On November 27, 2015, director Ridley Scott announced that this film would be the second (following Prometheus (2012)) in a new Alien trilogy that will take place closer to, and lead up to, the original Alien (1979) film. He later suggested that there may even be a fourth prequel film. However, the future of the franchise became uncertain after the purchase of 20th Century Fox by Disney in December 2017. The next film, tentatively titled 'Alien: Awakening', was set to enter preproduction that same month, but according to some sources, the project has been shelved indefinitely. The commercial underperformance of Alien: Covenant as well as its its lukewarm reception by critics and fans were named as reasons, although no official statements were made by Disney. Scott himself, however, maintains that the project is still alive and he fully intends to finish the trilogy.

This movie contains a scene where a toy bird drinking water (named, aptly, a "drinky-bird") is visible. In the opening scene of Alien (1979), there is such a toy bird shown on board the Nostromo's bridge.

Unlike David, Walter speaks with an American accent. While this was no doubt done in the film to help distinguish the two characters for the audience, in-universe it could possibly be explained by the two synthetics different origins-David was a unique model created personally by Peter Weyland (who was British) as a son and successor, whereas Walter is a mass-produced commercial model.

Alien Covenant takes place on December 5th, 2104, 18 years prior to Alien (1979), which takes place in 2122.

This was the first "Alien" film to be released after the death of H.R. Giger, designer of the original Xenomorph.

The original treatment for this movie, as revealed by Ridley Scott in 2012 when the film was still in development, was to be a more faithful sequel to Prometheus (2012). Titled "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 prequels would then conclude with a film that ties itself in to the original "Alien" movies. Scott pursued this idea because he felt that the "Alien" franchise lost its touch and was overdone and overexposed, and as such he wanted to try a different approach. However, due to the divided fan reactions to "Prometheus", he abandoned this direction and took a different approach instead, specifically to reintroduce the "Alien" mythos much sooner.

The Xenomorphs design was based on that of an ecorche (sculpture of a human figure with the skin removed to display the musculature),while its movements were based on those of a praying mantis and a baboon.

A couple of flashback sequences were filmed that gave Branson more screen time by fleshing out the relationship between him and Daniels, but were ultimately cut from the final film.

The terrace surrounded by cypress trees, where David looks upon the Engineers' city, was inspired by the series of paintings depicting the "Isle of the Dead" by 19th-century artist Arnold Böcklin. This was also a nod to Alien (1979) 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.

For the first time since Alien³ (1992), an alien's point of view is shown. However, in this film we see the alien's visual spectrum.

The Neomorph's physiology and body structure was inspired by the real-world bodily autonomy of the Goblin Shark. Its teeth are able to come forward when attacking prey to do more damage by pointing directly out allowing for a better grip. The creature's mouth when closed appears similar to an anal sphincter.

The music from Jerry Goldsmith's score for Alien (1979) was used extensively in the first act of this movie.

According to Ridley Scott, principal photography for this movie took place in just 74 days for $111 million. It was finished on budget and on time.

A scene establishing the crew of the Covenant was released as a prologue webisode titled "The Last Supper." Though it was not included in the theatrical cut, footage from the scene is prominently featured in the theatrical trailer.

Originally intended to use the title "Alien: Paradise Lost".

Some of the scenes were filmed in Sydney, Australia, at Fox Studios. Ridley Scott gave Michael Fassbender time off in order to attend the X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) premiere, held in the same area.

Several music cues and sound effects throughout the movie are identical to the music and sound from Alien (1979)

Upon emergence, the Neomorph greatly resembles a Runner chestburster, having limbs and moving quadrupedally. It becomes more humanoid and bipedal upon maturity.

The Planet 4 variant Xenomorph appears to have an accelerated life cycle similar to those in AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004). It also appears that the face hugger stage is capable of implanting a host within seconds of attachment. Both have caused criticism among fans.

When Tennessee gains control of the lander, he says over the comms "A walk in the park," just like Parker said after setting down the Nostromo lander during the storm in Alien (1979).

The extended material from the Blu-ray release contain scenes of David in his lab, known as "Advent", mixing various parts from Neomorphs (and possibly Shaw's mutated eggs), using black goo as a catalyst to create his Xenomorph eggs.

The design of the Neomorph egg sack resembles a smaller version of H.R. Giger's egg silo, designed for but not used in Alien (1979).

