Ridley Scott is determined to finish the story he started with 2012’s Prometheus, despite the majority of Alien fans not really giving a shit about the cold-circuited travails of Michael Fassenbender’s android David. Last year’s Alien: Covenant managed to sneak in a bit more of the deep-space horror for which the franchise is known, but it distracted from the new characters by hinging the story on David’s genocide on Paradise, a planet home to a bunch of beefy aliens called Engineers that were introduced in Prometheus.
Scott’s planned sequel to Covenant, Alien: Awakening, is currently in limbo due to a marked lack of interest on behalf of fans. Should it get greenlit, however, it’s apparently ready to go. Empire (via HN Entertainment) reports in their Empire Classics Alien Special issue that screenwriter John Logan has already written the script, and it’s…all about David and Engineers. The one intriguing takeaway, however, is that David’s journey would take him to LV-426, the planet where Ripley and the rest of the Nostromo first met the Xenomorphs in Alien.
This summary confirms my opinion coming out of Prometheus and even moreso out of Alien: Covenant that Scott is taking this story in a terrible direction.
For me, one of the most interesting aspects of the original Alien trilogy is the notion that there are terrifying, unknown, and, well, alien things waiting out there in space. In our hubris, greed, and ignorance, we go blundering about out there and unwittingly stumble into the remains of some ancient, unknowable conflict, and we are devoured by them.
That story is a really interesting one, both in how the characters respond to the horrors they find waiting for them out in space as well as in what it has to say about the assumptions we have about our place in the universe. It also gives the original story a grand scale, a sense of a much larger world at which we can only get a passing glimpse.
With the two more recent films, though, Scott has scrubbed all of that horrifying grandeur away and turned the xenomorph into a human creation, albeit an indirect one. My guess is that he thinks the idea of Michael-playing-god is super-interesting and deep, but it’s really not.