Xenomorphs, Facehuggers, Chestbursters – three nightmarish pillars of Ridley Scott’s Alien universe that will all be present in Alien: Covenant, which is set to extract the very best elements of Prometheus and dial the scare factor up to 11.
Set a full decade after the events of 2012’s divisive prequel, Scott’s star-studded follow-up is designed as the second chapter in a bona fide trilogy, one that will eventually dovetail his Prometheus saga with the 1979 horror classic that started it all. On the topic of Alien, producer Mark Huffam revealed in a recent interview with Collider that all involved have made a conscious effort to drag the iconic film series back to its roots, where a crew of hapless blue-collar workers encounters the perfect organism known to you, I and Weyland Industries as the Xenomorph.
“I think the title is very much saying, yes, you are going to go back to the root of how the Alien franchise started, and I think it’s much like the other thing. It’s bringing the best of Prometheus, and the best of Alien, and combining them to hopefully get something even better.”
It’s no secret that H.R. Giger’s horror icon didn’t feature all that much in Prometheus – barring the Proto-Xenomorph that emerges from the Engineer’s corpse. That all changes with the release of Alien: Covenant though, proving that the beast isn’t quite done (or cooked) just yet.
“He did listen to the criticism, if you like, of [Prometheus] and people wanted more aliens. The other thing as well is that certain studios want to make a certain movie, and sometimes your hands are tied for horror. If you’re making it for a PG-13 or 15, your hands are tied to give proper horrors. But when the gloves are off and it’s 18 or R-rated, then you can make the movie exactly what you want — with more aliens. He listened to the audience, that they want more aliens — they’re gonna get a lot more aliens. More than they probably anticipated.”
In a separate interview with Screen Rant, VFX supervisor Neil Corbould touched base on the film’s gore and violence (spoilers: there’s a lot). Ridley Scott’s decision to embrace Covenant‘s “hard R” rating is by no means gratuitous, it seems; rather, the distinguished filmmaker is aiming to recapture some of the shock value that made the original Alien so special. Remember the moment of genuine terror plastered on the crew’s faces when the monster clawed its way out of John Hurt’s stomach?
“Um, I don’t know that you can make gore original. Gore is gore, I think, at the end of the day. Between myself and Conor [O’Sullivan], we’re trying to make it as realistic as possible, because that’s what Ridley [Scott] wants, you know. He wants the shock factor. So, you know, we’re going all out for that. From the stuff I’ve seen it looks fantastic. I think it’s going to have a similar impact to what the original Alien did, because that was quite shocking when everyone saw that. You know, it’s a true, true horror movie. I think that’s what this is going to be like.”
Once slated for an August release, Alien: Covenant is expected to scurry into theaters on May 19th.