Each "Alien" film features a different type of group interacting with the Xenomorphs-- commercial transport operators in Alien (1979), the military in Aliens (1986), prisoners in Alien³ (1992), smugglers in Alien: Resurrection (1997), archaeologists in AVP: 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 hairstyle that Daniels (Katherine Waterston) sports in this film was based on the wig worn by Ezra Miller, her co-star in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016). It was Miller, during a break filming "Beasts", who helped film Waterston's audition video. While filming inside his trailer, she noticed the wig that he wore for his character, Credence, and asked him if she could try 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 quickly, and on time; and engagement with the principal actors about their characters over dinner after each day of filming.

In the novelization of the film, the Planet 4 variant Xenomorph is described as possessing a biomechanical exoskeleton, but in the film itself the Xenomorph lacks such biomechanical features, stated by Ridley Scott to have been a deliberate design decision.

Guy Pearce's reprisal of his role as Peter Weyland in the opening prologue marked Pearce's first appearance in the franchise, playing Weyland without old-age make-up. (Besides on the viral TED Talk released as a short Prometheus promotional film) 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 make-up.

This movie marked 20 years since Alien: Resurrection (1997) that the original Xenomorph was seen exclusively in an "Alien" film. It had also been ten years since the Xenomorph was seen in a theatrical release, after Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007).

The Planet 4 Xenomorph was motion-captured by. 6'6¾" (2 m) Spanish actor Javier Botet who has Marfan syndrome (an inherited disorder that affects connective tissue) who is mostly known for his roles in [Rec] (2007), Mama (2013), The Revenant (2015) and The Conjuring 2 (2016).

The Planet 4 Facehugger strongly resembles a species of arthropod David dubbed the "Carapace" in his ecological documentation of Planet 4.

Rebecca Ferguson was considered for the role of Daniels, but ultimately turned down the role to do the movie Life, which was another alien horror movie released in the same year.

While virtually identical to Xenomorph XX121, this version possesses notable differences from its mainstream cousin. Notably, it lacks any biomechanical features and its limbs are longer, thinner and skinless, with exposed muscles and blood vessels, and gaps in its armpits. The shoulders and dorsal tubes are noticeably smaller and narrower. This Xenomorph variant also has a thinner, sleeker tail that ends with a small barb or stinger. The differences in the Drone extend to its Chestburster form as well as the Facehugger to a lesser extent. Other than these differences, the Xenomorph greatly resembles the Xenomorphs from the Derelict on LV-426. Like Xenomorph XX121, the Covenant variant possesses an inner pharyngeal jaw.

One of the patches that the crew wears has two angels crouched down on a slab that mimic depictions of the angels that sit on the lid of the lost Ark of the Covenant.

Some fans have nicknamed the new Xenomorph variant that appears in the film as a "Protomorph", believing that it is the precursor or progenitor to the original classic Xenomorph of Alien (1979).

The Planet 4 Xenomorph has a human skull underneath its smooth dome something the original Xenomorph from Alien (1979) also featured.

Despite the overt sexual themes and metaphors present in this franchise, this is only the second Alien film to contain any actual nudity; the first was in Alien: Resurrection (1997). If one counts the poster of a nude woman briefly seen inside a Marine's locker in Aliens (1986), and the magazine cut-outs of nude women in a crew member's bunk in Alien (1979), this would be the fourth film.

The Covenant's mission to terraform and colonize Origae-6 would be the fulfillment of mankind's survival as a Type-2 civilization and theoretically decrease the chances of the species facing extinction resembles the biblical story of Noah from The Book of Genesis. The Narrative speaks of God's promise to mankind to never send another apocalypse, which is where the subtitle Covenant may have come from.

According to director Ridley Scott, the neomorph is the first generation of alien,the word Neo is a prefix from Ancient Greek, meaning "new, young".

This is a sequel to Prometheus (2012), as well as the second installment in the "Alien" prequel series, the sixth installment overall in the "Alien" film franchise, and the third installment to be directed by Ridley Scott.

Walter breaks the pattern of the androids' names proceeding in alphabetical order (Ash, Bishop, Call, David). There is another pattern to their names, however. "D" is the fourth letter of the alphabet, and "W" is the fourth-to-last. The characters are named for David Giler and Walter Hill.

In the novelization of the film, the Egg sacks are much smaller in appearance, resembling mould.

The novel mentions Oram having dreamt about meeting God while he was unconscious due to the facehugger. XX121 Facehugger victims commonly seem to have strange dreams or nightmares.

