Alien: Covenant is one of those sequels that qualifies more as a “requel” (a remake disguised as a sequel). Like recent examples Jurassic World or Independence Day: Resurgence, requels pick up the pieces from the first film, along with a cast member or few, but mostly restart the narrative from point A. In Covenant‘s case, the lone returnee is Michael Fassbender’s android David and he’s joined by a new crop of meat sacks primed for the slaughter.
While doing a phone interview with Collider to promote the upcoming Derek Ciranfrance-directed drama The Light Between Oceans (opening September 2), Fassbender was asked about Alien: Covenant and he said that while Prometheus emphasized the thriller, Covenant will bring the horror side of the franchise to the foreground.
“This Alien is going to be… I’m very excited to see it and everybody in the film was saying this is a film that we all want to see. It’s much scarier than Prometheus but it’s got the same sort of scope of Prometheus. It’s kind of got more of the sort of thriller, imminent disaster feel that Alien had, so it’s kind of a beautiful meeting of both of those films. I’m really excited to see it, I think it’s gonna be super scary number one and then again with the massive scope of Prometheus… Once it starts and the ball starts rolling, it doesn’t let up. It’s really gonna bring chills to the cinema.”
So, hopefully that means they’re also bringing 1) no plot holes and 2) a frustrating lack of clarity. I really like a lot of Prometheus, which felt about as modern Lovecraft as we’ve gotten recently (Guillermo del Toro even partially credited it with killing his actual Lovecraft adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness). But I was nonetheless disappointed by the self-inflicted wounds of the (re)rewritten script and perhaps Scott’s particular vision.
Part of this sequel doesn’t feel so much as a continuance as a retool, like bringing back the Xenomorph full-force and waffling on Noomi Rapace’s return appearance in the film (she’s in now). While that may not inspire confidence, Fassbender’s comments do. If it brings all the things that made Prometheus great – the cinematography, the ambition, the story – and eliminates the weaknesses – plot holes and character inconsistencies – this could be the Ridley Scott-directed Alien sequel we’ve waited decades for.
Alien: Covenant hits theaters August 4, 2017 and stars Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Danny McBride, Demian Bichir, Billy Crudup, Jussie Smollett, Amy Seimetz, Carmen Ejogo, Callie Hernandez, Alexander England and Benjamin Rigby.