A sequel to Alien: Covenant is reportedly being written, with Ridley Scott attached to direct. Scott's 1979 Alien film is a sci-fi horror classic that made an icon out of Sigourney Weaver's Ellen Ripley and introduced the world to the terrifying Xenomorph creature. In the forty years since then, the franchise has seen multiple films released to varying degrees of success or failure, including three sequels and a pair of Alien vs. Predator spinoffs. More recently, Scott returned to the property with two prequels (Prometheus and Alien: Covenant) that explored the story behind humanity's origins and the evolution of the face-hugger.
2017's Covenant was a modest commercial hit that more than doubled its budget worldwide, but suffered a significant drop-off from Prometheus at the box office ($403 million vs. $241 million) and left the future of the franchise in question. Scott had been talking about making another Alien prequel or two prior to Covenant's release, but hasn't offered any concrete updates on the situation since then. However, according to the latest report on the matter, a followup to Covenant is still in active development.
In a much larger retrospective published to commemorate Alien turning 40 this month, Variety revealed a third Alien prequel is in the scripting phase, with Scott lined up as director. Scott, in a separate interview with THR this past week, confirmed there are discussions for future Alien movies with Disney and Fox, but said he's pushing the studios to "see where [the franchise] can evolve".
A report from last fall claimed the third Alien prequel (which is tentatively known as Alien: Awakening) will focus on the Engineers wanting revenge against David the android (Michael Fassbender) for committing genocide against them in Covenant. The Prometheus sequel did, in fact, set the stage for David to serve as the big bad in a third prequel, and Fassbender recently stated he'd be more than happy to reprise his role for the Covenant followup. Moreover, in the past, Scott has indicated he wants to continue moving away from the Xenomorphs and make artificial intelligence beings like David the main antagonists in future Alien movies. That could be the same evolution he referred to in his THR interview.
Fans have also speculated that Awakening will close out the Alien prequel trilogy and connect directly to the events of the original Alien movie. However, it's difficult to say if that's still the idea, now that Disney owns Fox's movie and TV assets. Fox has claimed it plans to continue the Alien franchise under the Mouse House's watch, so it's possible they will try and use Scott's upcoming installment as the springboard for an expansion of the property. Either way, it's good to hear Scott will get the chance to pay-off Covenant's sequel tease and potentially conclude the narrative he began with Prometheus. As messy as the director's Alien prequels have been, they're also pretty ambitious and deserve a proper conclusion.