Taking note of how director Steven Spielberg gradually built-up the tension to a fever pitch in Jaws (1975) before giving the audience a full-on look at the ferocious great white shark, Ridley Scott applied that same approach to 1979’s Alien, teasing the audience for as long as possible before giving the terrifying H. R. Giger-designed creature a full-reveal. That sort of build-up can heighten the scares and allow audience enough time to get emotionally invested in the characters, which was lacking in 2012’s Prometheus. Scott won’t make the same mistake twice. So for Alien: Covenant, Scott is upping the gore factor and giving the monstrous creatures a crew of married couples to prey upon.
“This is Ridley at his best,” Michael Fassbender told EW. “On top of action and humor and characters you become invested in, there’s these very real questions about life and the origins of life and what happens in the afterlife — if there is an afterlife.”
However, the true monster of the film is Fassbender’s David, the android that Peter Weyland created that is too intelligent and too sensitive for his own good. When the Covenant crew come across him while searching the unexplored planet, we’ll learn that David has spent the past decade playing god, creating life of his own.
David isn’t the only synthetic being played by Fassbender. He’ll also be portraying Walter, a loyal and emotional-less descendant of David that is a member of the Covenant crew. “I wanted Walter to be more Spock-like — devoid of human characteristics or emotional contents that are programmed into David,” Fassbender shared. “I want him more like a blank canvas one can project things upon.”
Director Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created, with ALIEN: COVENANT, a new chapter in his groundbreaking ALIEN franchise. The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world — whose sole inhabitant is the “synthetic” David, survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.
The cast features Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Amy Seimetz, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Nathaniel Dean, Alexander England, and Benjamin Rigby.
Alien: Covenant opens in theaters on May 19, 2017.