In an interview with Hitfix, Danny McBride shared his astonishment at being cast in Ridley Scott’s upcoming Prometheus sequel and Alien prequel, Alien: Covenant, in the process offering an enticing description of the film’s tone.
While the original Alien was a horror movie to the core, elevating the creature feature above its pulp roots (as Jaws had four years earlier), its franchise sequels tried on a number of different genres, from Aliens the action movie to Alien: Resurrection the, uh, clone thriller. But the weirdest and most misguided entry has to be Prometheus , which attempted an Alien movie without the xenomorph — the alien — replacing it with a confused stew of unimaginative aliens, incompetent scientists, android trickery and pseudo-religious bunkum.
So it’s nice to hear that Alien: Covenant will be going back to its roots. As McBride tells it:
“[Ridley Scott] starts talking to me about it and starts showing me these diagrams of a spaceship and I’m just thinking, as he’s talking, I’m like ‘Jesus, this is fucking Aliens , he’s talking to me about Alien right now. And then my next thought was, ‘well why would he be interested in me for this. Am I just going to be the silly comic relief in this? And then I got the script and I’m like ‘this shit is dark, there is no comic relief in this at all.’ This is a dark horror movie.”
While Scott’s original plan had been to avoid the xenomorph in Prometheus sequels, the retitling of Prometheus 2, first to Alien: Paradise Lost then to Alien: Covenant, promised a much closer tie-in with the original film. The official synopsis confirms as much:
“Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, the crew of the colony ship Covenant discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world – whose sole inhabitant is the "synthetic" David (Michael Fassbender), survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition.”
Hopefully this will also mean return to the original’s tone. McBride’s description of the script as “a dark horror movie” certainly seems like the right move for a series that struggled to recapture what originally made it so frightening.