Alien: Covenant‘s prologue trailer shocked some and thrilled others when it revealed there would be a gay couple in the cast.
During the Prologue: Last Supper trailer for the film, you can see the two men embrace each other, arm wrestle, and share a kiss.
The two characters in question are a husband-and-husband team named Sergeant Lope (Demian Bichir) and Hallett (Nathaniel Dean), and while the jury is out on exactly what role they’ll play in the movie, many are hailing them as the first LGBT characters in the Alien franchise.
But any claims that this gay couple represents the first LGBT characters featured in the Alien franchise are not technically true. Here are some instances that pre-date Alien: Covenant.
Ellen Ripley Was Originally Written As A Gay Character
Ellen Ripley, the iconic character played by Sigourney Weaver in her first Alien movie, was originally supposed to be an openly gay character. Movie Pilot reports that Ripley was supposed to be in a romantic relationship with Joan Lambert. That aspect of the character was toned down for the final cut of the film. But there’s a deleted scene that can be found in the director’s cut which reveals the undeniable chemistry between the two characters.
Ripley 8 And Call in Alien: Resurrection
One of the more maligned Alien installments features a relationship between Ripley 8 (Sigourney Weaver) and Call (Winona Ryder) with loads of romantic subtext between the characters. The depiction of the same-sex attraction may have been vague but that hasn’t stopped ardent fans from making video tributes about them and posting them on YouTube.
Vasquez’s Sexuality is Ambiguous At Best
Although she’s never really outed as being gay in the franchise, Vasquez, who first appeared in James Cameron’s Aliens, has all of the tropes that are typically assigned to gay female characters.
As Movie Pilot notes, the character became an ’80s icon in LGBT circles. But the actress who played her, Jenette Goldstein, recently said that there’s way more to the character than her sexuality.
“She’s an outsider — she was just who she was. With Vasquez, I never said she was straight or gay, because to her it was nobody’s business… A lot of gay women come up and say, ‘Oh my God, when I saw you, and you had a masculine look to you, I saw myself,” she said in an interview with L.A. Weekly, as reported by Movie Pilot. “But I had straight women coming up to me with the same thing.”
The difference between previous portrayals of LGBT characters in the franchise and Alien: Covenant‘s gay couple is that these relationships were hidden under lots of subtext and never explicit. In the new movie, the characters are openly gay which is raising lots of speculation about what their role in populating the new colony will be.
Could they be sperm donors for re-population? Will they be the first couple to die in the movie? Only time will tell. For now the actors aren’t giving too many clues.
“We are all couples on this ship, all kinds of couples, even men and men,” actor Demian Bechir said in an interview with Screen Rant. “For me that’s a beautiful side of the story when you can have these two almost iconic macho types being together and loving each other and being a part of keeping everyone alive.”
Alien: Covenant is set to premiere on May 19.
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