The Alien franchise is one of the most beloved in all of filmdom, and that’s saying something when you realize that they haven’t released a great movie in 30 years. The first two installments of the series (1979’s Alien and 1986’s Aliens) are so strong that they spawned an entire franchise that has endured middling returns ever since. In 1992 we saw a young David Fincher deliver (and later disavow) Alien3, which undid most of Aliens during the opening credits, killing off Hicks and Newt while they slept. In 1997 it was the Joss Whedon-penned Alien: Resurrection. This time taking place in the more distant future, and dealing with attempts to clone the pregnant Ellen Ripley from Alien3, thereby negating the sacrifice she made to close that movie out. This isn’t a great pattern to get stuck in.
After that, it was Paul WS Anderson and his oh-so-disappointing AVP in 2004. Here we took not one, but two historic sci-fi franchises, movies that had always lived in the R-rated realm, and delivered to a hungry fanbase a PG-13 masterclass in how to underwhelm. They took a killer concept and morphed it into a bad buddy-cop movie. The movie’s marketing campaign boasted “Whoever wins, we lose.” – Few taglines have ever proved so prophetic. An attempt to make amends for this, 2007 saw AVP: Requiem. A hard R-rated attempt to return to the roots of the series, directed this time by the Brothers Strause. And while the effort can be appreciated for its intention, as they really did try to deliver some fanfare, it simply fell flat. The movie was full of characters that we never got a chance to care about (despite the presence of 24‘s Reiko Aylesworth), and the Predator/Alien hybrid never really felt canon enough to be memorable.
Then came the last great hope, Ridley Scott returning to revitalize the very franchise he started. In 2012 the legendary director delved back into the world of the Xenomorphs…sort of. The much-anticipated and eagerly awaited prequel, titled Prometheus promised to teach us about the famous space jockey, and how the alien ship came to be on LV-426 all those years ago. Instead, we got a mostly incoherent story about the xenomorphs being designed as a form of bio-warfare, but never really featuring any of the classic aliens the series is known for. Utter disappointment washed over most fans, and the great savior Ridley Scott failed to deliver on what we all assumed was a given- series redemption.
Now here we are, 4 years later and once again hoping that someone can put this franchise back together. This time around, we have two chances at happiness. Neill Blomkamp’s Alien 5 movie, which is said to be a sequel to the first two films, ignoring all that came after. That script has gotten great pre-production reviews from the likes of James Cameron himself, as well as Sigourney Weaver, who seems incredibly excited about the story. And then there is the next Ridley Scott film – Alien: Covenant. This film will act as the sequel to Prometheus, and they seem to have taken backlash criticism from that film very seriously. As we’ve discussed before, this film has gone through several title changes to date and seems to have a much heavier focus on the Xenomorph threat we’re all more familiar with, though reports indicate they will now be called Neomorphs. More on that in a bit.
One thing that has changed since our last check-in with the franchise is the film’s release date. Originally slated for an August 14, 2017 premiere, the film now seems to be coming out a might sooner – May 19, 2017. That’s a jump of nearly 3 months, and could be a good sign. More often than not, films are moved back, not forward, and that’s usually to accommodate additional re-shoots or further editing needs. A move up could mean that things went smoother than planned, but that will remain to be seen for near another six months. We have also learned that in addition to Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace, there will be at least one more character from Prometheus – Peter Weyland himself, as Guy Pearce will take up the mantle once more. Weyland, of the infamous Weyland-Yutani Corporation, will (according to AVP Galaxy) appear in some sort of flashbacks, most likely involving the David android.
Err- ‘Synthetic Person’ – sorry.
But the biggest bit of news lately comes directly from 20th Century Fox’s twitter account, and it comes in the form of a movie poster. A sleek, simple, brilliantly designed poster that simply reads “RUN.”
May 2017 pic.twitter.com/kseBXC8Ecv
— 20th Century Fox (@20thcenturyfox) November 23, 2016
A throwback to earlier films, this poster, in a very short time, already seems to have reenergized a somewhat fatigued fanbase and started to build excitement for the May release. Now, as we mentioned a few paragraphs back, these new aliens will be called Neomorphs as opposed to the classic Xenomorphs, and we have an explanation for that below, courtesy or AVP Galaxy, but it contains some spoiler-type of stuff, so if you don’t want to be ruined, skip the following RED section, though we’ve avoided most of the specifics;
These Aliens are the result of the local ecosystem being mutated by the accelerant/black goo. Over time, pods started to grow on the trees and the ground, and release a spore when disturbed.
These spores infect several members of the Covenant crew by entering the body through the ear and nostrils. The spores cause the growth of the Neomorphs inside the infected hosts – something that is reminiscent of William Gibson’s first draft of Alien 3.
The Neomorph resembles some of the older concept art of the proto-Aliens from Prometheus.
For the more spoiler full version and descriptions, head over to AVP Galaxy at the source link below. Otherwise be sure to check back here later for more on Alien: Covenant, as well as any news regarding Alien 5.
Images: 20th Century Fox
Source: AVP Galaxy