Ridley Scott did it first and best, at least for that initial effort. James Cameron built on what the former created and turned a straightforward thriller in space into a major action franchise. Further sequels met with mixed results although each one has its defenders, and Fox never gave up on the Alien series.
Neither has Disney who acquired Fox’s studio assets to bring the X-Men and the Fantastic Four back to the Marvel fold. They got Alien and Predator in the deal too and still see potential in those IPs. The Predator prequel Prey was first out of the gate last summer on Hulu, where it earned a fair amount of approval.
Alien is next with a two-for, one a TV series and the other a new sequel (or perhaps a requel of sorts) guided by horror director and Sam Raimi protege Fede Alvarez. What we know about it is limited except for the cast led by actress Cailee Spaeny whose most noteworthy credit currently is the Paramount series Mare of Easttown.
The film, said to be in production with photography underway, is titled Alien: Romulus for now. This may not be the final title or even official, but it is the one reputable outlets picked up and are running with. One of those, Variety, reports that Alvarez’s installment is officially untitled and that it has a surprising place in the timeline.
Variety says “Romulus” is part of the prequel series that began with Prometheus in 2012 – Scott’s return to these films. That timeline continued with Alien: Covenant in 2015 and has lain dormant ever since. It should be noted that Scott and his producing partners are back putting their weight behind Alvarez’s effort as well – speaking of commitment to the Alien property.
The trade also shared a quick and cryptic synopsis 20th Century Studios – the new version of Fox’s outfit under Disney – gave them. They reveal Alien: Romulus follows “a group of young people on a distant world, who find themselves in a confrontation with the most terrifying life form in the universe.” So, it sounds like business as usual.
What’s telling about this description is the subtle clues it drops. For one, it’s a group of kids – either on a Weyland-Yutani site or that work for the company – and, second, it seems they will be dealing with a lone Xenomorph, which again, is back to formula. That might be a product of Scott’s influence and explain why he is partaking in this project.
Romulus, or whatever they end up calling Fede Alvarez’s Alien, is shooting in Budapest. It has no release date but will stream on Hulu when the time comes. The other Alien project, the TV series, is headed up by Noah Hawley and is being produced for FX and, ultimately, for Hulu too. Remind us if either pique your interest in the proper place.