Every man and his spacedog has an opinion on Prometheus, the Alien prequel from Ridley Scott. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, we were told, Prometheus would revive the Alien franchise. Only this phoenix was not golden red. It was black, charred, and it had a void where a better film might have contained some semblance of soul.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Prometheus, but only in the way I enjoy toffee apples: once a year, and washed down with dangerous levels of alcohol.
So it would be naive of me to write an article outlining why Prometheus 2: Alien Covenant will, in fact, be a good movie. I can't be sure of that, and history has taught me to be cautious when it comes to Ridley Scott. But what I can do is tell you why it might be a good movie.
Here goes (mild potential spoilers ahead).
1. It won't have the dumbest ending in history
If you've watched Lost, you know how it feels to be trolled. Fans of Damon Lindelof's mystery series received a trolling so epic it extended over six seasons, and culminated in the big reveal that they were all, in fact, dead.
So the omens were not good when Lindelof got involved in Prometheus 2. Lindelof's draft script followed Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) on her journey to Paradise...
If it is Paradise, Paradise cannot be what you think it is. Paradise has a connotation of being extremely sinister and ominous.
If you say so, Damon. It seems Lindelof was removed from the project when the title changed to Alien: Covenant, and Dr. Shaw won't be coming back either, so you can breathe... a little bit.
2. Awesome Aliens and Where to Find Them
Breakthrough British talent Katherine Waterston has landed the lead role, currently known only as Daniels. You'll see her first opposite Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them...
Originally Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation's dazzling femme fatale Rebecca Ferguson was up for the same role, so Waterston must be good. I'm stoked.
3. Ridley Scott is on a roll
Hard to believe I just typed those words, but Ridley Scott is coming off a Best Picture nomination for The Martian. It's been a long time since he made a film so well-received, or whose ideas were so streamlined, and it proves he can still do the business in space. It's almost a shame he's not making Alien 5 instead.
Of course, this is the man responsible for Exodus: Gods and Kings, so let's not get carried away. Best to keep your expectations in check.
4. The concept art is pretty insane
Scott has teased fresh monsters and an all-new species of alien for Covenant, and some of the creatures teased in the concept art look seriously sick.
With any luck, some of Neill Blomkamp's ideas from Alien 5 will also be carried over...
If there's one thing Scott never gets wrong, it's the visuals. Confidence level for epic new beasts: high.
5. Answers for Alien at last?
Remember when Prometheus was meant to be a proper prequel? You know, the kind that answers questions instead of just asking more. It seems like Alien: Covenant will be the film to finally answer a few of those questions.
Are we finally going to find out exactly why the Engineers created the human race, only to try and wipe us out?
And one reason why it sucks...
Look, I'm excited for Prometheus 2. Not "it's the last week of the month and I'm about to get coin" excited, but certainly "Oh look! There's a cute dog!" excited.
But let's be real for a second. According to Neill Blomkamp himself, Ridley Scott's "new trilogy" of Prometheus movies have put Alien 5 on hold...
...and if it's a choice between Ellen Ripley kicking ass and, well, anything else, Ripley wins. It's not even a contest. In other words I do slightly begrudge that Alien Covenant is coming before actual Alien 5, and it's going to have to be a damn good movie to help me overcome that.