Fox dropped its most revealing Alien: Covenant footage yet today in Las Vegas. "I hope it scares the shit out of you," said director Ridley Scott in a video introduction to the clips. He didn't have to hope.
CinemaCon is where studios show off their upcoming wares to movie theater owners. It's a simple system: studios show cool stuff, hoping to entice theaters into booking and promoting the movies. Each studio has a different approach, and today Fox went with the “more is more” theory, delivering what amounted to a gooey xenomorph history lesson via new footage.
The footage isn’t online yet, and in fact you may have to wait for the final film to see these clips, but we’re here to tell you all about it.
Note: Big spoilers ahead for Alien: Covenant.
This footage, which kicked off with one sequence and then became an extended sizzle reel / trailer, was all about David, played by Michael Fassbender. (Not to be confused with Walter, the other character played by Fassbender.) We knew that David has managed to get his body back, and now we know what he’s been doing in the years since Prometheus ended with he and Shaw flying off on an Engineer ship: going mad, basically.
These scenes began with a curved Engineer ship arriving on what must be the Engineer home planet, as scores of curious bald grey people are witness to the ship’s arrival in a coliseum-like structure. Little do they know that David is the pilot, and he’s got an evil agenda. He releases a massive payload of the infectious black oil seen in Prometheus, and that stuff lays waste to the Engineers as they try to flee the site.
The event devolves into total horror as dead Engineers pile up at a closed gate that prevents them leaving the landing site. Soon the black oil has decimated them all. Now we know where at least part of the inspiration for the recent Alien: Covenant poster came from. Question is: what happens to those bodies?
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Still, given that description, and another recent footage reveal at SXSW, you probably know what’s coming next.
Hear over the action is dialogue from David, laid into this sequence to chilling effect. “The gods rejected mankind as weak, cruel and filled with greed, he says. “A dying species grasping for resurrection.” Here we begin to see footage of the Covenant ship on which the movie really focuses. “Leaving the earth forever, imagining a perfect home in the heavens,” David continues in his detached tone. “But their power is an illusion. They don’t deserve to start again, and I’m not going to let them.”
(Those lines are from the scene between David and Billy Crudup's character seen in the SXSW footage.)
David made something to prevent the spread of humanity it seems, and you probably know just what that creation is. “I found perfection,” David says, proudly. “I created it,” he says, as a face hugger egg opens before Billy Crudup’s startled eyes. “Quite magnificent, don’t you think?”
While the idea of this movie working as a total origin story for the xenomorphs themselves is a bit eyebrow-raising – I much prefer the mystery of knowing the aliens were just out there somewhere – the idea that one of mankind’s creations ends up being the instrument of humanity’s potential destruction is a powerful idea. As terrifying as the xenomorphs have always been, David could end up being the scariest thing in this movie.
#AlienCovenant hits theaters May 19.
Assuming you're not spoiler-averse, how has this information affected your interest in the film?