Alien: Covenant has had a pretty complex time of it in pre-production, hasn't it? Before it was titled Covenant, the Prometheus sequel was named [Alien: Paradise Lost](tag:3572502) and was slated to explore Dr. Elizabeth Shaw's ongoing search for the origins of the humanity and the home planet of the Engineers.
But then the news landed via director Ridley Scott that Noomi Rapace wouldn't be returning to reprise her role as Shaw in the freshly renamed Alien: Covenant, and they were "still casting the main roles"; this all seemed a little odd, but it did explain the name change.
The matter of whether or not Alien: Covenant would feature the series' franchise monsters — the xenomorphs — was the subject of much contention when, way back in September 2014, Scott said that the as yet untitled Prometheus 2 would not in fact feature the famous alien creatures.
His reasoning for doing so, he explained, was because he thought it was time to let the "beast" rest instead of constantly trying to emulate what made the first Alien so great. His intention now was to move onto the "next step," that being the Engineers who provided both a creative and antagonistic force for humanity in Prometheus, and give the snarling a break.
So initially it looked like we weren't going to be getting any xenomorphs in [Alien: Covenant](tag:3648559), but luckily for the purists among us, Scott backtracked on those comments when he confirmed that not only one but every kind of xenomorph you can imagine will appear in the upcoming Prometheus sequel:
"Yeah. Well, really ['Prometheus 2' is] 'Alien'. They’re going to go to the planet where the engineers came from, and come across the evolving creature that they had made. Why did they make it? Why would they make such a terrifying beast? It felt bio-mechanoid, it felt like a weapon. And so the movie will explain that, and reintroduce the alien back into it. There was always this discussion: Is Alien, the character, the beast, played out or not? We’ll have them all: egg, face-hugger, chest-burster, then the big boy. I think maybe we can go another round or two."
A recent Alien: Covenant casting call put out by Australian talent agency MCTV has set the xenomorph chatter going again, with the call looking for actors and actress who are either very tall and skinny, or very short and skinny but strong and agile, and possessing acrobatic, dance, gymnastic, or contortionist skills.
The original xenomorph was portrayed partly by Bolaji Badejo (above), a Nigerian design student who was hired for his slender frame and 7ft 2in height, and partly by stuntmen Eddie Powell and Roy Scammell.
For Aliens, a multitude of dancers, gymnasts, acrobats and stunt people portrayed the numerous xenomorphs as they swarmed after Ripley and the rest, and the particulars of this casting call do suggest that they're currently looking for their new xenomorphs, and they're definitely going to come in all shapes and sizes. Perhaps we'll even see some new ones after Prometheus introduced the Deacon?
Finally — and perhaps most excitingly — the release date for Alien: Covenant has now been pushed forward, going from October 2017 to August 4, 2017. Get your flamethrowers ready.