If you’re just checking in after the Christmas rush, Fox greeted many when the clock struck midnight with a trailer for Alien: Covenant. Instead of being a cheery surprise for the holidays, the trailer ups the terror and points to a return to form for the series. Not only that, but it carries plenty of the hallmarks that we’ve seen in past installments and seems ready to build the promised bridge to the original Alien.
But to build that bridge, it seems that the film will have to crack a few chests, and backs, in the process. It also seems ready to make up for where Prometheus fell short. That means plenty of Michael Fassbender as David and some answers for where Noomi Rapace’s Elizabeth Shaw ended up.
The trailer introduces some of the new faces, most of them in peril. You’ll likely recognize Demián Bichir from The Bridge on FX and The Hateful Eight, doing a bit of laughing while the ship makes a landing. You’ll also surely notice Danny McBride at the helm of the ship complete with a cowboy hat. No sign of James Franco, but surely his character makes some sort of impact with the crew.
We also get to meet with Katherine Waterston as Daniels, chatting it up with Billy Crudup’s captain before the hell breaks loose. I’m sure plenty will be revealed about these folks once the initial reactions from the special screening Fox held earlier in the month, included a good measurement on just how bloody this movie will be once they’re released. From what I hear, fans should not be disappointed.
It also seems like Daniels might turn into a bit of a bad ass by the end of it, which is definitely in line with the series up to this point.
Michael Fassbender’s presence in the trailer is one of the bigger mysteries, next to the visuals of the neomorphs and xenomorphs. According to reports, Fassbender will definitely be playing David from Prometheus — the only inhabitant of the planet in the film according to the official synopsis. Covenant is a colony ship, drawn to the planet for what would appear to be ulterior motives considering the presence of Fassbender and the company name you see adorning all of the uniforms in the trailer.
Weyland-Yutani is the successor to the Weyland Corporation in Prometheus and the corporate entity at the heart of all the trouble in the original slate of films. Much like the crew of the Nostromo in the first film, one would assume the Covenant team is being led into a situation thanks to whatever Weyland-Yutani is scheming. They just can’t help themselves. Also, we know David is not to be trusted thanks to his actions in Prometheus. You’d have to think that he has a hand in drawing the crew of the ship to this particular planet and also has some knowledge connected to the biology of whatever is hanging around on the surface.
Fassbender will be pulling double duty in the film as Walter, another android that accompanies the crew on their journey. There are some scenes in the trailer that seem like flashbacks in a way, with a dark-haired version of Fassbender speaking with someone in a suit. This looks a bit like Peter Weyland from the viral Ted Talks released before Prometheus, but it is a bit confusing given the timeline of the film. We know that Guy Pearce will be in the film as Weyland, but we’re not sure in what capacity. Given his death in Prometheus, there’s going to have to be some sort of creative storytelling here.
The presence of two androids does give us the possibility of a yin and yang effect that reflects Ash in the original film and Bishop in Aliens. I’m sure plenty of folks would love to see a little Fassbender on Fassbender action during the film unless everybody ends up getting slaughtered before the next film tries it all over again.
Things really do seem to point to David being critical in the creation of the new type of xenomorphs seen in the movie, along with the spread of the classic type via the face huggers we’ve seen throughout. We get a short peek at what is assumed to be the classic type during the end of the trailer, spying in on a couple in the shower. The fingers look extremely long for some reason, so it could very well be one of the neomorphs, but the teeth and tail — which we’ll discuss below — are both classic Alien.
Clearly, the new version of the titular creatures will have an extremely violent birth that rivals even the originals. Much like the black ooze from Prometheus, the spores we see in the trailer seem to have a harmless beginning as they enter the host, here through the ear. From there, things go downhill rather quickly. Fassbender spilled the beans about this during his interview last month and we got a few leaked images that showed the results after the beasts make their way out of the host.
This birth is reportedly one of the sequences shown in the sneak peek footage and you can see where it’s going to be bloody. It also makes a nod back to Ripley in the original Alien refusing to break the quarantine after Kane is attacked and infected by the face hugger. Things took a little longer to devolve then, with the Covenant crew seemingly dealing with a beast almost immediately after it bursts its way out of the back.
But don’t think the classic xenomorph won’t get plenty of trademark action. Even Prometheus featured it in a way, though not enough to make fans feel like it was a true Alien film. In the trailer, it doesn’t seem like Billy Crudup is going to get away in this film after he comes upon one of the eggs and the disgusting beast inside. Also, you’ll notice that either David or Walter is present when the face hugger does its business. This could mean many different things given the dual roles, but it certainly lays a few more puzzle pieces on the table.
The egg and face hugger aren’t the only thing from the classic films to make their return to the series. The tail is a nice call back to Lambert’s death in the original Alien, sliding under our two showering victims in the same way with similar results.
All and all, Covenant‘s first trailer presents a promising film that isn’t hiding its connections to the films that have come before. That’s already a step in the right direction when compared to Prometheus, especially once you add in the expanded horror element. Hopefully, we’ll get plenty of other treats before the movie hits theaters in May.