While it’s not a secret that Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant is a sequel to Prometheus, his spinoff/prequel to Alien, it’s never been clear just how connected they will be.
At the end of Prometheus, Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace), with the guidance of the android head of David (Michael Fassbender), takes off to the the Engineers’ home planet in order to make them answer for what they were planning.
As of this writing we still don’t know know if Rapace is returning, although it’s been reported that she is not. Fassbender is said to be the only person on the Engineers’ home planet, which leaves us with quite a few questions.
What we know is that, in Prometheus, these Engineers built a temple (secretly designed behind-the-scenes as a shrine to Xenomorph designer H.R. Giger) harboring a deadly DNA weapon that was on course to Earth. Why were the Engineers planning to destroy Earth 2,000 years ago? That’s what Shaw was trying to find out, although if you do simple math that lands us right around the time of Jesus’ crucifixion (was he an alien?).
Here’s what author Steven Messing said about it in Titan Books’ “Prometheus: The Art of the Film”:
Another set that I worked on was known as the “Head Room.” This was a ceremonial room that contained hundreds of ampules beneath a giant sculpture of an Engineer’s head. Julian Caldrow did an amazing job of working out all of the details for this environment and created the set drawings. The final set was built at full scale and was incredible to walk on. I also sculpted an altar area for this set that paid homage to Giger -it is a relief sculpture hanging from the wall and has the impression of an alien form with flowing structures surrounding it. There are a lot of easter eggs in this sculpture — including several hidden Giger motifs that were not used in the original film.
This was a huge set piece that’s immediately identifiable, so it’s pretty cool to learn that the same iconography is being used in Alien: Covenant. A crew member, below, out of the Australia Fox lot snapped a shot of the enormous head being built on set, giving us knowledge that the films’ connections go beyond theme. Can we assume we will see more shrines on the surface of “Paradise”? More to come.
Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice, Jobs, The Babysitters) is leading a new crew that included Demian Bichir and the hilarious Danny McBride (“Eastbound and Down”), as well as Alex England (Gods of Egypt), Billy Crudup, Amy Seimetz (A Horrible Way to Die, “The Killing”), Jussie Smollett (“Empire”), Carmen Ejogo and Callie Hernandez (Machete Kills).
Alien: Covenant takes off on August 4, 2017.