Christmas came early this year for fans of the Alien franchise. We already knew that director Ridley Scott had been working on his third movie in the series with next year’s Alien: Covenant, but 20th Century Fox decided to release some early footage from the movie and give us a first glimpse at the trailer weeks before it would be seen by the rest of the world. If you haven’t seen the Alien: Covenant trailer you can watch it here.
The clips are especially exciting since they gave us our first look at the new “Neomorphs” and how they differ from the classic Xenomorphs in previous movies. After a taped introduction by Sir Ridley, we got to see two very quick clips, which showed the latest batch of colonists and their encounters with the deadly aliens.
The first clip showed the colonists traveling in a lander down to the planet below, much like the similar scene in Aliens where the Marines are landing on the planet to answer a distress call. We were told later that this group were not military as much as they are scientists and colonists meant to populate this new planet they’re visiting. The group consists of Danny McBride and a pretty diverse cast that includes Carmen Ejogo and Demian Bichir. Katherine Waterston and her character Daniels (the film’s lead) were noticeably absent from the group shown in the first set of clips, maybe because they were on the ship still orbiting the planet.
This world is very different from the planets in Prometheus and other Alien films because it’s a lot more like earth in terms of environment. There are forests and fields and lakes, which probably makes it more habitable for humans to live there, but also more prone to alien life. Now, mind you, these clips mainly showed the aftermath of some of the crew who had landed on the planet as some of them had clearly been infected with the eggs, as we got to see these new breed aliens escaping from their hosts in particularly gory fashion.
The first example of this is a scene that involves two of the film’s female actors and an unidentified male actor who has an alien inside him. We see that his back is being punctured from inside by a number of spikes, which turns out to be the new Neomorph, who eventually bursts out of him. We could see that it’s quite adorable as a baby even though it has this spikey tail we haven’t seen on previous incarnations. As it happens, one of the women has been isolated in the room with her now dead colleague and before she can get out, the alien kills her, too. (That recent picture of the blood-splattered window? That was from this sequence.) One thing leads to another and then that lander explodes, killing the other woman as she comes out with her body on fire as some of their crewmates return to the lander. Apparently, a man they’re bringing back with them has also been “infected,” but the Neomorph he’s hosting doesn’t bother exploding out of his body but rather climbs back up his throat and explodes out of his mouth, basically blowing his head up in the process.
Both those scenes were as gory as the famous “chest-burster” in the original Alien, and it gives us a pretty good that Ridley Scott is not going to be skimping on the blood and gore in his latest Alien movie even if the environment looks less hostile (and apparently, there’s breathable air, so the crew aren’t wearing the traditional spacesuits.)
Since Katherine Waterston wasn’t in the initial clips, we got a quick splash reel of her character Daniels in action, basically holding and shooting guns but with no actual aliens in that footage.
They then showed the first trailer, which included excerpts from the finished scenes we already saw, but it also included our first look at the new character played by Billy Crudup, seemingly the captain of the Covenant. One thing that seemed to be hinted in the trailer is that the Aliens may be able to breed in humans via small insects that fly into the ear, but we also see Crudup coming up to one of the classic alien eggs where a face hugger jumps out at him, so there’s obviously a lot to absorb from the quickly-edited footage from this trailer. The trailer ends with a couple in the shower together and then what is clearly the tail of an Alien comes out and blood sprays into the shower.