The iconic Alien franchise gets another entry on May 19 when Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant is unleashed on theaters. The director’s follow-up to Prometheus tells a fresh story with almost an entirely new cast of characters, including Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) in a leading role known simply as Daniels. The character has already drawn comparisons to Sigourney Weaver’s iconic Alien character Ellen Ripley.
Waterston’s Daniels plays a major role in Alien: Covenant, regardless of any similarities to Ripley that may exist. She looks ready to battle some Xenomorphs in most of the photos that the character Daniels has appeared in, but like most of the crew aboard the titular ship, she arrives at the film’s mysterious new planet eager to explore uncharted territory. The newest photo of Waterson as Daniels shows her doing just that.
As first reported on Alien-Covenant.com, a new image from Alien: Covenant has surfaced online of Waterston as Daniels, apparently upon arriving to the new planet. The site credited forum member “Facehugged” for posting the image. In the photo, Daniels is wearing plenty of gear that looks designed for exploring the wild. She has what appears to be a GoPro mounted to document her experiences. Whatever Daniels is looking at off in the distance, she looks somewhat apprehensive about it.
Waterston’s look is a departure from what’s been seen of the character so far. The characters has previously been shown in the middle of combat, which helped draw the original comparisons to Ripley in the first place. Other photos from Alien: Covenant have shown Daniels looking poised and beyond ready for battle, but in the newest shot she looks like a stranger who doesn’t trust her surroundings.
As one of the key players in Alien: Covenant, Waterston is likely going to face a variety of challenges as the crew tries to survive the Xenomorphs (and new “Neomorphs”) terrorizing them. Daniels looks to be at the front lines of the film’s narrative, from the first moments of exploration to the climactic battles. With the aid of Ridley Scott’s direction, Alien: Covenant should have no shortage of thrills and striking visuals, and Waterston figures to be a central figure of most of them.
Of course, Waterston has a lot to live up to with her character being compared to Ripley. Although Waterston has said that Daniels and Ripley have their share of differences, the visual similarities cannot be ignored. Waterston will have to deliver a strong performance in her own right to be nearly as memorable as Weaver was as Ripley. But as evidenced by her recent work in films like Fantastic Beasts and Inherent Vice, there’s reason to be confident that Waterston can deliver a character in Alien: Covenant that stands on its own.