It's been nearly seven years since the last movie in the "Alien" series, called "Alien: Covenant". Even though "Prometheus" and "Covenant" were met with mixed reactions from viewers, the franchise is far from over - a new installment of the sci-fi classic is already in the works. In fact, we can expect both a new movie and a first "Alien" series.
Of course, many people are wondering how exactly the long-running cult franchise will continue. We have compiled all the latest information for you in this article. This way, you can get your own idea of what to expect from the new "Alien" releases. We talk about the upcoming movie, the new series and a mysterious, already completed spin-off that Disney is keeping under wraps for unknown reasons against the will of the creators. Enjoy our new KinoCheck Original!
The new "Alien" movie bears the working title "Romulus". It is not yet known what it will actually be named in the end. Filming has already been concluded and the movie is currently in post-production. Therefore, we already have all kinds of information about the plot, the cast and what is happening behind the scenes.
"Alien: Romulus" will have a stand-alone story that works independently of the previous movies. This means that it does not tie in with the plot of "Prometheus", "Covenant" or the original movies. The creators claim that they intend to provide access to the franchise for more people than just die-hard fans. They also want to give newcomers the opportunity to enter the world of "Alien".
The new movie will be set right between the first and second parts. It is therefore highly doubtful that we will get to see Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley, as she ends up flying through space in a sleep pod. Incidentally, "District 9" director Neill Blomkamp already had the idea of setting another movie between "Alien" and "Aliens". But sadly, the long-discussed "Alien" film by the science fiction veteran never happened.
The plot of "Romulus" revolves around a group of young men and women on a remote outpost. They come into contact with the famous Facehuggers - beings that place eggs in humans to create the dreaded Xenomorphs. It is still unknown whether the story will be limited to one location - and whether there will be just one movie or further sequels.
The cast of "Alien: Romulus" has been significantly rejuvenated in comparison to the older films. Cailee Spaeny, a 25-year-old American who appeared in "Pacific Rim: Uprising" and other productions, is taking on the lead role. She is currently playing the starring role of Elvis' wife in "Priscilla". At her side we will see Isabela Merced: Not only has she previously played the leading role in "Dora and the Lost City of Gold", she will also play an important character in the upcoming "Madame Web". Archie Renaux may be familiar to some from the Netflix series "Shadow and Bone". David Jonsson, meanwhile, was previously cast in the romcom "Rye Lane". Other actors such as Spike Fearn and Aileen Wu are rather less well-known.
A somewhat more prominent name has been rumored for a long time, but has yet to be officially confirmed: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, known for example, from her hit series "Fleabag" and "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny". It is believed that she could be playing an android. Waller-Bridge has been heard at least once before in a similar role, namely in "Solo: A Star Wars Story".
The focus on a younger cast is a new approach for the "Alien" series and will probably not only be met with approval from viewers. But although this decision looks like it is aimed at a younger mainstream audience, the makers describe it more as a "dark and claustrophobic horror movie".
"Alien: Romulus" is being produced by Ridley Scott, who already directed the first part and also worked as a producer on "Prometheus" and "Covenant". A new face in the "Alien" franchise is taking on the director's role, however: To give the movie that special touch of shock and horror, the director of the "Evil Dead" reboot, Fede Álvarez, has been hired. He also wrote the screenplay together with his colleague Rodo Sayagues. With this crew, there is good reason to hope that the movie will not be too softened. A first impression is provided by a set photo in which we can see a puppet of the dreaded Facehugger.
Fede Álvarez wants to do things properly with his "Alien" movie and, above all, impress past master Ridley Scott. He should get to see the work before anyone else, as Álvarez revealed at the DGA Latino Summit 2023. In conversation with horror icon Guillermo del Toro, the director talked about Scott's strict standards, especially when it comes to his own movies. Despite initial concerns, however, Álvarez received surprisingly positive feedback: Not only did Scott praise the movie as "bloody great", he also emphasized the excellent dialogue. Apparently, Scott spent an hour talking to Álvarez about the movie and expressed his admiration.
Of course, this gives us hope for a more than decent new addition to the series of "Alien" movies. "Alien: Romulus" is due to be released on August 16, 2024, so we probably won't have to wait much longer for a first teaser trailer.
The Alien Series
In addition to the new "Alien" movie, another spin-off is in the works. It comes from the creator of the successful "Fargo" series, Noah Hawley. This will be the first time the eerie creature from an alien world has ever been featured in a series. And he already has very specific ideas for this project.
His theory: In a two-hour movie, the plot could be structured in such a way that the only question is whether the protagonists will survive. But that doesn't work with a series. Even if you make the best action horror for 60 percent of the time, there is still 40 percent where something else has to happen.
So the series creator has come up with something new for the franchise: Unlike in the movies, the alien will not be up to mischief on a spaceship or an alien planet. Instead, it will be unleashed on Earth. Hawley is thus breaking with the tradition of the protagonists being more or less trapped in one place with the alien. It will surely be interesting to see what Earth looks like in the "Alien" franchise and how it responds to the Xenomorph.
In the leading role of the "Alien" series, we will see Sydney Chandler. The 27-year-old American has only had minor roles so far, so this could be her big breakthrough. In the series, she plays Wendy, a meta-human who has the body of an adult and the mind of a child. According to the latest reports, her mentor will be played by none other than Timothy Olyphant, who will play an android called Kirsh. In addition to his leading role in the video game adaptation "Hitman", Olyphant is best known as a popular series actor, such as in "Justified", "Deadwood" and "The Book of Boba Fett". He has also appeared in Noah Hawley's "Fargo" series.
Alex Lawther is also not entirely unknown: most of you will know him from the Netflix series "The End of the F***ing World" and "Andor". Although he doesn't look particularly threatening normally, he is supposed to play a soldier called CJ. Samuel Blenkin is joining the cast as well. He recently had a part in the series "The Continental: From the World of John Wick". Now he is to play a CEO called Bob Kavalier. Meta-humans, androids, soldiers and CEOs: the characters certainly sound characteristic of the franchise. The cast already includes numerous other names, however, little is known about their roles.
The idea for an "Alien" series emerged back in 2019. At the time, it was said that both a live-action and an animated series would be produced. The live-action version was given the green light in December 2020. In the end, it took two and a half years for the series to go into pre-production. Filming began in July 2023, albeit without lead actress Sydney Chandler because of the Hollywood strikes. Filming is now set to resume in January 2024 and is expected to run until July. However, the series is not expected to be released before 2025 - so it will presumably be quite a while before we see the first images.
The Alien vs. Predator Series
In addition to the two high-potential projects, we don't want to leave another spin-off entirely unmentioned, even if its fate looks anything but promising: We're talking about the fully completed "Alien vs. Predator" animated series. This was originally commissioned by 20th Century Fox. Disney acquired the distributor in 2019 and seems to have no interest in releasing the finished series - much to the displeasure of producer Joshua Izzo. In the early summer of 2023, the creators therefore announced their plan to release the animated series on DVD independently of TV and streaming services. Since then, things have gone quiet about the "Alien" spin-off, which is still waiting to see the light of day.