Some thirty-eight years have passed since director Ridley Scott released his game-changing sci-fi/horror thriller Alien in theaters, but that doesn’t mean the filmmaker is done exploring the world of Xenomorphs just yet. Scott returns later this year at the helm of Alien: Covenant, a continuation of the director’s 2012 film Prometheus – itself, a quasi-prequel to the original Alien that explores the backstory of the mysterious “Space Jockey” (now known to be an Engineer) that the doomed crew of the USCSS Nostromo encountered on the moon LV-426.

Covenant promises to pick up the plot threads left dangling at the conclusion of Prometheus – namely, Noomi Rapace’s Elizabeth Shaw and the android David (Michael Fassbender) heading off to find the Engineers’ home world – while at the same time, tying those events in closer to the original Alien. In addition to Rapace and Fassbender, the cast of Covenant includes such Alien franchise newcomers as Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Danny McBride (Vice Principals), Demián Bichir (The Hateful Eight) and James Franco – as the newly-released cast photo for the film confirms.

Franco previously all-but-confirmed that he plays a role in Covenant, but 20th Century Fox’s official Alien Anthology Twitter account has now released a cast photo for the movie (see below) that features the actor, right in the center. The tweet also reveals that a new sneak peek at the film arrives tomorrow, during this week’s episode of FX’s acclaimed X-Men TV series, Legion.

alien covenant cast photo james franco Alien: Covenant Photo Confirms James Franco; New Preview Tomorrow

Covenant picks up a decade after the events of Prometheus, as the colony spaceship Covenant finds its way to a planet that its crew believe to be “an uncharted paradise” (as the movie’s official synopsis describes it), but is in truth a dangerous world full of newfound horrors The Alien: Covenant red band trailer reveals some of the gruesomeness that ensues after the Covenant’s crew are exposed to black spores on said mystery planet – one speculated to be the Engineers’ homeworld, overtaken and poisoned by the black goo that was seen in Prometheus.

Suffice it to say, of the Covenant cast members pictured in the above photo – which also includes Carmen Ejogo (The Purge: Anarchy), Billy Crudup (Spotlight), Jussie Smollett (Empire), Callie Hernandez (La La Land) and Amy Seimetz (The Girlfriend Experience) – odds are that only some of their characters in the movie (maybe only Waterston) make it out alive, per Alien tradition. Scott and his cast have indicated that Covenant brings the franchise full circle in terms of tone too, by carrying over the ruminative sci-fi approach of Prometheus at the same time that it brings the series back to its horror/thriller roots. The Legion preview should offer a fresh taste of that, ahead of Covenant‘s new (final?) trailer hitting the scene; possibly early next month, attached to prints of 2oth Century Fox’s X-Men movie Logan in theaters.

NEXT: Everything We Know About Alien: Covenant (So Far)

Source: 20th Century Fox

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