The saga of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus sequel continues, although this time the film is now firmly, officially on the books. The filmmaker was talking up a Prometheus follow-up before the semi-Alien prequel even hit theaters, but while the box office for the film was solid, it wasn’t an automatic “go” for a sequel. Throw in a somewhat mixed response from audiences, and it was unclear if the Prometheus follow-up would ever see the light of day.
However, when Neill Blomkamp talked his way into directing an Alien sequel via social media earlier this year, that apparently lit a fire under Scott’s behind to finally get moving on Prometheus 2. He began talking more seriously about making the film, setting an early 2016 production start-date and referring to it as Alien: Paradise Lost. That title fell by the wayside recently (likely due to copyright issues over the “Paradise Lost” subtitle), but now 20th Century Fox has confirmed the film’s new title Alien: Covenant and set an October 6, 2017 release date for the picture:
In addition to the release date and logo, Fox also released an official synopsis, which features one glaring omission:
Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created in ALIEN with ALIEN: COVENANT, the second chapter in a prequel trilogy that began with PROMETHEUS — and connects directly to Scott’s 1979 seminal work of science fiction. Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, the crew of the colony ship Covenant discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world — whose sole inhabitant is the “synthetic” David (Michael Fassbender), survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition.
So, uh, where’s Noomi Rapace? Prometheus ended with Rapace and Michael Fassbender‘s Elizabeth and David as the sole survivors of the Prometheus, with Scott saying the sequel would find the two on a road trip of sorts to find the home world of the Engineers. Rapace’s name is nowhere to be found, however, and the synopsis cites David as the “sole inhabitant” of the planet. It would appear that the actress is not returning for the follow-up after all, which is a bit of a bummer—one of the Alien franchise’s strengths was its female-driven heroics. Here’s hoping the Covenant crew offers an opportunity to introduce a new female hero.
Scott has been talking a lot about how Alien: Covenant will connect to Alien, and the synopsis confirms this is the first of two sequels that will bring the franchise around to Alien by “coming in the back end” and revealing who created the aliens. Meanwhile, Blomkamp’s Alien 5 has been put on indefinite hold (ouch).
The only other film slated for the month of October in 2017 at the moment is Andy Serkis’ directorial debut The Jungle Book, so for the time-being, Alien: Covenant has the weekend all to itself. It’s curious that Fox isn’t interested in releasing the film during the summer blockbuster season, or even earlier in the year, although Scott and Fox did have a bit of luck releasing another movie in the first week of October recently with The Martian, so perhaps lightning will strike twice.
What do you think, folks? Are you excited to travel back to the world of Prometheus? Are you bummed by Rapace’s apparent absence? Which questions do you want to see answered from the Prometheus and Alien franchises? Should Scott go bold and keep Fassbender’s character body-less for the entire film? Sound off in the comments below.