10 Reveals From Our 'Alien: Covenant' Set Visitby IMDb-Editors | last updated - 02 Mar 2017
From face huggers to the Space Jockey, there was plenty to see on our 'Alien: Covenant' set visit to Sydney. Check out the sights.
On the heels of its completely horrifying new trailer, take a look at what we learned and saw on our Alien: Covenant set visit.
Covenant is the franchise's connective tissue
Set 10 years after Prometheus, Alien: Covenant is a sequel to that movie, and it will directly connect to Alien. The series is still eyed as a potential trilogy (but Ridley Scott might not direct a third movie). For detractors of Prometheus: Some of your lingering questions will be answered, including a reinvented idea of "Who made these alien creatures?"
Expect a more harmonious crew aboard the Covenant
The Covenant is a colony ship that is staffed by a mix of military personnel, scientists, and civilians — all of whom are coupled up in space. (Well, except Walter, but more on him later.) In touch with actual-real human life, there's a same-sex couple, played by Demián Bichir and Nathaniel Dean, prominently featured in the movie. Get an introduction to the entire crew in this five-minute video prologue.
Prepare yourself for twice the Fassbender
Like you, we'll take on Fassbender twins any day, so you'll be pleased to know that David from Prometheus is present in Covenant, and he's formed quite a bond with Shaw (Noomi Rapace, who is back after a poorly kept secret). But there's also Walter, the android aboard the Covenant, whom Fassbender characterizes as more of a Spock type than David.
Quoting Fassbender: “When the David 8s came out, there was a resistance from people to that model. Because it freaked them out a little bit. Because he was demonstrating a lot of human qualities, and his programming was veering towards human characteristics, like ego and vanity and pride... So they designed the following models with fewer of those human traits. Well, none of them really."
The mission quickly goes wrong
We're promised that the sense of calm and purpose seen in the video prologue is quickly replaced by confusion, terror, and peril. A key crew member is gone in minutes, and the remaining team is diverted to a new planet, Paradise, that looks like the Garden of Eden but is more like Hell on Earth. There's mounting, unconfirmed evidence that Paradise may have once been home to humans who worshipped the Engineers. Our visit revealed signs of both worship and sacrifice — similar to the leaked set images from months back.
“If they want aliens, I’ll give them *beep* aliens!"
Ridley Scott plotted for a hard R rating this time around as a way to appease those who thought Prometheus was heavy on story but light on aliens and scenes of terror. Brace yourselves for a "haunted-house feeling" according to special visual effects supervisor Neil Corbould with little reliance on CGI in favor of practical effects, and in terms of creature design, it leads right up to Alien.
A favorite quote from the visit came from producer Mark Huffam: "[This time] we’re ordering the blood in the 40-gallon drums rather than the 5-gallon drums."
The crew could not stop talking about the shower scene
Destined to go down as one of the most horrific sequences in the franchise, the shower scene might have used an entire 40-gallon drum of blood if you believe the way the crew talked about it.
Katherine Waterston is excellent at keeping spoilers
Clearly we're all waiting to see the connection between Katherine Waterston's Daniels and Sigourney Weaver's Ripley, and Waterston deserves a Best Actress nomination for her ability to shrug off any potential link/relationship between the characters. Instead, she used the literature of Joan Didion and Carl Sagan to get into her role. However it turns out, Waterston seems poised for action-heroine stardom — and not just because of her 6-foot tall physique and Ripleyesque head of hair.
How does Shaw fit into all this?
As mentioned earlier, it was rather impossible to conceal the fact that Noomi Rapace would make some sort of appearance in the sequel. How much screen time she'll receive is unknown, though [potential spoiler alert] in the movie's main production room, which was covered with story boards and concept art, one drawing that made the assembled group of set visitors gasp was a depiction of Shaw’s face framed by bio-mechanical tubes, as if she were mutating ... This could be a tricky bit of misdirection laid out by Sir Ridley, however.
There will be Space Jockey
Imagine walking into a cool, damp, darkened warehouse early in the morning, only to have the lights slowly brighten and the mist clear up to reveal ... a giant set that's home to the Space Jockey's chair. Everyone assembled agreed that Covenant will have more to say about the Engineer we met toward the end of Prometheus.
Then, down a hallway we went until we came face to face with a collection of oversized spacesuits — replicas of the suits seen on the original Alien Space Jockey. The suits were all in perfect shape, though. Like statues.
We also spent time in The Cathedral, also called the "Hall of Heads," which looked like a roomful of these and illustrated true devotion to the Elder Engineers.
Face hugs will be readily available
After dodging this projectile, which was shot at us from a prop department cannon, we were treated to a photo session where we got to imagine what it felt like to be turned into a host for a Chestburster. We will never sleep soundly again.
Alien: Covenant is released in the U.S. on Friday, May 19, 2017. Click here for global release dates. Read IMDb's trivia, and see our photo gallery.