Next year is shaping up to be a busy one for Ridley Scott, with Blade Runner 2049 and Alien: Covenant among the most hotly-anticipated releases of 2017. While Denis Villeneuve is steering the long-awaited sequel to Scott’s classic dystopian sci-fi from 1982, Scott himself has opted to direct the sixth instalment of the Alien franchise – the first official trailer for which you can watch here. The film takes place 10 years after the events of 2012’s Prometheus but still before the gut-busting happenings of his 1979 original.
Originally titled ‘Alien: Paradise Lost’, it will be interesting to see whether Scott further expands the creation backstory, given the title’s connotations with the “gods” that birthed humanity. The change of name could hint at a change of direction, although it seems unlikely that the film’s basic plot and themes will have changed all that much from when Scott first conceived the idea after watching 1992’s Alien 3, which he famously despised.
Perhaps this is his way of rewriting the wrongs of that third instalment while addressing some of the lingering questions still being asked by fans almost five years on from Prometheus, specifically regarding the true motives of the engineers and whatever the hell is up with all that black goo.
Michael Green and Jack Paglen are behind the screenplay for Alien: Convenant and each has expressed a desire to make it more horror-orientated than the first film, although it’s worth noting that Spectre and Rango scribe John Logan has been drafted in to re-write the script. The story sees the colony ship Covenant touch down in an uncharted paradise, which is of course not what it seems. It’s here that the crew runs into the only inhabitant, the sole synthetic survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition.
After months of speculation it was confirmed that Noomi Rapace would be reprising her role alongside Michael Fassbender as David, who is joined by another artificial being named Walter, also played by Fassbender who describes him as “a real different kettle of fish”. Guy Pearce is also back as the billionaire Peter Weyland, while some intriguing recent developments have seen James Franco announced as the mysterious Branson and, even more excitingly, Inherent Vice and Steve Jobs star Katherine Waterson confirmed in the role of Daniels. There’s also supporting slots for Danny McBride and Billy Crudup.
A recently revealed first-look image shows Waterson wielding a huge gun in a strange environment, seemingly on the look out for aliens. Other glimpses of the production have been few and far between, but we now have a suitably chilling poster and a close-up of the Covenant uniform patch, which is sure to feature heavily in the film. Several cryptic tweets have been deciphered by avid fans, suggesting that a trailer is imminent, although we’re fully expecting Scott to keep most of his cards close to his chest between now and the film’s release on 19 May.
Published 22 Dec 2016
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