Ridley Scott Still Planning Third ‘Alien’ Prequel — Can Franchise Survive ‘Covenant’ Box Office Bomb?

Zack Sharf

Ridley Scott’s “Alien” franchise is not dead yet. A recent report from Variety reflecting on the original “Alien” movie’s 40th anniversary mentions that director Scott is still planning a third “Alien” prequel to follow his last entry, “Alien: Covenant.” Scott is planning to direct the next installment after returning to the “Alien” movie franchise to helm the first prequel, “Prometheus,” followed by “Covenant.” Variety reports the next “Alien” movie continues to be in the script phase.

The news that a third “Alien” prequel remains in development should be a relief to fans, considering the franchise’s fate has been unknown after the abysmal box office gross “Covenant” recorded — not to mention the Disney-Fox merger. Many inside the industry have wondered if Disney would plan to continue the “Alien” movies after dwindling box office returns. Despite earning solid reviews from critics, “Covenant” floundered at the box office with just $74 million in the U.S. and $240 million globally. The movie’s worldwide haul was an alarming decline from the $403 million “Prometheus” made in summer 2012, a box office number that wasn’t anything to rave about itself.

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Many of the cast members who appeared in “Covenant” have remained in the dark about a potential new “Alien” movie. Speaking to The Playlist at the start of 2019, “Covenant” actress Katherine Waterston said nobody had mentioned another “Alien” movie being in the cards yet.

“No, basically,” Waterston said when asked if talks with Scott were happening. “I don’t live in Hollywood, and I’m always usually the last person to know even what’s going on in my own career. So, [I’m] probably not the best person to ask. But I did get some sense of where they thought they might like to take it when we were shooting ‘Covenant,’ and it sounded really interesting. I would be absolutely game to do more if they wanted to have me.”

Waterston added, “That’s all I know. I’m sure they’ve changed their minds anyway. And there’s been probably loads of different ideas going around and everything. But just in case I spoil something by talking about it, I wouldn’t dare.”

“Covenant” ended with Waterston’s character being tricked by Michael Fassbender’s android David into going into stasis. David was bringing Daniels and two alien embryos to the planet Origae-6, which is where the original Covenant crew was planning on going at the start of the movie. There’s still a lot of story left to explore following “Covenant,” and those who saw the second “Alien” prequel mostly admired Scott’s directorial vision. The only issue is that not enough people saw “Covenant,” so to continue the story might inherently limit box office potential.

The next “Alien” movie is reportedly “Alien: Awakening,” although nothing about the project has been confirmed outside of Variety’s latest report that Scott is still developing the project and planning to direct.

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