Alien: Covenant, the sequel to Prometheus and eighth film in the xenomorph series (if you count the Alien vs. Predator movies), is nearing the start of production. For months, rumors have been running rampant regarding the film’s plot and how it will tie in with the original movies now that the settled upon title has revealed an illusive connection.
Ridley Scott has been teasing at the origins of the infamous drooling horrors for years and the thought of finally getting a few answers is more than a little tantalizing. Now, thanks to the release of a short synopsis that went along with the announcement of the film’s title, a few juicy details have finally floated to the surface. These are seven confirmed rumors about Alien: Covenant.
7. It’s the Second Installment in a Planned Prometheus Trilogy
In terms of project development, Alien: Covenant seems to be going through the same type of progression its predecessor experienced. Prometheus started out as a straightforward prequel to Alien, but gradually the story distanced itself from actual xenomorphs until the end result had only a trace remnant of Alien heritage.
The lack of a more direct connection to Alien begged a Prometheus sequel, so it didn’t come as a surprise when Alien: Covenant was announced. However, the additional announcement that it was only the second movie in a planned trilogy provided ample cause for further speculation. Bear in mind that just because the new title comes with official Alien branding doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to be seeing face huggers and chest bursters all over the place. It will still likely be more directly related to Prometheus.
6. The Prometheus Trilogy Connects Directly With Alien
Although Prometheus was largely criticized for not having enough of a connection with Alien, that was likely only because there were no other confirmed sequels to the movie at the time. Now that it’s been officially stated that it was only the first of three movies, there’s plenty of time for Alien: Covenant and the untitled third film to work their way into Ridley Scott’s 1979 seminal sci-fi work. Although this could very well mean that we’re going to be getting more questions than we are answers in the next movie.
Chances are that the events in Alien: Covenant won’t even take us as far as LV-426, the moon where Ripley and her crew first encounter the deadly parasitic life form on board the crashed alien ship, which may or may not be the same vessel used by Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and David (Michael Fassbender) at the end of Prometheus.
5. Michael Fassbender Will Return
One of the best parts of Prometheus was Michael Fassbender’s performance as David—the android forerunner to Ash and Bishop in the original two movies. Since he’s one of only two survivors from the Prometheus crew, albeit head separated from body, it was heavily hypothesized that he would return in the sequel. Those rumors were confirmed when the official Alien: Covenant synopsis stated that David is now the lone inhabitant of an idyllic-but-deadly planet. A planet that could turn out to be the homeworld of the enigmatic Engineer race.
However, since tie-in promotional material for Prometheus revealed that the David 8 model was a mass-produced android, it could very well turn out to be a different version of David. Back in March, there was even a plot leak which suggested that Fassbender would be playing multiple Davids in Alien: Covenant.
4. Noomi Rapace Will Return
Though the synopsis affirmed that David would be a prominent feature in Alien: Covenant, there was no mention of Noomi Rapace’s character—Prometheus protagonist Elizabeth Shaw. Ridley Scott has now openly confirmed that Rapace will definitely return, but her role will be a much smaller one. Of course, this could mean just about anything but, assuming that the movie stays true to its sci-fi horror roots, one can only assume that she probably doesn’t get a happy ending.
3. It Takes Place a Considerable Amount of Time after Prometheus
When it was first announced that there would indeed be a sequel to Prometheus, most people probably imagined it would involve Shaw and David continuing on a quest to find the Engineer’s homeworld and learn the truth about the origin of the human race. Now that we know the story of Alien: Covenant will involve David being alone on a new planet, it suggests that either some part of their plan was altered, or that they actually reached their destination. Either way, it would seem we’ve skipped past all the events that led to him getting there.
It makes sense that there would be a bit of a time jump to get us closer to the events of Alien, which take place about 30 years after Prometheus. The big question is whether or not the planet in Alien: Covenant is actually the Engineer homeworld. Given that the movie was previously titled Alien: Paradise Lost, it would seem fitting that it is, but ideas and concepts for the movie have been shifting so quickly it’s impossible to say for sure at this point.
2. There Will Be a New Ship and Crew
According to the synopsis, the title of the movie is a reference to a colony ship called the Covenant. While on route to a far off planet, the Covenant and her crew get diverted by David’s “paradise” planet.
If you think this plot sounds a little familiar, it should, it’s pretty much exactly how things all get started when Ripley and the crew of the Nostromo detect a mysterious signal coming from a nearby planetoid in Alien.
Not only does this suggest a story more in line with what fans expected from a standalone Prometheus movie, it also impresses the notion of an evolution over the course of the trilogy as we move from glorified sci-fi to the more gritty world first revealed in 1979.
1. It’s The Reason Neill Blompkamp’s Alien Movie Got Shelved
Before Alien: Covenant was announced, director Neill Blompkamp posted some concept art for a proposed Alien movie on Instagram. Amazingly, this, and the ensuing commotion it cause on the Internet, was all it took for Fox to go ahead and give the project the green light. However, not long after pre-production was underway, it was reported that the movie would be taking the back seat so that priority could be given to the Prometheus sequel. Then later in October it was revealed that movie was being shelved altogether as production for Alien: Covenant prepared to kick into high gear.
This came as sad news for many fans who immediately fell in love with Blopkamp’s concepts and were hoping to see a direct sequel to Aliens, complete with corporal Hicks and new human-controlled xenomorphs.