It’s been over 10 days since Ridley Scott said anything about his Prometheus sequel(s), but not to worry, an update has arrived. The filmmaker has been keen on expounding at length about his plans for the Prometheus follow-up Alien: Covenant and beyond, with his comments evolving to a place where he now says he plans to direct all the Prometheus sequels, which will in turn finally close the loop to Alien by “coming in around the back”. While initially it sounded like Scott planned a Prometheus trilogy, the director now claims he has two more sequels planned after Covenant.
Speaking at a press conference in Sydney, Australia (via THR) where he’s getting ready to begin pre-production on Alien: Covenant, Scott revealed his plans for two more sequels:
Alien: Covenant and the following two films will be origin stories, answering the “very basic questions posed in Alien: why the alien, who might have made it and where did it come from?”
Scott’s prompt for Prometheus was all to do with the Space Jockey, and indeed he’s still lambasting the Alien sequels for never asking what he sees as the most obvious questions in the franchise:
“Prometheus 1 was borne out of my frustration that on Alien 1 in 1979 – I only did one as I don’t normally do sequels. I was amazed that in the 3 that followed that no-one asked the question ‘why the Alien, who made it and why?’ Very basic questions. So I came up with the notion of Prometheus 1, which starts to indicate who might have made it and where it came from.”
Scott also spoke about his plans for Alien: Covenant and how it connects to the Alien Franchise:
“So I’m now going to the next one, which is the next evolution directly connected with the first one, which was this Shaw, when he replaced Michael Fassbender in two pieces and we’ll kind of pick it up there and it will evolve. When that’s finished there’ll be another one and then another one which will gradually drive into the back entrance of the film in 1979,”
Last week, 20th Century Fox unveiled the official synopsis for Covenant, which follows the crew of the spaceship Covenant who discover what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world whose sole inhabitant is Fassbender’s character David. Noomi Rapace’s name was nowhere to be found in the synopsis and cast listing, and indeed THR reports that Rapace “will only appear briefly” in the film despite the initial idea for Prometheus 2 being a road trip-type film with Rapace and Fassbender’s characters venturing to the homeworld of the Engineers.
Does that mean we’re in for another Prometheus-type film that doesn’t delve into the Engineers’ origins, or has David in fact made it to their planet only to find it desolate? If it’s the former, I can imagine there being some frustration on the part of audiences, since that’s basically just a twist on the plot to Prometheus.
Production on Alien: Covenant is set to begin in March and will last 16 weeks, with Scott saying it will be a mix of location and studio shoots with locations including “monumental forest and monumental rock and the rest will be in the studio with fairly formidable CGI.” Indeed, Scott pointed out the extensive CGI used in The Martian to great effect, saying he has no aversion to doing plenty of studio shoots for the sci-fi sequel.
But back to that sequels comment, the synopsis referred to Alien: Covenant as “the second chapter in a prequel trilogy,” but it now appears that Scott has taken it upon himself to expand this into a quadrilogy. Until he changes his mind again. Really this is all par for the course when it comes to the development process of sequels. The only difference here is that Scott isn’t averse to talking at length about the current plans for the franchise at any point in time, so we’ve seen this Prometheus follow-up evolve from a film that moves further away from the Alien franchise by delving into the origins of the Engineers with Fassbender and Rapace as our guides, to another seemingly horror-type feature in which a space crew stumbles upon a seemingly abandoned planet with secrets of its own. Perhaps Scott opted to stretch out that Engineer storyline, which would account for the additional sequel. Or perhaps this will all change again significantly by the time filming begins next spring.
Regardless, Alien: Covenant opens in theaters on October 6, 2017 release date.