Alien Covenant

Early Draft Of Alien: Covenant Script Teases A Much Different Film

Would Alien: Covenant have been more successful if it was a direct sequel to Prometheus? Perhaps, and this early draft of the script shows what that would've been like.

It’s safe to say that Alien: Covenant didn’t quite achieve what 21st Century Fox hoped it would. What was intended to be a departure from the audience-baffling religious overtones of Prometheus towards more familiar territory for the Alien franchise ended up as a bonkers outer space Hammer Horror, about a mad scientist robot and his Frankenstein-a-like experiments. Perhaps burnt by Prometheus, audiences stayed away in droves and critics reacted tepidly.

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For the record, I quite liked it, but I recognize it’s objectively pretty flawed. Could it have done better if it tied in more closely to its predecessor though rather than heading down its own weird path? We already know that the preliminary plans were for more of a straight sequel to Prometheus, and now we finally have a clear idea of what that might have looked like, courtesy of an early draft of the script for Covenant’s viral prologue The Crossing, dated August 2015 and released by fansite AvP Galaxy.

While David and Shaw’s trip to the Engineer home world was largely left to the imagination in the film, this draft makes the events far more explicit. For example, we learn that Noomi Rapace’s Shaw was able to survive the trip by subsisting off fruit and water found inside the vessel (she must have been pretty damn hungry to eat anything found inside a Giger-designed ship), and also that she reattaches David’s severed head to his body because he’s going to die and she’s terrified of being left alone in space.

It’s a decision she’d come to regret, too. Despite David doing his best nice guy impression on the trip (including hints at them becoming lovers), he drops the act when they approach the Engineer planet and coldly snaps her neck before releasing the cataclysmic ‘xenovirus’ on the unsuspecting populace. It all sounds pretty damn interesting, and a bit of a better send off for Shaw than just turning up as a horrifically deformed corpse during Covenant.

Ridley Scott has said that his next planned film in the Alien universe shows David ascending to a God-like figure on his own planet, birthing ever more twisted creatures. Sadly, though, given Covenant‘s reception and well, the fact that Scott is no spring chicken, it’s looking doubtful that we’ll get a proper conclusion to this unique, imaginative and at times, frustrating saga.


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David James
London-based writer of anything and everything. Willing to crawl over rusty nails to write about 'Metal Gear Solid' or 'Resident Evil.'