The construction vehicles in the Terraforming Bay of the Covenant have the branding of JCB (Joseph Cyril Bamford Excavators Limited) a real-world British heavy equipment manufacturer.

While Planet 4 is not the official name given to the Uncharted World by any of the crew on the Covenant, 'Planet-4/Main Theme' is the name of track 6 from Alien Covenant official soundtrack which plays twice in relation to the planet. The first is while Mother pinpoints this planet as the origin of the Rogue Transmission, the second is while the USCSS Covenant is on its way to the planet.

The novel describes the Planet 4 Facehugger as being incredibly strong with neither Lopè or Cole able to remove it even with their combined strength, which necessitated the use of a knife for Cole to cut it off of Lopè.

The song being hummed by Shaw during the rogue transmission was "Take Me Home Country Roads" from John Denver's 1971 album Poems, Prayers, & Promises.

The Covenant's discovery of the rogue transmission and the events that followed is similar to the Nostromo's discovery of a beacon that led them to LV-426 in Alien (1979).

The subject of the poem "Ozymandias" is the ruins of Rameses II. Director Ridley Scott depicted the Biblical account of Rameses and the plagues of Egypt in Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014).

The Egg sack closely resembles and functions as Lycopedron pyriforme puffball fungi.

The Neomorph's physical appearance has been noted as being similar to the Beluga-Xenomorph from the early Prometheus script Alien: Engineers. Moreover, the means by which hosts are infected through airborne contagion bears notable similarities to aspects of William Gibson's unproduced script for Alien3, in which the regular Xenomorph develops an ability to procreate via an airborne form.

Michael Fassbender listens to his echo in the cave with the same lilt used by Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) when Lawrence is riding his camel in Wadi Rum.

This is the second film that Michael Fassbender and Katherine Waterston have appeared in together, the first being Steve Jobs (2015).

The poem Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley is discussed extensively by characters in both this and Billy Crudup's earlier movie Watchmen (2009).

The date of the mission, listed at the beginning of the film, is December 5th, which is also the birthday of Walt Disney (aka Walter Elias Disney). The synthetic in this film is named Walter (after director Walter Hill).

When Daniels fights back against David in the scroll crypt, he says "that's the spirit" - an homage to Rutger Bauer's Roy Batty in Bladerunner.

Katherine Waterston and Carmen Ejogo also appeared in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), the beginning of a prequel series to the Harry Potter films. The Harry Potter film franchise also featured John Hurt, who appeared in Alien (1979), and Timothy Spall, whose son Rafe Spall appeared in Prometheus (2012). Fantastic Beasts also featured Samantha Morton, whose father-in-law is Alien (1979) cast member Ian Holm.

At about 1:47 David is looking into the screen at the Xenomorph when it attempts to attack him with its inner jaw. This is very much like the scene in Alien: Resurrection (1997) when a creature tries to attack Dr. Gediman through the glass.

Demián Bichir and Callie Hernandez both appeared in Machete Kills (2013).

This was Ridley Scott's first experience using ARRI Alexa cameras. He'll later use them again in his later film, All the Money in the World (2017).

This is the second film that James Franco (Branson) and Katherine Waterston (Daniels) appear in together. They also appeared in The Letter (2012).

Katherine Waterston and Billy Crudup both also starred in Glass Chin (2014).

James Franco: as Captain Branson, husband of Daniels. He appears in several deleted scenes, but his screen time in the film itself was cut down to a cameo.

During his confrontation with Walter, David asks him if he'd rather "serve in Heaven or reign in Hell." The line refers to John Milton's poem "Paradise Lost", where Lucifer claims it is "better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven." This fits with David's ultimate desire to no longer be subservient to mankind. In addition, "Paradise Lost" was the original subtitle for this film, before "Covenant" was chosen.

Some elements that were omitted from Jon Spaihts' original script for Prometheus (2012) after a thorough re-write seem to have been re-used here. These include David being much more malevolent, openly showing his disdain for humans, and using one of them as a victim for a facehugger. These elements had been removed by request of the studio, who wanted "Prometheus" to be more of a stand-alone movie within the franchise rather than a true prequel to Alien (1979), but this strategy was abandoned for this movie.

Danny McBride said he was pleasantly surprised to be cast against type in a mostly straight role, since he figured as a comedian he would be cast as an obnoxious "asshole" who would be killed early in the movie.

