Ridley Scott’s sequel to Prometheus lands in UK cinemas in May and, ahead of a new clip this week, this image from the film has been released. As a fan of Alien my reaction to seeing the picture is one of giddy excitement.
Surely you’re as excited about this newly released image from Alien: Covenant as I am? While the trailer for Ridley Scott’s sequel to the divisive Prometheus received a mixed response from audiences (including me), the jury must remain out until the film lands in cinemas in May. Thankfully, this image to promote the film has got me very, very excited. Here’s why…
Well, part of the problem for Prometheus, in many of its critic’s eyes, was that it diverted too far away from what was initially perceived as a like-for-like prequel to the classic Alien franchise and, on top of that, got too wrapped up in its own self-worth resulting in an overly complicated sci-fi movie that asked too many questions while answering very few. For those that enjoyed it, Prometheus represented modern, pure science-fiction, a wonderful-looking space-age drama with genuine intelligence, fascinating ideas and immersive plot. I’m in the latter camp.
But that doesn’t stop me from wanting a bit of “old school” entertainment. Indeed, with Alien’s director at the helm, I must admit that I was expecting more of the same than a Blade Runner-esque meditation on science and the human condition. Now, perhaps, we might see our Prometheus expectations met by Alien: Covenant! The hint is in the title. This time we know we’re getting an “Alien movie”.
Plot details are sketchy but we can start to piece together what might happen from the trailer. Officially, the film has been described as a horror-thriller (supported by the blood-splashed thrills of the trailer) in which the inhabitants of a colonial ship called Covenant happen upon a planet that turns out to house very dangerous creatures. Alien: Covenant ties itself into Prometheus by way of Michael Fassbender’s android who appears here as both a replica of Prometheus’s David and David himself.
What intrigues and excites me about the picture is that Covenant looks strikingly like Alien’s Nostromo. Indeed, perhaps the spaceships are from the same manufacturer? Not only does the ship look familiar but the sight of the cast around a table suited to enjoying a light lunch reminds us instantly of the infamous sequence in Alien in which John Hurt’s case of indigestion turns into a bloody, chest-bursting horror show.
Should we be excited about Alien: Covenant? Yes. Scott knows this world. He knows what the audience wants but is clever enough to meet expectation while doing something new. In other words, he can deliver a true sequel that gives us the rollercoaster ride of Alien without being a disguised remake (as some have assumed from the theatrical trailer). Oh, and it’s written by John Logan, a man with one of the best CVs of any Hollywood screenwriter working today (Hugo, The Aviator, Spectre and TV’s Penny Dreadful) and trusted collaborator of Martin Scorsese and Tim Burton amongst others.
I can’t say Alien: Covenant is going to be a great film, nor can I assume it’ll thrill audiences in a way Prometheus didn’t, but I’m excited and hopeful that’ll it’ll meet my high expectations. The evidence – and pre-release buzz – suggests it will. After all, Scott has competition on the horizon…