It seems that despite the mixed review that 2012’s Prometheus endured, nearly everyone who is a fan of Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi horror masterpiece Alien is cautiously excited about his new film Alien: Covenant. There were glimmers of hope in the eyes of all who attended the short panel the acclaimed director participated in today at this year’s SXSW — hope that even though the film is the umpteenth installment of the series, that it’ll be worth the ticket price when it comes out in theaters later this year.
The new film is “the product of a big gap of years” set before Alien, but after Prometheus, of which Scott said “nailed” the franchise “into the ground.” Preview images of Covenant released to the public show that the film will definitely not be shy about the Aliens – there be plenty of Xenomorphs throughout. But other than sci-fi suspense, death, and destruction, what’s the draw here? After all, Prometheus did successfully answer the “who and why” of the Alien franchise. According to Scott, the new film has freed him up to explore more of the universe through his seasoned craft, and that has the filmmaker excited.
None of that, however, indicates that Alien: Covenant will be a successful or entertaining film. What does excite though, is the revelation by Scott that the script for the film’s sequel is already being written. When combined with Scott reaffirming that he’s up to direct another three or four Alien films, you’d assume this was the start of something great. (Plenty of Alien fans are also hoping this will be true, I’m sure.)
Joining Scott on the panel were actors Danny McBride (Tennessee) and Noomi Rapace (Elizabeth Shaw), who didn’t offer too many additional details. Yet, McBride — known more for his comedic talents in films like Pineapple Express — did say that the Covenant is “…so dark. It starts in a dark place and just gets more brutal.” That’s exactly what those in attendance were looking for.
Alien: Covenant, which Scott revealed will have a runtime of roughly 202 minutes, premieres in theaters May 19, 2017.