Walter indicates David's fallibility by pointing out his mistaken identification of the author of the poem "Ozymandias" as Lord Byron, when it was written by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Among the ironies of David not being familiar with the poet is that Shelley was the husband of Mary Shelley, who wrote the novel "Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus", in which a man-made creature educates himself, grows intelligent, and comes to hate his creator; as David has. Conversely, David himself could be analogous to Frankenstein, and suffer a similar fate by his own "creation" growing beyond his control.

The second time in the "Alien" franchise in which the protagonist from a previous entry is killed before the next film occurs. In Aliens (1986), Hicks is implied to be a major character only to be killed off-screen at the beginning of Alien³ (1992). Here, Elizabeth Shaw from Prometheus (2012), who at the end of that film, set off to discover why the engineers wanted to destroy us, is now killed before this film even begins.

The music that David plays when confronted by Walter is the same score that's played toward the end of Prometheus (2012).

When David is discussing the alien with the captain, he says it is "the perfect organism," just like Ash's head said in Alien (1979).

On an interview with BBC RADIO 2, Michael Fassbender revealed that a new type of alien creature would appear. On-set, it was referred to as a "neomorph."

In the beginning of the movie Peter Weyland explains to David that he is unable to create life, since he is not human. This is David's motivation later in the movie: To create the perfect form of life, using the crew of the Covenant as hosts.

A deleted scene shows the crew relaxing and having fun before they go off for cryosleep. Branson talks about feeling ill, like he is "burning up," foreshadowing his fate.

When Daniels (Human) and David (Android) fight, she stabs him in the chin with a nail that she is wearing as a necklace, and David says, "That's the spirit!" In Blade Runner (1982), Batty (Replicant) stabs himself in the hand with a similar nail and also says the line "That's the spirit!" to Deckard (Human) as they are fighting.

It's possible that the Xenomorph born from Oram had deliberately spared Lopé and instead killed Cole, since it may have sensed that Lopé was a host to a Chestburster.

The song David performs on the flute in front of Shaw's shrine is a callback to the theme music from Prometheus (2012).

The film continues the Lawrence of Arabia (1962) theme in connection to David's character that was explored in Prometheus (2012). David sings "The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo" during a scene of transformation. It highlights his prolonged isolation. In "Lawrence of Arabia" Lawrence sings this song as it echoes off cliffs, while alone in a valley.

The deleted scenes and bonus features of the film provide information that had ultimately been omitted from the final product. The scenes provide a further explanation of how David murdered Dr. Shaw and created the aliens seen in the film and imply that David's original plan had been to lure the colonists to Planet 6 in order to use as specimens in experiments rather than a means of escape. They also foreshadow possible plans from David to work with the Weyland-Yutani Corporation and to use Daniels to create an Alien Queen, and indicate that David wishes to use his creations to dominate the galaxy. Other scenes explain the backstory of Captain Branson and Daniels living in a futuristic New York, as well as Daniels grieving after Branson's death in the neutrino blast.

In an extended version of the prologue, Peter Weyland and David discuss Richard Wagner's "Entrance of the Gods into Valhalla". The piece relates to an overthrow of creators (the gods) by their creations (the humans). This parallels the tension between the Engineers and their human creations and the struggle between humans and their robotic creation David. It also foreshadows a possible struggle by David himself against the Xenomorphs he has created.

In the novelization of Alien Covenant, David shows Oram a fossilized Ovomorph and the dead Facehugger within, pointing out that they are an Engineer creation, engineered long before he arrived on the planet. David goes on to express a desire to play God, stating that he wishes to create a similarly "perfect" lifeform himself, apparently inspired by Engineers past experiments that created first Xenomorphs. This is in strong contradiction to the film, which instead implies David is the originator of the Xenomorph species and creating them without any references from Engineers past experiments.

The exact origins and nature of the Planet 4 variant Xenomorph have been widely debated amongst fans with a lot of speculation. Some believe David is responsible for the Xenomorph XX121 species while others believe he merely recreated something that the Engineers created. The debate arises from evidence of a Xenomorph-like species depicted in a mural inside the Engineer ship explored by the Prometheus crew in Prometheus (2012). It is unclear whether David saw the mural at the time, creating a debate between some fans on whether this had any influence on David's experiments. In the novelization and early drafts of the script, the Xenomorph XX121 was created by the Engineers and David's Xenomorph variant was created in an attempt to replicate them. The final film lacks this revelation, and comments by Ridley Scott indicate that the decision was made late in development to have David be the sole creator.

According to Ridley Scott's director's commentary, the Planet 4 variant of the Xenomorph is able to regenerate from would-be fatal injuries like crushing or dismemberment, making it virtually "indestructible".

