I know it gets piles of hate, and it’s a deeply flawed film to be sure, but I still totally dig Prometheus. It’s grand and epic and ambitious, it’s as immersive a world as Ridley Scott has created in I don’t know how the hell long, and it’s badass as hell to boot. All of the criticisms are warranted, they just don’t impact my enjoyment like they do for many people.
I get excited for any movie set in the Alien universe (even those Alien vs. Predator movies, which are utter trash), so I’m understandably stoked for the upcoming Prometheus sequel, Alien: Covenant. The title spells out the explicit franchise connection this time, and what we’ve heard is that this film leads up to, or at least towards, the action of Scott’s 1979 classic. It also doesn’t hurt that the latest details about the picture sound completely rad.
There are SPOILERS for Alien: Covenant beyond this point, tread lightly.
Talking to The Irish Times, star Michael Fassbender, who reprises his role as the nefarious android David, revealed his long rumored dual role. He said:
“I am allowed to say I am playing two robots — Walter and David. I think what’s great about it is that Ridley has gone back to the original DNA of ‘Alien,’ the horror element of that. But is also has the scope and the scale of ‘Prometheus.’ Ridley has cut it already. He is a machine. He is an incredible human being and he was in such good form. He is such an imaginative and mischievous figure.”
There’s talk that Walter looks down on David, since the latter is an older version that hasn’t been updated in quite sometime, whereas Walter is the latest and greatest model with all the bells and whistles. Being lost in deep space makes it hard to get regular software upgrades I imagine.
That’s all well and good, but the most exciting part here is what Fassbender says about Ridley Scott going back to the horror roots of Alien. That alone is enough to make me giddy. The Assassin’s Creed star has also said that Alien: Covenant is way, way scarier than Prometheus, which bodes well.
As production on Alien: Covenant has wrapped, there’s been a bunch of news lately. Like how a younger version of Guy Pearce’s Peter Weyland appears in the opening scenes. I’m meh on that, but what does get me going are the details revealed about the new monsters.
In another interview, Michael Fassbender let it slip that the creatures are called Neomorphs, and AVP Galaxy dropped a ton more information on that front. Here’s what they had to say on the matter:
These Aliens are the result of the local ecosystem being mutated by the accelerant/black goo. Over time, pods started to grow on the trees and the ground, and release a spore when disturbed.
These spores infect several members of the Covenant crew by entering the body through the ear and nostrils. The spores cause the growth of the Neomorphs inside the infected hosts – something that is reminiscent of William Gibson’s first draft of Alien 3. One of the Neomorphs bursts from the back of one of the infected crew, a backburster. The other crewmember’s Neomorph erupts through their throat.
The births are preceded by the eruption of two small dorsal spikes. These spikes and a pointed skull are also used to break out of an embryonic sack (similar to the Deacon in Prometheus). The Neomorph resembles some of the older concept art of the proto-Aliens from Prometheus (see below), specifically the white colouration, with a pointed head and two dorsal spines. Upon birth, the Neomorphs move on all fours similar to the Bambi-burster from Alien 3.
When they mature, they grow significantly larger and walk on their back legs. They were more animal-like in behaviour with fang-like teeth. Unlike the earlier Prometheus concepts, the Neomorphs also have tails. In addition, the adult Neomorphs also developed a slightly translucent appearance (harkening back to unused concepts from Alien and Prometheus) as previously rumored.
The AVP Galaxy report also specifies that though they may share similar origins, outside of the Engineers, we won’t see any of the monsters from Prometheus. So the Neomorphs may resemble the Deacon from the last film, but that little dude will stay back where we left him.
What we know about the plot of Alien: Covenant revolves around a colony ship called the Covenant. When the crew discovers what they initially think is an undiscovered paradise, it turns out to be a dark, deadly world, inhabited by David, the lone survivor of Prometheus. (We now know Noomi Rapace reprises her role as Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, who blasted off with David at the end of Prometheus, but I’m willing to be it’s not a huge part.)
A character named Daniels, played by Inherent Vice’s Katherine Waterston, leads the Covenant mission, or at least is rumored to be the protagonist. Many have speculated she’s somehow related to Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley, but we’ll have to wait and see on that front.
Outside of Fassbender and Waterston, Alien: Covenant has a stacked cast. The call sheet includes Danny McBride, Demian Bichir, Amy Seimetz, Carmen Ejogo, Callie Hernandez, Jussie Smollett, Billy Crudup, and more.
Alien: Covenant opens on August 4, 2017, but it’s never too early to get excited.