Soon after director Ridley Scott was given the go-ahead to expand his Prometheus universe with the release of Alien: Covenant, all signs pointed to both Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace reprising their roles as David and Elizabeth Shaw, respectively. But despite reports to the contrary, Scott himself has confirmed that Rapace won’t be returning for the sci-fi sequel, mere weeks before the film is to enter production.
Word comes by way of Baz Bamigboye, who spoke to the filmmaker about how the embryonic sequel is progressing. When quizzed about Rapace’s place in Covenant, though, Scott confirmed that the Swedish actress won’t be returning at all – even for a minor role – and that the studio is still casting for the main roles.
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While there have been suggestions that Alien: Covenant would focus on an entirely new group of explorers, many had assumed that Fassbender and Rapace’s characters would still be included to anchor the story, who were last seen making tracks to the Engineer home world. Due to take place 10 years after the event of its predecessor, the Prometheus follow-up is primed to answer a flurry of the questions left lingering as the credits rolled on Scott’s 2012 sci-fi flick, with plans in place for the adjacent trilogy to dovetail with the seminal 1979 Alien film.
It’s a blueprint that has seemingly clipped the wings of Neil Blomkamp’s proposed Alien 5 – or at the very least, put the quasi-sequel on the back-burner – though it’s evident Scott’s Covenant was closer to the starting line. Plus, now that Rapace is all but out of the picture, we can surely expect Fox to set sights on a replacement lead sooner rather than later.
With production ready to kick off in earnest later this month, Alien: Covenant has been penciled in for a release on October 6, 2017.