When will Alien: Romulus be released?

New sci-fi horror proves you can’t keep a good Xenomorph down

Alien Romulus. (20th Century Studios)
Alien: Romulus takes things back to basics. (20th Century Studios)

They say in space, no one can hear you scream but on movie screens, screaming is rife — and we expect plenty of it from Fede Álvarez’s new Alien movie Alien: Romulus.

This blood-soaked space horror series has had quite a journey since visionary filmmaker Ridley Scott first snuck it aboard pop culture back in 1979.

After Sigourney Weaver’s Lt. Ellen Ripley survived her first scrape with a Xenomorph on doomed space freighter the Nostromo, she encountered these drooling star beasts three more times alongside James Cameron in 1986’s Aliens, David Fincher in 1992’s Alien 3 and Jean Pierre-Jeunet in 1997’s Alien: Ressurection.

Read more: Ralph Brown shares chaotic experience on Alien 3

Since then, Ripley’s taken some well-earned downtime as the aliens have continued their reign of terror in a number of spin-offs, some high-brow (see: Scott’s 2012 prequel Prometheus and 2017 sequel Alien: Covenant) and some not so much (see: 2004’s Alien Vs. Predator and 2007 follow up AVP: Requiem).

So where exactly does this new one fit in? Who’s starring in it, when can we watch it and is there a trailer? Read on to find out everything we know about Alien: Romulus thus far.

When will be Alien: Romulus be released?

Alien Romulus. (20th Century Studios)
Alien: Romulus was directed by Fede Álvarez. (20th Century Studios)

Alien: Romulus will be released exclusively in UK cinemas on Friday, 16 August.

This theatrical debut marks a change in its planned direct-to-streaming launch. However, we can likely find it available on Hulu and Disney+ later down the line.

Original franchise starter Scott is on producer duty and is already a fan. Speaking to filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, director Álvarez revealed that Scott had not only seen the movie but thought it was “f***ing great.”

According to Entertainment Weekly, Álvarez discussed his encounter with Scott with del Toro, saying: “He walks into the room and he did say, ‘Fede, what can I say? It’s f**king great.’ One of the best compliments he said was, ‘The dialogue is great. Are you the writer?’ Yes!”

Is there a trailer for Alien: Romulus?

The first trailer for Alien: Romulus arrived in March 2024... in all its claustrophobic, bloody glory.

By the looks of it, Álvarez’s Alien is taking us back inside the creepy confines of a starship where the unfortunate crew experiences a run-in with at least one Xenomorph and plenty of Facehuggers.

Watch the first trailer below.

Is Alien: Romulus a direct sequel or a reboot?

Alien Romulus. (20th Century Studios)
Alien: Romulus promises to be a stand-alone sequel. (20th Century Studios)

Sequel? Reboot? Re-hatching? Alvarez’s new Alien movie was able to enter production as stealthily as a face-hugger attack — but what exactly is it?

Alien: Romulus takes place 20 years after the events of the first film, making it an 'inbetweenquel'. Ridley Scott's movie was set in 2122, placing Romulus in 2142 (or thereabouts). The events of James Cameron's Aliens took place in 2179.

News of a new Alien instalment was officially announced back in March 2022 after the Fox and Disney merger had taken place with Álvarez at the helm and original Alien filmmaker Scott producing. Álvarez is of course no stranger to the horror genre, having previously retooled Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead in 2013 and bringing us the tense home-invasion thriller Don’t Breathe in 2016.

The same release confirmed that Álvarez’s Alien movie will be a stand-alone feature, “unconnected to the previous movies.” This will make Alien: Romulus the seventh feature film in the primary Alien storyline and the ninth feature to feature the Xenomorph overall.

Who’s starring in Alien: Romulus?

Cailee Spaeny in Alien Romulus
Cailee Spaeny leads the way in Alien: Romulus. (20th Century Studios)

Sigourney Weaver is not expected to return for Alien: Romulus. Instead, Álvarez will introduce us to a host of newcomers and pit them against a vicious foe, with Mare of Easttown and Priscilla’s Cailee Spaeny leading the way.

She’ll be joined by Shadow and Bone’s Archie Renaux, Industry’s David Jonsson, Superman: Legacy star Isabela Merced, Away From Home’s Aileen Wu and The Batman’s Spike Fearn.

What is the plot of Alien: Romulus?

