From the moment that the first details began to be released about the film, one of the most exciting aspects of Alien: Covenant for fans of the franchise has been its supposed return to a more horrifying tone. Following the divisive reactions to Prometheus, which was touted as being director Ridley Scott's epic, monumental return to the sci-fi genre, the possibility of seeing the legendary filmmaker creating a new movie much more in line with the contained and dark tone of his original Alien film, seems to be just what the property needs to build anticipation and hype for itself again.
The film's first teaser trailer certainly lived up to that promise as well, teasing some interesting small evolutions and twists to the traditional tropes of the Alien franchise (back-burster instead of chest-burster, etc.), all while packed into a moody and gruesome horror film. Unsurprisingly also, it looks like 20th Century Fox is planning on cashing in on the film's horror feel as much as possible leading up to its release.
Variety is reporting that the studio is working to develop a new Alien: Covenant VR Experience that will act as a kind of companion piece for the film. Made in a collaboration between RSA Films, the Fox Innovation Lab, MPC VR, and Ridley Scott himself, who will produce the experience while David Karlak directs, the VR experience will be a paid title available on all major VR platforms that'll scare the wits out of the user as they embark on “a dread-inducing journey into the depths of the Alien universe.” No release date has been revealed yet, though it should be noted that Covenant will be hitting theaters in May. The rest of the news release teases:
“Viewers will discover the true meaning of terror as they navigate through horrifying alien environments and a story where every decision could mean the difference between life and death.”
This won't be the first VR experience 20th Century Fox has made to go with one of its film releases either, with the studio also releasing The Martian VR Experience last year, which coincidentally enough, was also based on a film directed by Scott. The use of VR technology has been a growing presence in Fox's plans over the past few years, with the studio openly expressing their beliefs that the technology shouldn't just be used to create promotional materials for their films - and it seems like the studio is now working on creating some truly immersive and moody for Alien: Covenant.
Focusing on the crew of the colony ship, Covenant, the film begins as they happen upon a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, which they initially believe to be an uncharted paradise. That is, until they discover that the planet actually houses a dark, unparalleled threat, and the crew must attempt an escape from the planet in order to save their lives, in a plot remarkably similar to the original Alien. To its credit though, Alien: Covenant seems to be combining the best elements of not only the original Alien film but also Prometheus and even aspects of James Cameron's Aliens as well.
There's currently no word on how or if the VR experience will feature any of Covenant's characters or factor into the movie's story in any way. Whether it does or not will have to wait to be seen, but if nothing else, the Covenant VR tie-in may produce the kind of horrifying, immersive experience that Alien fans have been waiting years for... even if they didn't know it until now.
- Alien: Covenant (2017) release date: May 19, 2017