WTF - Is Alien Covenant a rehash of Alien Origins?
Scified2016-03-21 11:29:52
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1979's Alien saw the imagination of Dan O'Bannon forge a meeting between the nightmarish world of H.R. Giger and the post industrialist creations of Ron Cobb, all captured through the eye of a young Ridley Scott. The result is arguably both the definitive science fiction horror movie and one of the best movies using an unseen antagonist – no small feat considering Hollywoods overreliance on the trope. Alien gave us one of the best designed alien creautres in modern fiction, amidst a barrage of mysteries and questions, many of which were left unanswered for decades.

The desire from fans to see more of the perfect organism created one of Hollywoods premiere franchises, that much like te creature itself became diluted and distilled with each addition (as is typically the nature of movie franchises), including adaptations across multiple media forms including novels, comic books, video games and even toys. By the release of 2007's Alien vs Predator Requiem Hollywoods most visceral and disturbing creation had become so mainstream it was available, and still is, as a plush soft toy for children.

Throughout the Aliens descent into obscurity Ridley Scott, director of the 1979 original had often mused about returning to the franchise to explore the mysteries of the alien pilot discovered in the first movie. Using ideas from the 1979 original that had never been filmed, and through various rewrites with screenwriters Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof director Scott created 2012's Prometheus. Marketed as a prequel to 1979's Alien, the movies ambigiuity and ambitious plot divided audiences and critical opinion. While arguably a visual masterpiece Prometheus' narrative, theme and place within the franchise was confused and confusing to many moviegoers, including fans.

Prometheus is an indirect prequel to Alien, in much the same way as The Phantom Menace is a prequel to A New Hope. It is not meant to finish where Alien begins, but rather forge the way for future instalments, one of which will eventually fulfill the role of a direct prequel. However, Prometheus did begin its development as a direct prequel, as evidenced by Jon Spaihts' script titled Alien Origins. Origins script featured the crew of the USCSS Magellan landing on LV-426 and discovering protoforms of the Alien creature. Spaihts script ended with an Engineer ship leaving the planet, only to some crashing back down as the Engineer pilot fell victim to very weapon he was carrying; the Alien.

In a misguided attempt to focus more upon the new race known as the Engineers, Lost screenwriter Damon Lindelof was contracted to help embelish the narrative of Spaihts script, allowing for multiple prequels to be produced. But it seems after the hit and miss critical and fan reception Prometheus garnered, that director Scott may be defaulting back to core themes evident within Spaihts original script with mention that the sequel, once called Paradise and now called Alien Covenant will feature familiar Alien creatures within a more traditional Alien movie rather than the ambitious visceral tour-de-force journey to paradise fans were originally promised

Considering Prometheus' reception and box office performance it is unsurprising that its sequel will revert back to the formula used in the 1979 original. Though producers Brandywine Productions and studio 20th Century Fox will be hoping that with Scott helming the movie it will recreate some of the tension and suspense that made Alien such a classic. Its just a shame that fans may never see Shaw and David's pilgrimage to the nighmarish homeworld of the Engineers and the undoubtedly disturbing truths to Shaws philosophical and religious questions.


Written by GavinPublished on 2016-03-21 11:29:52
2 Fan responses to WTF - Is Alien Covenant a rehash of Alien Origins?


RespectedMember1691 XPMar-21-2016 1:04 PM

I don’t think that it was wrong to focus on the Engineers but the fault in Prometheus was the characters. Many of them were just not relevant or were just annoying (Janek and David being exceptions).


Hopefully the new movie won’t only include the Xenomorphs but also other kind of monsters. If the Engineers have a role in this they might have made other kind of monsters. The Engineers are not un-interesting, that wasn’t what was bad about Prometheus. The problem with Prometheus was that there were not many characters to like.


Shaw isn’t interesting but her questions might be. Hopefully the answers will be given but that someone else might get them, someone that is more interesting than Shaw. I hope that we will see the home world of the Engineers.


Hopefully Alien Covenant will have:


Better characters (that is the most important thing to me at least)

New Monsters but also monsters connected to the Xeno so the movie will be more connected to Alien

An interesting Engineer planet (inhabitants, the environment, and so on)


ContributorMember839 XPMar-21-2016 1:51 PM

It is unfortunate that we may not see Shaw's journey, but I do understand why the studio and Scott would want to move back to a film more like Alien. I have to agree with the comment above me, in that the characters have to be much better. I am sure the movie will have at least some pretty suspenseful, scary, and cool moments, but I think they have to hit on the characters. The movie will most likely be beautiful looking as usual with Scott directing. Outstanding on screen performances and well written and developed characters can take a film into a whole nother atmosphere. Now, I don't expect perfect writing and acting per say, but I want to see a movie with stronger lead roles (The writing. I think the actors chosen were pretty great, but the characters weren't very fleshed out) and the supporting cast cannot be a bunch of cardboard cutouts. 

Prometheus could have had worse characters, but I just wanted better. So, I can be quite harsh when it comes to that. 

Haha about the actual topic, I don't know. Yes, we all know by now that the Covenant is gearing towards being an Alien film, but I don;t think that it will be really similar to that John Spaihts script. The foundation seems about the same with the arrival of a ship on a far off planet, but I think that is where the similarities will end (mostly). 

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