Amongst stateside premieres of By the Sea, Concussion, and Adam McKay‘s The Big Short, the AFI Film Festival also made time for an hour-long talk between The Martian filmmaker Ridley Scott and Variety’s chief critic, Scott Foundas, about Scott’s career thus far last night. And as Indiewire points out, amongst a variety of tidbits about his work as a major Hollywood director, including how he fell into the role of director for The Martian after Drew Goddard dropped out, Scott nonchalantly dropped the fact that his next film, the sequel to Prometheus, is no longer being called Alien: Paradise Lost, but rather Alien: Covenant, which he announced will start production in February 2016.
It’s not exactly surprising that his happened, considering the fact that Scott also breezily announced the first title change from the presumed Prometheus 2 to Paradise Lost during the press tour for The Martian. The names are also strikingly similar in how they evoke Christian themes, and the possibility of god turning his back on the world of man if they do not follow his law – in the scripture, covenant refers to a protective agreement between God and the Israelites. It seemingly follows similar concepts as Prometheus, which also dealt with concepts of man’s want to become his own God and, in return, the lord unleashing hellish forces unto mankind, namely the species of Xenomorphs.
But enough with the Biblical nonsense. What’s really important is whether or not Scott’s latest return to the Alien franchise, one of my personal favorites, will skew more towards the bloated sheen of the largely entertaining Prometheus or the more intimate and paranoid rhythms of the original. All evidence points to the former, especially considering that Scott has gone from genre-hopping master to a David Lean-esque epic-maker, but one can hold out hope that the Prometheus sequel, no matter what it ends up being called at the end of the day, will be a more immediate and genuinely frightening experience than his original Alien prequel.