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New Behind the Scenes Video Highlights ‘Alien: Covenant’ Animatronics

Yes, practical effects were utilized.

Ridley Scott’s original Alien was a game-changer in the world of man-in-suit creature effects, which is probably why so many fans were disappointed by all the CGI present in this year’s Alien: Covenant. Indeed, the film’s creatures were brought to life using a good deal of CGI, but practical effects were at least used as a starting point.

In this new behind the scenes video released today in celebration of Alien: Covenant hitting home video, “Mythbusters” star Adam Savage gets up close with the animatronic Xenomorph head that’s worn by the film’s creature puppeteer.

He notes, “Seeing this head animate and lunge, we learn how the animatronic operators work with the performer to breathe life into this 9-foot tall creature.”

In the film, Michael Fassbender returns as Prometheus‘ android David (and Walter), with a crew that includes Katherine Waterston, Demian Bichir, Alex England (Gods of Egypt), Billy Crudup, Amy Seimetz (A Horrible Way to Die, “The Killing”), Jussie Smollett (“Empire”), Carmen Ejogo, Callie Hernandez (Machete Kills) and James Franco.

“Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, the crew of the colony ship Covenant discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world — whose sole inhabitant is the “synthetic” David (Michael Fassbender), survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition.”

You can pick up exclusive editions of Alien: Covenant at Walmart, Target and Best Buy.

  • Walmart – Alien Day fan art designed t-shirt (4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray formats)
  • Target – 36-page book packaging featuring an inside look at David’s Lab and the creatures of Alien: Covenant, PLUS behind-the-scenes photography and concept sketches (Blu-ray format)
  • Best Buy –Alien baby Xenomorph steelbook (4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray formats)



  • Brett Lovejoy

    Practical effects being used as a start point is entirely irrelevant when they’re then awash with piss-poor CGI. Detached me from any sort of tension or suspense – same thing with the prequel to ‘The Thing.’

    • Honest

      I was stunned how bad the CG for the aliens were. I think my jaw literally dropped, it was so poorly composited. I think whether you liked the movie or not (I disliked it) it pulled the viewer out of the scene. It’s like someone went “well, everything else about this film is shit, let’s also fuck up the one thing it’s really hard to fuck up.” So much money pissed away.

      • Brett Lovejoy

        Agreed. I find an immediate detachment from any sense of excitement and tension when a human character is fighting a little CG creature such as that. Wasn’t remotely tense or scary for me, which is a shame, considering the same director delivered ‘Alien’ decades prior, littered with highly impressive practical effects.

  • sliceanddice

    cgi paint job was utter gash.

  • j johns

    The prequel to the thing was good. Too bad there was never a film tying the prequel and john carpenters together. And special effects don’t make a movie. My 4 year old and I tried to watch the new guardians of the galaxy and even my boy was bored and didn’t even finish watching it. That being said special effects don’t make a movie. Alien Cov was a great movie and the effects were good and buying it this weekend

  • MaryMaria

    I love how excited Adam Savage is in this clip.

  • McGilli

    There’s like a 7 second clip in this video @ 2:48 – of the guy in the suit, in the hallway walking and turning then standing up tall – and it genuinely looked more real than the finished CGI in the movie… I just watched it again last night – and I really think they could have done something more real… Love the movie – but overtime the Xeno was shown CGI running I was let down… It was like the CGI dog Xeno from Alien3.

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