On November 27, 2015, Ridley Scott announced that this will be the second (following Prometheus (2012)) in a new Alien Trilogy, which will take place closer to, and lead up to, the original film.
This movie contains a scene where a toy bird drinking water is visable. In the opening scene of the original Alien (1979) there is another toy bird shown.
First Alien film to be released after the death of H R Giger. Giger inadvertently designed the original Alien looks and environments in his "Necronomicon" book, which led to Ridley Scott hiring him as art director for the film (and series). Giger essentially gave birth to the entire Alien look that we all know now.
At one stage, Katherine Waterston's character Daniels says "I got you, you son of a bitch." Ellen Ripley uses these words at the end of the original Alien film.
The original treatment for the film, as revealed by Ridley Scott in 2012 when this film was still in development, was to be a more faithful sequel to Prometheus (2012). Entitled 'Paradise Lost' it would have drifted even further from the Alien mythology and focused almost exclusively on the backstory of the engineers, the origins of humanity, and how the engineers created humans and xenomorphs. The prequel series would then conclude with a film that ties itself in to the original Alien series. Ridley Scott pursued this idea because he felt that the Alien series lost its touch and was overdone and overexposed and as such wanted to try a different approach. However due to the divided fan reactions of Prometheus, Ridley Scott abandoned this direction and took a different approach instead. Specifically to reintroduce the Alien mythos much sooner with the classic xenomorph.
Some of the scenes were filmed in Sydney, Australia, at Fox studios. Ridley Scott gave Michael Fassbender time off between takes in order for him to attend the X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) premiere held in the same area.
According to Ridley Scott, principal photography for Alien: Covenant (2017) took place in merely 74 days for $111 million. It was finished on budget and on time.
The new planet, which is assumed to be the home of the engineers, is being referred to as a paradise and could be the home of the gods who created humanity.
The name 'Alien: Paradise Lost' was used to avoid confusion that resulted from disassociation with 'Prometheus' from the 'Alien' franchise. The film was later retitled to 'Alien: Covenant.'
The androids' names, David and Walter, are a tribute to producers David Giler and Walter Hill.
For the first time since Alien 3, an alien's point of view is shown. However in this film, we see the alien's visual spectrum.
When David says to Daniels "That's the spirit" it is a reference to Rutger Hauers' line in Blade Runner (1982), also directed by Ridley Scott.
When David is discussing the alien with the Captain, he says it's "the perfect organism", just like Ash's head said in the original Alien.
Each Alien film features a different type of group interacting with the Xenomorphs: Miners in the original Alien (1979); Military in Aliens (1986); Prisoners in Alien³ (1992); Smugglers in Alien Ressurection (1997); Archaeologists in Alien vs. Predator (2004); A combination of normal suburban humans, police force, and military in Aliens vs Predator: Requiem (2007); and research scientists in Prometheus (2012). While the main characters in this film are scientists, they are also colonists.
The terrace surrounded by cypress trees where David looks upon the Engineers city is inspired by the series of paintings depicting the "Isle of the Dead" by XIX century artist Arnold Böcklin. This is also a nod to Alien creator H.R. Giger, who had crafted his interpretation of the same paintings in his trademark bio-mechanical style as a tribute to fellow Swiss Böcklin.
A Covenant is an agreement or a promise. In biblical terms, one of the Covenants between God and humanity was a promise by God never to wipe clean the Earth with water as he had done in the flood. Another was the giving of the law to Israel through Moses. It was an agreement that the Israelites would follow God's commandments, and God would protect and guide the nation if they kept their vow. It is possible that the "covenant" in this title refers to an agreement between the Engineers and humanity, or perhaps that the Engineers planned to wipe out other species via a "flood" of their own creation.
This movie marks 20 years, since Alien Resurrection (1997), that the original xenomorph will be seen exclusively in an Alien film. It has also been 10 years since the xenomorph will be seen again in a theatrical release after Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007).
The hairstyle that Daniels sports in this film was based on the wig worn by Ezra Miller, Katherine Waterston's co-star in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It was Miller, during a break while filming Beasts, who helped to film her audition video. While filming inside his trailer, she noticed the wig that he wore for his character, Credence, and asked him whether she could try putting it on as she thought it was cool. What caught her interest in doing this film was the two assurances by Ridley Scott in his offer letter: to film the required material from the actors quick and in time; and constant engagement with the principal actors over their characters over dinner after each day of filming.
Rebecca Ferguson was considered for the lead role, but Katherine Waterston was eventually cast.
Despite the overt sexual themes and metaphors present in the film franchise because of the design of the Alien creatures in this species, this is ironically only the second film in the Alien franchise to contain any actual nudity, the first time was in Alien Resurrection (1997).
It is the sequel to the 2012 film Prometheus, the second installment in the Alien prequel series, the sixth installment overall in the Alien film series, and the third installment to be directed by Ridley Scott.
Guy Pearce's reprise of his role as Peter Weyland in the opening prologue marks Pearce's first appearance in the series playing Weyland without old age makeup. Pearce had been cast in Prometheus (2012) at 45 years old because an actor needed to play Peter Weyland both as an elderly man and middle-aged, but ultimately the scenes featuring Weyland as a younger man were cut and Pearce appeared in the film only under heavy old-age makeup.
The synthetics names are labeled A,B,C,D. Ash - Bishop - Call - David. The Theory to Walter could be that it is the 4th-last letter in the alphabet, which would pose as the opposite to David, which begins with the 4th letter in the alphabet.
The subject of the poem Ozymandias is the ruins of Ramesses II. Ridley Scott depicted the Biblical account of Ramesses and the plagues of Egypt in Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)
Alien: Covenant references Ozymandias at several occasions while Billy Crudrup is present. Billy Crudrup played Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen where Ozymandias is one of the main characters.
The date of the mission listed at the beginning of the film is December 5 which is also the birthday of Walter Elias Disney. The synthetic in this film is named Walter.
This is the second time Katherine Waterston has appeared with Carmen Ejogo in a movie together. The first time was Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016).
This will be the second film that Michael Fassbender and Katherine Waterston have appeared in together, the first being Steve Jobs (2015).
Katherine Waterston also appeared in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), the beginning of a prequel series to the original Harry Potter films. The Harry Potter films also featured John Hurt, who appeared in the original Alien (1979), and Timothy Spall, whose son Rafe Spall appeared in Prometheus (2012). Fantastic Beasts also featured Samantha Morton, whose father-in-law in Alien (1979) cast member Ian Holm.
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