The worst kept secret in the film production ether of the past few months just became official – Ridley Scott is set to shoot “Alien: Covenant” at Sydney’s Fox Studios from March next year. Pre-production is now underway and the shoot will run for sixteen weeks.
The story has the colony ship Covenant bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, an uncharted paradise that is actually a dark, dangerous world whose sole inhabitant is the ‘synthetic’ David (Michael Fassbender) who survived the doomed Prometheus expedition.
As previously indicated this is the next chapter in a series of prequels that lead directly to the events depicted in Scott’s 1979 classic “Alien”. Up until this point it had been assumed to be a trilogy with 2012’s “Prometheus” serving as the first film and ‘Covenant’ as the second.
Scott however has since dismissed that report, saying that there will be four films in total staring with “Prometheus,” and ‘Covenant’ serves as the second of the four. Speaking at a press conference in Sydney today, Scott says:
“Its a very complex story. Its an evolution of what I first did with Prometheus 1. Prometheus 1 was borne out of my frustration that on Alien 1 in 1979 – I only did one as I don’t normally do sequels. I was amazed that in the 3 that followed that no-one asked the question ‘why the Alien, who made it and why?’ Very basic questions. So I came up with the notion of Prometheus 1, which starts to indicate who might have made it and where it came from.
So I’m now going to the next one, which is the next evolution directly connected with the first one, which was this Shaw, when [s]he replaced Michael Fassbender in two pieces and we’ll kind of pick it up there and it will evolve. When that’s finished there’ll be another one and then another one which will gradually drive into the back entrance of the film in 1979… So in other words, why was this space jockey there and why did he have an Alien inside him? And those questions will be answered.”
There’s been some question of Noomi Rapace’s involvement in the film as the synopsis notably doesn’t mention her character Elizabeth Shaw from “Prometheus” who, along with Fassbender’s David, were the sole survivors of the first film. Scott clarified that, confirming Rapace will appear in the film but only briefly.
Shooting will be a mix of location and studio shoots with location shoots requiring, according to Scott, “monumental forest and monumental rock”. He sees the rest will be in the studio with “fairly formidable CGI”. The NSW state government said the film will contribute more than $43.3 million to the local economy.
Jack Paglen and Michael Green are penning the script for “Alien: Covenant” which is currently targeting an October 6th 2017 release.