Ridley Scott has a clear idea where the sequel to Alien: Covenant will go; and it sounds like Michael Fassbender’s villainous A.I. David will play a large role. Fans of the Alien series rejoiced when it was first announced Scott was returning to helm Prometheus, which was originally pitched as a direct prequel to his 1979 film. The resulting story was more of a spinoff with some ties to the original films, but the Xenomorph himself was absent.
Alien: Covenant aimed to please those who enjoyed both Alien and Prometheus, picking up from the cliffhanger of the latter while bringing the title beast back again. Critical and fan opinion on the film was mixed overall, and Covenant’s box office tally disappointed the studio. The film also ended on an almighty cliffhanger, where Fassbender’s David is in control of colony ship The Covenant - and the 2,000 colonists frozen onboard.
During an interview with the Empire podcast to promote Blade Runner 2049, Scott briefly laid out where he sees the next movie going. Covenant implied David is actually the one responsible for creating the Alien in the first place, so the next story would explore what a world designed by a crazed A.I. will look like.
“I think the evolution of the Alien himself is nearly over, but what I was trying to do was transcend and move to another story, which would be taken over by A.I.’s. The world that the AI might create as a leader if he finds himself on a new planet. We have actually quite a big layout for the next one.”
It becomes clear watching both Prometheus and Covenant that David is the character Scott really cares about, to the point he’s become the new villain of the series. In the last movie, he spent years trapped on an Engineer planet performing experiments and designing his “perfect” creature with the Xenomorph, so it would be intriguing (and downright terrifying) to see what kind of world David would create without mankind’s interference.
While this storyline holds a lot of potential, no decisions have been made regarding the future. Covenant’s underperformance caused 20th Century Fox to reassess the series, so they may decide to take the franchise in a new direction or give it a soft reboot. Scott’s new Alien films have been somewhat divisive among the fanbase too, with some lamenting that the Xenomorph has been sidelined within its own franchise.
It would be a shame if David’s story was left unfinished, as Michael Fassbender’s performance has been the highlight of the new movies so far. Scott has also teased the return of the Engineers in the next movie, and that the story will tie directly into the beginning of the original Alien. The release date for the currently untitled Alien: Covenant sequel is unknown, but Fox is unlikely to leave such a valuable franchise alone for long, so expect an update in the near future.