Once upon a time, Ridley Scott seemed pretty confident in his choice to leave much of the ambiguity in his 1979 Alien shrouded in mystery. After all, the many sequels to that picture eventually proved his point about the law of diminishing returns from reusing and demystifying the “xenomorph” (technically even that term comes from James Cameron’s Aliens). Yet, with the Alien: Covenant release on the horizon, Scott has definitely changed his tune.
Previously, he seemed open to doing two more movies after Covenant, which marks his second prequel to Alien following 2012’s Prometheus. Already, the pursuit of “answering” many of the big ideas from both the ’79 film and the even more Lovecraftian Prometheus would seem pretty satiated. But while talking about doing more movies with Fandango, Scott definitely indicated he’s planning to do three more movies after Covenant, if not four—which would bring the total number of Alien prequels to six films (far more installments than in the original “quadrilogy,” as 20th Century Fox marketing calls it).
“There will be another one before we kind of literally and logically, clockwise, back into the rear back head of [the original] Alien,” Scott said of the sequels. He then elaborated, “It will go Prometheus, Awakening, Covenant, fairly integral where this colonization ship is on the way….”
Apparently, at this point his Alien: Covenant star Katherine Waterston interjected that her director runs the risk of giving spoilers away. It is unclear whether “Awakening” is the actual title for the next Alien film or if, in fact, it actually will be yet another prequel which takes place between the events of Prometheus and Covenant—Scott simply may have named them out of order. What is apparent, though, is that he is not done with the franchise by a long shot after the direct follow-up to Covenant, wherever that may land in the timeline.
Says Scott, “If this is successful, and then the next one, and then there will definitely be three more.”
What is unclear to me is whether Scott was counting the Covenant sequel or not among those three. However, Fandango seems sure that he views the following film (possibly “Awakening”) to complete a kind of trilogy with Prometheus and Covenant. Then he would make three more films that also would take place before the events of Alien.
If that is the case, by the time Scott is done with the franchise, we really will know everything about the genesis of this now very, very long-running cinematic universe.