An early draft of Alien: Covenant reveals an alternate prologue between Shaw and David during their trip to the Engineer homeworld. Alien fans rejoiced when it was announced Ridley Scott was returning to the franchise to helm a prequel exploring the origin of the titular beast. While the script began as a straightforward prequel, it morphed during pre-production into more of a spin-off titled Prometheus, about a group of scientists exploring the dark origin of humanity at the hands of alien beings called the Engineers.
Prometheus was an ambitious but messy sci-fi epic, with rich themes and some great performances, but was let down by some weak characters and baffling plotholes. The movie ended on a cliffhanger, with scientist Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) taking off in an Engineer ship to find their home planet, along with the severed head of sinister android David (Michael Fassbender). A fan backlash against Prometheus’ lack of aliens saw the studio insist the next movie feature the iconic beast, so Alien: Covenant morphed into a hybrid between the two movies.
Now an early draft of Alien: Covenant’s viral prologue The Crossing has been released online courtesy of AVP Galaxy, fleshing out Shaw and David’s journey to the Engineer homeworld. The draft – titled Paradise – was written by John Logan, and is dated August 2015. This alternate prologue goes into a lot more detail about the trip, revealing Shaw was able to survive off fruit and water inside the ship. Given the events of Prometheus she has a natural distrust of David, but when she realises he’s about to die and she’d be left alone in space, she decides to reconnect him to his body to have some company.
David puts on his best human face and the two grow closer over the following months, with the script even implying they become lovers. The biggest difference between this draft and the final short is that Shaw is awake when they reach the homeworld, and marvels at the Engineer city as they fly over it. That’s when David drops the facade, brutally snapping Shaw’s neck and releasing the xenovirus over the city.
Fans were disappointed with Shaw’s fate in Alien: Covenant, with the movie revealing David used her as a guinea pig for his experiments and she died off-screen. This early prologue fills in a lot of details and provided a more satisfying – if tragic – ending for Shaw’s character. Noomi Rapace revealed she filmed a lot more for The Crossing short than was ultimately used, so its possible some of these scenes were shot. The short probably withheld revealing Shaw’s murder to preserve the surprise for the movie.
Ridley Scott has stated he has a number of ideas in mind for future sequels, but following Alien: Covenant’s mixed reception and underwhelming box-office, he may not get the chance. Scott has also said he feels the original creature isn’t scary anymore after decades of exposure, and he wants to make Fassbender’s A.I. David the new villain of the series.
Scott’s concept for the next Alien: Covenant sequel is David becoming a God-like figure on his own planet, and creating twisted creatures of his own. It sounds like an intriguing concept, but now the franchise has been sold to Disney, the future is currently in doubt. If they decide to move ahead, its also likely they will soft reboot instead of picking up on Scott’s bold vision.
Source: AVP Galaxy
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