We at Collider are happy to exclusively debut some concept art from Alien: Covenant that further reveals the design work that went into bringing director Ridley Scott’s sequel to life. While Scott first returned to the sci-fi genre with Prometheus, that film shied away from the traditional Xenomorph design that Scott and H.R. Giger created in the first Alien. For Covenant, however, Scott brings the series full circle in some ways, giving audiences a look at that traditional Xenomorph design from a new, different point of view.
The following concept art work was created by MPC’s Concept Art team, based in Culver City in Los Angeles. Their work on the film ranged from the alien environment that the Covenant crew descends upon to the designs for both the Xenomorph and the new alien in the film, the Neomorph. As explained below, bringing the Xenomorph back was a particularly interesting challenge:
For this movie, Scott wanted the freedom to move away from the ‘guy in a suit’ look of the Xenomorph from the original film and create a more unnatural version of the creature. The Xenomorph needed to have non-human proportions and its own physical signature but still be recognisable as the original Alien. H.R Giger’s original designs were continually referenced throughout the creation of this and there was a physical animatronic on set to match to, however a lot of work went into how this new version of the traditional Alien would move and a lot of different animal movements were incorporated into the animation.
As for the Neomorph, the team looked at real world animals for inspiration:
MPC’s artists also used real world references to bring the Neomorph to life, such as the goblin shark, praying mantis and the contorted and extreme motion studies given by actor Javier Botet, which were used to inspire the movement of the Neomorph’s hands and stomach. On top of this already difficult build, this new creature had to go through 4 stages of development from baby to toddler to teen to adult and each stage had to blend seamlessly together. So in essence MPC had to create 5 different aliens: An improved version of the original Xenomorph and 4 versions of the new Neomorph.
Peruse some of this concept art below, which also offers a look at their designs for the planet which Scott then brought to life in nearly perfect detail. And click for high-resolution.