Alien: Covenant has gone through some significant changes over the course of its development, the least of which being director Ridley Scott changing the title (from Alien: Paradise Lost to Covenant), and the more pressing matter being the ousting of future franchise successor Neill Blomkamp, whose own Alien 5 film project has been put on hold until further notice. Meanwhile, Scott now intends to produce two subsequent films following Covenant, all three of which will follow the events depicted in Scott's Alien prequel/spinoff film, Prometheus.
Scott is currently scheduled to begin filming Covenant this April, with a cast that will include Prometheus' Michael Fassbender and several new additions to the Alien/Prometheus franchise. As for Fassbender's Prometheus costar Noomi Rapace, her return for Covenant still remains (somewhat) up in the air.
According to Deadline, the Alien: Covenant cast now includes Jussie Smollett (Empire), Amy Seimetz (The Girlfriend Experience), Carmen Ejogo (Selma), and Callie Hernandez (Machete Kills). In addition the latest crop of star performers and Fassbender, the Covent cast also includes Steve Jobs' Katherine Waterston (who, like Ejogo, will appear in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them later in 2016), Demián Bichir (The Hateful Eight), and Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down).
As for Rapace: Scott previously indicated that she might not be returning for Covenant, but Deadline's report is more vague on that point - simply noting that "it remains unclear" whether Rapace will be back or not.
Even if Fassbender winds up being the only returning Prometheus cast member to make an appearance in Alien: Covenant, such a stunning and comprehensive collection of lead performers should bode well for the production of Scott's latest sci-fi/horror movie. That being said, it will be interesting to see whether or not Rapace will return in one form or another as human heroine Elizabeth Shaw - though for now Alien: Covenant, appears to be centrally concerned with the discovery of her co-survivor and synthetic antagonist David by a whole new crew of interstellar human explorers.
It also remains to be seen just how favorably Scott's latest return to the Alien universe will shape up when it finally sees release in 2017, especially considering the slightly skewed, albeit overall positive, reception that Prometheus received from both critics and general audiences in 2012. With any luck, Scott will prove the naysayers wrong, and his follow-up to the latter mentioned motion picture will only build and expound upon some of the very same thematic territory that has always stood as the shining achievement and pride of the entire Alien franchise.
Alien: Covenant will open in U.S. theaters on October 7th, 2017.