The father of the iconic franchise “Alien” returns in the latest pulse-pounding instalment “Alien: Covenant” where he will take the audience in the darkest corners of the crew’s psyche in a new planet that stars an impressive cast – Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Guy Pearce and Danny McBride.
If anyone knows how to terrify audiences with smart, sophisticated storytelling, it’s Scott. His original Alien remains a standard bearer for the horror genre, a psychologically taut, uncomfortably claustrophobic film, as lean and effective as the sleek, vicious beast that first stalked Ellen Ripley and the crew of the starship Nostromo back in 1979. “In a funny kind of way, I always thought of Alien as a B-movie, really well done,” Scott says. “The subtext was pretty basic—it was seven people locked in the old dark house and who’s going to die first and who’s going to survive.”
“Alien: Covenant” finds Walter (Fassbender) tending to the ship Covenant where all of its crew are in deep sleep. The crew and the rest of the 2,000 souls aboard the pioneering vessel are deep in hyper-sleep, leaving the synthetic Walter to walk the corridors alone. The ship is en route to the remote planet Origae-6, where, on the far side of the galaxy, the settlers hope to establish a new outpost for humanity. The tranquility is shattered when a nearby stellar ignition shreds Covenant’s energy-collection sails, resulting in dozens of casualties and throwing the mission off course.
Soon, the surviving crew members discover what appears to be an uncharted paradise, an undisturbed Eden of cloud-capped mountains and immense, soaring trees far closer than Origae-6 and potentially just as viable as a home. What they’ve found, however, is actually a dark and deadly world full of unexpected twists and turns. Facing a terrible threat beyond their imagination, the embattled explorers must attempt a harrowing escape.
Set ten years after the events depicted in Scott’s 2012 hit Prometheus, “Alien: Covenant” returns to the roots of the director’s groundbreaking saga with a uniquely terrifying tale filled with white-knuckle adventure and monstrous new creatures. With this, the sixth installment in the blockbuster series, the visionary director edges ever closer toward revealing the mysterious origins of the mother of all aliens, the lethal Xenomorph from the original film.
For “Alien: Covenant,” the Oscar®-nominated filmmaker sought to recapture the same foreboding atmosphere of constant danger and dread while also offering new insights that would add richness and depth to the larger Alien mythology. That approach was necessary, he says, to keep the storytelling fresh and surprising. “You can’t keep being chased down a corridor by a monster—it gets boring,” Scott says. “It came to me that no one had asked the question, who made this and why. You could say monsters from outer space, gods from outer space, engineers from outer space invented it. They didn’t. “Alien Covenant’s going to flip that around.”
“Alien: Covenant” opens in cinemas nationwide on May 10 from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.