How much Xenomorph-on-human carnage can you handle? That seems to be the challenge looming for anyone who plans to see Alien: Covenant.
Because now we know for sure: the good ship Covenant is carrying something like 2,000 souls an awful lot of Xenomorph fodder and if the bloodbath is going to be anything like the cast and crew are hinting at, they are vulnerable.
In the two Alien: Covenant trailers we’ve seen so far, we’ve only spied the crew (just over a dozen people) and heard one say that Covenant is “the first-ever large-scale colonization mission.”
Just how large-scale are we talking here?
In an interview at South by Southwest for The Mashable Show, director Ridley Scott and stars Katherine Waterston and Danny McBride confirmed that the Covenant is carrying a much larger manifest than the crewmembers we see onscreen.
I asked Scott, Waterston and Danny McBride to expand on the “couples” theme of the second trailer, which debuted last month, during our sit-down on Friday in Austin, Texas.
“Couples in space!” Waterston said. “It’s like a pleasure cruise that goes terribly wrong!”
Then Scott said this:
“Couples for a very good reason it’s a colony ship. At some point somebody’s going to go off and never come back. Once you go past Mars … everything beyond that, you’re going to have to hyper-sleep, or live and die onboard, as it’s going to the next star. You’re probably want a couple thousand people onboard.”
A couple thousand! My ears pricked.
“I see. So it’s … a big group,” I said.
“Mm hmm, oh yeah,” Scott said.
Then Waterston: “It’s like the Mayflower in space.”
At this point I want to be sure I’m getting this straight: “So it’s not like Alien, where it’s just a handful of [crew members].”
“Oh no,” Scott said.
(Which, for any Alien fan, begged my question: “Is there a cat?” Scott and Waterston replied that there is no cat.)
But where there is no Jones, there are instead 2,000 innocent colonists aboard the Covenant, which is ostensibly orbiting the planet Paradise as the crew scouts its surface. And at the end of the latest trailer, we see a Xenomorph hitching a ride on the shuttle with McBride’s character at the helm.
Where else would he be going?
And in another flash, what looks like hundreds of people or are those bodies? or molting monsters? are down on Paradise as a mysterious hooded figure walks among them.
The one thing everyone from Alien: Covenant keeps repeating is that this movie is dark, grisly and really, really, really-really, super really bloody.
In fact, that was confirmed by McBride himself, star of Eastbound and Down and other comedic delights, when I asked him about the rumor that he transforms from funnyman to badass during the course of the film. I guess I had that one sorta wrong.
“There’s no jokes in this movie,” McBride said grimly. “There’s blood and there’s carnage. That’s what’s cool about doing this movie there’s an opportunity to flex different muscles, and bring some levity, but also do some things that I haven’t been able to do. I’ve never been chased by an alien in anything else I’ve done before.”
Nor has he brought an alien up to endanger hundreds of unsuspecting settlers.
Well have to wait until May 19, when Alien: Covenant comes to theaters, to see if that happens.