Filming of 20th Century Fox’s latest Alien series movie is expected to start in Australia in February 2016. It is the second in Ridley Scott’s prequel trilogy and its name has recently been released as ‘Alien : Covenant’ rather than ‘Paradise Lost’. After an anticipated 6 October 2017 release, Scott will work on the last episode and then perhaps another feeding back into his ground breaking 1979 Alien movie. In the meantime, 20th Century Fox have placed Neill Blomkamp’s Alien 5 sequel, starring Sigourney Weaver as the original Ripley, on hold until this early part of the story line is better established.
Scott has been reported as saying the prequel is not following a single story line; rather it is both about the big question about creation of life in the universe, as well as the xenomorph. The 2012 Prometheus prequel certainly focused on creators. It opened with a giant humanoid sacrificing himself by ingesting a black oil in order to seed DNA on a pristine world. His kind, called the Engineers, were encountered in the original Alien movie in 2122 in one of their spaceships crashed onto LV 426. They are encountered again in an abandoned installation on moon LV 223, visited in 2093 by the private scientific exploration vessel Prometheus. Aboard is a synthetic, David 8, who cares for the dozen humans in animated suspension for the 2+ year journey. Later we find the funding corporation’s owner, Weyland, is also on board and secretly directing the synthetic. Human DNA is confirmed to be derived from the Engineer’s after an excursion into the abandoned installation, but soon there is a xenomorph infestation in the crew, helped along by the synthetic.
One surviving Engineer is found in a buried spaceship, filled with a cargo of transformative black oil bound for Earth. With the fear that this is a bioweapon, Prometheus’ captain destroys that ship in desperation to prevent the Engineer spaceship from leaving. In the end, only the synthetic and one human survive – the archaeologist Dr Elizabeth Shaw who believes the Engineers are humanity’s creators. It is this belief which prompts her to choose to co-operate with David 8 to find another ship on the moon. Rather than planning to return to Earth, she aims to seek out the Engineer’s home world for an explanation as to why they want to kill their creation. That is, presuming she is not undone by the xenomorph which arose at the end of the movie from the body of an Engineer.
Although Prometheus received mixed reviews from critics, its box office success calls for the follow on. In what has been referred to as Prometheus 2, Covenant is the name of an Earth colony spaceship which arrives at an uncharted planet on the far side of the galaxy which appears to be a paradise. However darkness is soon encountered in the form of Prometheus survivor David 8, played again by Michael Fassbender. There has been no specific mention yet of Elizabeth Shaw, played by Noomi Rapace, or any other characters. Still, there is plenty of scope for newbies given a whole colony spaceship. Scott has been reported as saying he wants to introduce a fresher form of the alien in this film. Hopefully we will get a sneak peek in a future trailer.