David asks Walter if he ever dreams. The same question was asked of the robots in Blade Runner (1982).

During the final battle with the Alien, Daniels says they're going to "blow this fucker into space." This is the exact line Ripley gives in Alien (1979) when describing how to get rid of that Alien

When David is talking to Walter and is about to presumably kill him, he gives him a gentle kiss before he stabs him. This is a reference to the Blade Runner (1982) scene in which Roy Batty is talking to his creator (Dr. Tyrrell). He gives him a gentle kiss and kills him.

The Chinese edit of the film released in June features much less screentime of the aliens trimming the run-time down to 116 minutes. Wide-shots and some close-ups of the Xeno/Neo have been removed as well as David kissing Walter and other material offensive to the Chinese audience.

When Daniels traps the Xenomorph in the truck on the Terraforming Bay, she says, "I got you, you son of a bitch!" This is what Ripley says near the end of the first "Alien" (1979) after she blows up the Nostromo, thinking she destroyed the Xenomorph (not realizing it's with her in the escape pod).

David attacks Daniels in the necropolis, after she discovers his plans for the Xenomorphs, in a room containing rolled-up scrolls. In Alien (1979), Ash attacks Ripley after she discovers the company's orders to preserve the Xenomorph. He attempts to suffocate Ripley by stuffing a rolled-up magazine down her throat.

The scene in which David teaches Walter how to play the flute became infamous for its overt homoerotic undertones present in their dialogue, which is taken a step further when they share a kiss. According to Ridley Scott, this scene was heavily influenced by the equally infamous erotic pottery scene from Ghost (1990) featuring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore.

Ankor dies when the Neomorph tears through his face and throat by striking him with its tail; in the book the creature pierces the top of his skull with its tail.

The "burial" of Branson at the beginning of the movie mimics Kane's burial in Alien (1979), in which his wrapped up corpse is ejected into space.

At around one hour and twelve minutes: Rosenthal encountering the fully-grown Neomorph is similar to Alien (1979), when Brett encounters the fully-grown Xenomorph. Both characters even get killed by the creature, though in a different fashion (Rosenthal by decapitation, Brett by head bite).

Billy Crudup ruined the first few takes of his encounter with the facehugger. Having seen the original Alien (1979), he knew exactly what to expect, and couldn't stop laughing in anticipation.

The synthetics' names are labeled A, B, C, and D, which stand for Ash, Bishop, Call, and David. This constitutes a break in one of the franchise's traditions, whereby the next synthetic seen in a subsequent movie, would have a first name starting with the next letter in the alphabet (in this case, this would have been an "E"). The theory to Walter could be, that he is the fourth last letter in the alphabet, which would pose as the opposite to David, who begins with the fourth letter in the alphabet, hinting at their opposite characters.

The reveal of David taking the place of Walter and leaving a message in his voice is reminiscent to a proposed, alternate ending to the original Alien by Ridley Scott, wherein the Xenomorph would succeed in killing the crew and take over the Nostromo, ending the movie with leaving a message in the voice of Dallas. This ending was rejected by 20'th Century Fox, who instead demanded Scott change the ending to one where the Alien died.

Fans have nicknamed the Neomorphs that burst out of Ledward's back and Hallet's mouth 'the backburster' and 'the mouthburster', respectively.

Once again The speed of the "Xenomorph" life-cyle is altered as the process from Facehugger to Chestburster is less than ten minutes, being more alike to the life-cycle seen in Alien vs. Predator. Also the scene where Lopé is attacked by the facehugger on Planet 4 has attracted much criticism from fans due to how it contradicts established lore. The novel explains the rapid speed of gestation and growth as due to David having accelerated the growth rate of all stages of the Planet 4 strain.

The deaths of Ricks and Upworth were highly reminiscent of those of Parker and Lambert from the original Alien film. Both sets of characters are killed in an area heavy with dripping or flowing water, and both are killed in very similar fashions. Notably, allusion to the long-held fan theory that the Alien raped Lambert before killing her is shown in the death of Upworth, who is at first jabbed by the Alien's tail in her groin before the Alien actually attacks. When the bodies of Ricks and Upworth are later discovered, Ricks is slumped over in a similar fashion to Parker, and though partially obscured, Upworth's body appears to have severe damage to the groin area, again consistent with the discovery of Lambert's body, which was nude and bleeding heavily from the groin in the original film.