel to Prometheus, of course Michael Fassbender is back as David, the hyperintelligent (and dickish) android who caused most of the problems in the first film. Most of the Prometheus’ crew probably would have survived if David hadn’t infected Elizabeth Shaw’s lover Charlie Holloway with a liquid that eventually spawned the very first facehugger. So in a way, David is the father of every Xenomorph that came later. (Fassbender is also playing Walter, a new and considerably more advanced android who is stationed on the Covenant, the titular ship in the movie. We don’t know much about Walter’s personality yet, but hopefully he’ll be more of a Bishop than an Ash.)
Katherine Waterston is also stepping into the lead as Daniels, a terraforming expert who is stationed on the Covenant, and the early indications are that she’ll be the hero of the movie. James Franco also has a role as Branson, Daniels’ husband and the original captain of the Covenant. However, it’s been implied that Branson will only have a small part in the story, which could mean that he met his end before the events of the movie.
Billy Crudup is playing the new captain of the Covenant, with Danny McBride as the ship’s pilot and Amy Seimetz as a character named Faris. Demián Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Nathaniel Dean, Alexander England, Benjamin Rigby, Uli Latukefu, Tess Haubrich, and Goran D. Kleut all co-star in the film in currently unrevealed roles.
Guy Pearce is also returning from Prometheus as Peter Weyland, the founder of the Weyland Corporation. But considering that Weyland was killed in the previous film, Pearce’s contributions will likely be in flashbacks or recorded messages.
Alien: Covenant is reportedly picking up 10 years after the events of Prometheus. The Covenant is a colony ship that will arrive at a planet on the far side of the galaxy that is seemingly a paradise. In fact, one of the original titles for this film was Alien: Paradise Lost. Obviously, the planet won’t be the idyllic destination that it initially appears. Instead, there will be plenty of Aliens awaiting the crew of the Covenant. But the most deadly inhabitant on the planet may David, as the android has apparently been rebuilt in the years between the two films.
There are so many unanswered questions after Prometheus that it’s hard to know where to begin with this one. The most surprising thing about Alien: Covenant is the initial absence of Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, the character portrayed by Noomi Rapace in Prometheus. She was last seen getting on the Engineer’s ship with David’s severed head as they looked for the home world of the Engineers to discover why they attempted to wipe out mankind. The obvious implication is that the paradise world of Alien: Covenant belongs to the Engineers. But it’s not clear what happened to Shaw in the intervening decade, or if the Engineers are still on the planet. That said, Rapace is confirmed to return for Alien: Covenant, but not in a leading role. She reportedly filmed a week’s worth of scenes, so she’ll be there for more than just a cameo.
The biggest elephant in the room is how the Xenomorph went from a single creature to a planetary infestation in under a decade. Remember, the first Xenomorph from Prometheus was essentially a fluke. The Alien’s reproductive cycle means that the first creature could have been a queen, which would explain how it could produce the eggs and the facehuggers. But someone would still have to transport the Aliens from LV-223. Considering that Shaw and David left LV-223 before the first Xenomorph emerged, it couldn’t have been either one of them. And that leaves the Engineers as the most likely suspects. In theory, the Engineers could have captured the first Xenomorph and performed experiments that refined its form into the classic Alien design.
Prometheus took place in 2093, while Alien: Covenant will take place in approximately 2103. According to the Alien ancillary info, 2092 was the year that Ellen Ripley was born, and Ripley’s first encounter with the Xenomorphs occurred in 2122. So that means there is almost a 20 year gap between Alien: Covenant and the first Alien movie. That also leaves a lot of room for additional stories to be told, if the Alien prequel films continue.
During an interview with The Wrap, Scott said that all of the major forms of the Xenomorph would be present in Alien: Covenant. That includes the “egg, face-hugger, chest-burster, then the big boy.” He also confirmed that the Covenant will find “the planet where the engineers came from, and come across the evolving creature that they had made.”
While appearing on BBC Two Radio, Michael Fassbender suggested that the new creatures in Alien: Covenant might be called the NeoMorphs. This is a never before seen version of the classic Xenomorphs, which the studio has yet to fully reveal… if it exists at all, and was not simply a slip of the tongue from the actor. However, Scott has previously dropped a few hints about them, telling Bloody Disgusting, “What I’m trying to do is reintroduce a fresher form of alien in the third act.” He added that it would be a “very different” design than the first Xenomorph that emerged at the end of Prometheus.
If Scott has his way, then Alien: Covenant will be the first of a new prequel trilogy that will lead up to the original Alien. He’s got a lot of ground to cover, particularly with the dead Space Jockey/Engineer that appeared in Alien. It may be several years before we have all of the answers from the proposed Alien prequels, but we’re eager to see what Scott and his team come up with.
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Images: 20th Century Fox
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