Oh (alien) baby, some new images from Ridley Scott‘s Alien: Covenant have burst forth online and boy are they teasing some interesting things. We’re now less than a month from the film’s international rollout and opening date in the U.S., so hopefully we can keep from being completely spoiled before then, but fair warning, these images do show some potential spoilers; folks who’d rather go in completely cold should probably avoid them.
The images come courtesy of Empire, whose upcoming issue delves deeply into the sci-fi/horror film. They’ve been so kind as to offer these up as a tease, like an out-of-context meeting between Michael Fassbender and Guy Pearce, and a particularly disturbing shot of the film’s beastie, a neomorph. We’ll add our own commentary on them one by one.
Alien: Covenant also stars Katherine Waterson, Danny McBride, Amy Seimetz, Billy Crudup, Demian Bichir, Tess Haubrich, Nathaniel Dean and Carmen Ejogo, and arrives in theaters on May 19th.
Here’s the official synopsis for Alien: Covenant:
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. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.
Here’s your last spoiler warning. We’re also going to talk a bit about the events of Prometheus as pertains to Alien: Covenant, so far warning.
Peter Weyland Advises His Creation
While I’m already obsessed with this chair and this panoramic view, the more important thing here is the context of the meeting between Peter Weyland (Pearce) and David/Walter (Fassbender). As background, Pearce’s Peter Weyland, CEO of Weyland Corp. and creator of the android David, died at the hands of a newly awoken engineer in the year 2093. Also, Fassbender will be playing two roles in Alien: Covenant, that of David–the android with more human-like personality traits whose been on his own for a number of years–and Walter, a new model of android that’s more logical and less emotional than its predecessor.
So is this a flashback to an earlier time in Weyland’s life? Probably not since the David 8 models first arrived in 2073, which would have made Weyland 83 years old at the time. (Pearce is certainly handsome, but I doubt he’ll look like this at 83, especially given his rough appearance in the 2090s.) So this is probably some sort of holographic projection or virtual/alternate reality meeting between the deceased Weyland and either a reformed David (as in, his severed head and body have been reunited) or the new model, Walter. Just what they’re talking about remains to be seen, but the next image might give us a clue.
The Urns Unleashed
So this is terrifying. As Empire writes, this image “shows a mysterious figure on the Engineer’s planet” unleashing a ridiculous number of Steatite Ampules, also known as urns or vases, as seen in Prometheus. These vessels were constructed by the Engineers to contain the chemical A0-3959X.91 – 15, or “black goo”, the mutagenic pathogen and biological weapon responsible for altering its infected host. No good will come of this apparent bioweapon bombing run.
What’s curious here is the identity of the mysterious figure (Is it David?) and the timing of this event. Empire calls this the “Engineer’s planet”, so perhaps it’s a flashback to their attempted extermination of life on another planet. More disturbingly, it might be a contemporary unleashing of the devastating bioweapon, which could create xenomorphs of various types on a global scale. Which leads us to …
This monstrosity, the latest in a chain of disturbing alien hybrids, was inspired by the living nightmares of our own world, as featured in Scott’s beloved nature documentaries.
“Some of those nature videos are so stomach-churning that they don’t pay me enough to watch them,” says Covenant screenwriter John Logan. “But Ridley will see something to do with insects swarming, for example, which eventually finds its way into a movie. Usually there’s some sort of grotesqueness we find interesting.”
These nasties, variants on the xenomorphs, are more organic in appearance and tend to burst forth from their hosts backs or even throats. Eep. What’s more disturbing is that apparently these neomorphs come about thanks to spores breathed in on the surface of the planet that the ship Covenant travels to, spores that were generated thanks to the “black goo” mutating the world’s ecosystem. So, perhaps David (or some other agent of the Engineers) scattered the “black goo” across civilization before the Covenant ever arrived … as teased in the previous image? We’ve got a bad feeling about this …