Few things in film history can evoke pure terror like the Alien franchise’s Xenomorph. In his 1979 masterpiece, Ridley Scott was able to mesh his vision perfectly with H.R. Giger’s nightmarish design to create the quintessential horror monster. The facet of the creature that has horrified audiences for almost 40 years is the many forms it takes in its life cycle, including the infamous “facehugger” stage. That film, and the films that followed would not exist without the menacing force of nature that was the Xenomorph.
Prometheus, the 2012 prequel to the Alien franchise, was often ridiculed by horror fans for not featuring the creature, preferring to instead focus on the early stages of its evolution. This year’s Alien: Covenant righted some of those wrongs by featuring a version of the Xenomorph that is similar to the one that we fell in love with as kids. Although the film itself wasn’t universally loved by fans, we can all agree that it was awesome to see our favorite monster back on the big screen. Ridley Scott, however, has mentioned in some recent interviews that any upcoming films in the franchise will not feature the titular beast at all. This has some fans so apoplectic that they’ve threatened to abandon the franchise completely, but their anger may be misplaced.
In an interview with Empire Magazine, Scott explained his vision for the future of the franchise. In it, the British filmmaker states that he believes the monster’s evolution to be nearly complete. He goes on to say that what he was trying to do with the last two films “was transcend and move to another story, which would be taken over by A.I.’s.” Anyone who has seen these film shouldn’t be surprised by this. Prometheus saw the android David (played by Michael Fassbender) kick-start the creature’s evolution by infecting Charlie (played by Dreamboat Logan Marshall-Green) with Black Alien-Goo. Fast forward to the events portrayed in Alien: Covenant and you can clearly see that David has lost his electronic marbles and has become the true villain of the story. He strives to and successfully creates the Xenomorph as we know it today, killing off an entire planet in the process.
In these interviews, Ridley Scott isn’t abandoning the Xenomorph. He’s simply wanting to explore the monstrosities that can be wrought by a robot trying to play god. David sees no use for humanity as a species. To him, we are hateful, dangerous and virulent in the destruction of our own planet (actually, he may be on to something). The way that we can benefit life as a whole is to become the test subjects for his evolutionary studies. I love the Xenomorph just as much as the next guy, but I am glad to see Ridley make this pivot in the story. We are beginning to see the destruction that corporate greed and an over-reliance on technology can bring about in the real world, so maybe a cautionary tale is exactly what we need right now.
Jon and Kim covered Alien: Covenant in an episode of their great Drive Home From the Drive-In series. Listen to it HERE and let us know what you think! Are you excited for this new direction the franchise is taking, or did you call it quits after Prometheus? Hit us up in the comments below or through our Facebook Group.