Saturday, 28 November 2015

Alien Covenant

So the Prometheus/Alien prequel news just continues to get stranger and stranger. Last we'd heard, Ridley Scott had seemingly revealed the final title of the movie as Alien: Paradise Lost. However, as debate over the significance and meaning of the title in relation to John Milton's 16th century poem was a hot topic with the fans, Scott then dropped another bombshell whilst in attendance at the AFI film festival. He was discussing how he came to do The Martian when the subject of the Prometheus sequel was raised.

"I was going to be doing what will be called 'Alien: Covenant,' which starts shooting next February, and were struggling then with the screenplay there and then there was a phone call, somebody saying, 'Listen, we've got this thing which is completely written called 'Martian,' and I said, 'Huh.' And I sped read it in an hour and by mid-afternoon, I talked to Fix and said, 'I need to talk to Drew (Goddard)..."

Not long after this, 20th Century Fox confirmed the title with the official logo and synopsis of the new film.

"Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created in ALIEN with ALIEN: COVENANT, the second chapter in a prequel trilogy that began with PROMETHEUS - and connects directly to Scott's 1979 seminal work of science fiction. Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, the crew of the colony ship Covenant discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world - whose sole inhabitant is the 'synthetic' David (Michael Fassbender), survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition."

There is no mention of Naoomi Rapace's Elizabeth Shaw and one now wonders what her inclusion may be given reports in the past that she had signed on to the Prometheus sequel. Has she fallen foul of David or are we looking at a story set into the future when Shaw has long-since passed on? Fans have been quick to point out that the title of the movie is taken from the name of the ship, just like the first film.
Also probably due to the screenplay troubles Scott alludes to in his first quote, Spectre co-writer John Logan has seemingly been brought on board to add a final lick of polish to what has been a troublesome script to say the least.

Finally Scott has clarified one last detail; Alien: Covenant is not the second movie in a trilogy, but the first of three more films that will eventually lead into the first Alien story. Given Ridley Scott's age, he seems to be dedicating the final major projects of his profession to the film that launched his career in the first place. Whether there is enough desire for three more Alien prequel films remains to be seen but it's going to be an interesting journey to say the least.

"It's a very complex story. Its an evolution of what I first did with Prometheus 1," Scott revealed at a press conference in Sydney, Australia according to The Hollywood Reporter. "Prometheus 1 was borne out of my frustration that on Alien 1 in 1979 - I only did one as I normally don't do sequels. I was amazed that in the three that followed that no-one asked the question 'why the Alien, who made it and why?' Very basic questions. So I came up with the notion of Prometheus 1, which starts to indicate who might have made it and where it came from."

He added: "So I'm not going to the next one, which is the next evolution directly connected with the first one, which was this Shaw, when she replaced Michael Fassbender in two pieces and we'll kind of pick it up there and it will evolve. When that's finished there'll be another one and then another one which will gradually drive back into the back entrance of the film in 1979... So in other words, why was this space jockey there and why did he have an Alien inside him? And those questions will be answered."