An Alien: Covenant sequel has already been written and has plans to go into production in 2018, according to series creator Ridley Scott. The eager move to make another film indicates confidence that the franchise is back on track after taking a wrong turn with Alien 3 in 1992.
The sequel has been set up before Alien: Covenant even opens on May 18. The previous film in the series, Prometheus, landed a $403 million gross worldwide. Ridley told Sydney Morning Herald that he meant to strike while the iron was hot.
"You've got to assume to a certain extent success and from that you'd better be ready. You don't want a two-year gap. So I'll be ready to go again next year."The first two installments of the series, Alien and Aliens, are considered not only bona fide classics, but also the blueprint for what would follow in the fusion of science-fiction, horror and action movies. Alien 3 and Resurrection have been lambasted as poor gauntlet-bearers to the franchise's earlier highs. That reputation was salvaged with prequel Prometheus in 2012, enough so, clearly, that Covenant already has a sequel in the works before it even gets released.
Fans and critics weren't the only ones dissatisfied with the third and fourth movies in the series. Scott himself told the paper that he was not impressed with the 1992 film that rounded out the first trilogy.
"Frankly I watched them do 3... Wow! OK. Then 10 years later I came back and said 'you know what, I think I can resurrect the franchise.' Alien was special without question; it was unique really. Prometheus was a good starting block to kick off the idea that no one ever asked in the sequels."
Sigourney Weaver, who plays lead character Ripley is the first four films, has previously said that Ridley may have actually directed Alien 3 if it weren't for plans to make Alien Vs. Predator, a project that the original creators clearly saw as a slap in the face to the more serious predecessors, as she told Radio Times in 2015.
"I've nothing against building a movie on a video game but at the time, it was, as [Aliens director] Jim Cameron said I think publicly, 'why would you want to do that? It's like making Alien meets the Wolfman.'... In fact Scott was about to direct a third one, until this was announced, and he dropped out because he also wanted to do an Alien sequel."In fact, Weaver was so unenthusiastic about the idea of Alien Vs. Predator, that she requested that her character die in Alien 3 rather than suffer the indignity of being attached to such a low-brow title.
"Well, yes [I did request that they kill off Ripley in Alien 3] – because I heard that Fox was gonna do Alien vs. Predator. Which really depressed me because I was very proud of the movies."
Even though he might not get invited back for the Alien: Covenant sequel, Alien 3 director David Fincher, of course, went on to become one of the most successful directors in Hollywood with modern classics like Se7en, Fight Club, Gone Girl and The Social Network. In a 2009 interview with The Guardian, he expanded on why he felt the movie went south.
"No one hated Alien 3 more than me; to this day, no one hates it more than me. It was a baptism by fire... I'd always had this naive idea that everybody wants to make movies as good as they can be, which is stupid. I thought, 'Well, surely you don't want to have the Twentieth Century-Fox logo over a sh***y movie.' And they were like, 'Well, as long as it opens.' They didn't care."No matter how traumatic it may have been for everyone involved, Alien 3 is now in the past, and it's time for Ridley Scott and everyone else to look into the future. On a recent visit to the set, Collider uncovered dozens of juicy tidbits about Alien: Covenant. Firstly, the movie is expected to a gore-filled "hard-R," unlike the comparatively light Prometheus, which some fans felt was a departure from the original series. Truly intending to capture the original universe, a film historian was also hired to create a set of rules to remain consistent with the the pre-Alien 3 universe.
Do you think Ridley Scott has the movies back on track, or will the Alien: Covenant sequel be another Alien 3?
[Featured Image by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images]