A still from the trailer for Alien: Romulus
Alien: Romulus has already impressed Ridley Scott. (20th Century Studios)

Production for Alien: Romulus began in March 2023 in Budapest, Hungary and wrapped a few months later in early July. For a while, its official title was unconfirmed until the name Alien: Romulus was given the thumbs up in February 2024.

This we know. But sadly, we don’t know much else besides the film’s cryptic official synopsis which explains the film will take the franchise “back to its roots.”

The sci-fi/horror-thriller takes the phenomenally successful “Alien” franchise back to its roots: While scavenging the deep ends of a derelict space station, a group of young space colonisers come face to face with the most terrifying life form in the universe.Alien: Romulus synopsis

Meatier story details are currently being kept close to Álvarez’s chest however, we do know that his initial pitch was strong enough to impress both Scott and studio bigwigs.

According to those close to the project, Álvarez is a huge fan of the Alien franchise and first pitched an original idea to Scott a number of years ago. Whatever that idea was, it must have been good — because it stuck in the Blade Runner filmmaker’s mind and eventually spurred him on to call Álvarez up and ask him if he wanted to make it a reality.

Alien Year: 1979 USA / UK  Director : Ridley Scott Sigourney Weaver, Ridley Scott Shooting picture
Ridley Scott directed the first Alien film in 1979. (Alamy)

“It was just a really good story with a bunch of characters you haven’t seen before,” explained 20th Century Studios spokesperson ​​Steve Asbell.

While speaking to the press at the Gotham Awards in November 2023, Álvarez’s new star Cailee Spaeny shared some fresh details about when this new story is set.

“It’s supposed to slot in between the first movie and the second movie,” Spaeny told Variety.

“They brought the same team from Aliens, the James Cameron film. The same people who built those xenomorphs actually came on and built ours. So getting to see the original design with the original people who have been working on these films for 45-plus years and has been so much of their life has been really incredible.”

Alien Romulus. (20th Century Studios)
Aliens director James Cameron has also seen Alien: Romulus. (20th Century Studios)

In more promising news, Alvarez’s film doesn’t shy away from gore. While recounting her experience making the movie, Isabela Merced said: “There’s a scene that I’m in, and they all had to turn away. Not one person stayed looking at that iPad because it was so disgusting... I was so excited.”

Colour us intrigued.

Will there be an Alien TV series?

Sydney Chandler will star in the as-yet-untitled Alien series. (Invision/AP)
Sydney Chandler will star in the as-yet-untitled Alien series. (Invision/AP)

An Alien TV series is currently in the works which will exist separately from Álvarez’s stand-alone movie and be spearheaded by Fargo showrunner Noah Hawley for FX.

As reported by Collider, news surrounding a potential show first broke in December 2020, with more details being unveiled in during the Television Critics Awards in January 2023. It was here where we learned that Hawley was in pre-production on the show and currently writing it, with Scott once again producing.

Later, Deadline revealed that Don’t Worry Darling star Sydney Chandler will lead the series which is set on Earth 70 years into the future. This development makes Hawley’s Alien project the first of the franchise’s primary tales to be set on our own planet.

Speaking to Esquire, Hawley dished out more plot details, saying: “It’s set on Earth of the future. At this moment, I describe that as Edison versus Westinghouse versus Tesla. Someone’s going to monopolise electricity. We just don’t know which one it is.

“In the movies, we have this Weyland-Yutani Corporation, which is clearly also developing artificial intelligence. But what if there are other companies trying to look at immortality in a different way?

“With cyborg enhancements or transhuman downloads? Which of those technologies is going to win? It’s ultimately a classic science fiction question: does humanity deserve to survive?”

American actress Sigourney Weaver on the set of the film Aliens, directed by James Cameron. (Photo by Bob Penn/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images)
Michael Biehn, Sigourney Weaver and Bill Paxton on the set of Aliens, directed by James Cameron. (Bob Penn/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images)

We also know that it is set before the presence of Lt. Ripley — or any other familiar faces for that matter — thanks to FX Chairman John Landgraf, who explained: “Alien takes place before Ripley. It’s the first story that takes place in the Alien franchise on Earth.

“So, it takes place on our planet. Right near the end of this century, we’re in — so 70-odd years from now. Ripley won’t be a part of it or any of the other characters of Alien other than the alien itself.”

While there’s no Ripley, Landgraf did promise “big surprises” for fans.

As it stands, the Alien TV series doesn’t have an official title or release date.

Alien: Romulus will be released in UK cinemas on Friday, 16 August.