In an interview with Forbes in 2020, Scott expressed his doubts that we’d ever get another film set in the prequel timeline: “We went down a route to try and reinvent the wheel with Prometheus and Covenant. Whether or not we go directly back to that is doubtful because Prometheus woke it up very well. But you know, you’re asking fundamental questions like, ‘Has the Alien himself, the facehugger, the chestburster, have they all run out of steam? Do you have to rethink the whole bloody thing and simply use the word to franchise?’ That’s always the fundamental question.”
Whatever you may think about these two films creatively, Alien: Covenant‘s poor box office performance was likely the nail in the coffin for this ambitious expansion of the sci-fi horror series. The second movie made only $241 million globally. Compare that to Prometheus$403 million despite not having alien in its title.
In other words, Covenant is likely the last you’ll see of Michael Fassbender’s android with a god complex.
Fede Álvarez’s Alien Film on Hulu
The biggest indication that the franchise might be on track to reclaim its place as the pinnacle of sci-fi horror is the upcoming alien film headed to Hulu, produced by Scott and directed by Don’t Breathe director Fede Alvarez. Announced in March and still untitled, the film was pitched to Scott by Álvarez, who left such a big impression that Scott agreed to produce and help get the project greenlit by 20th Century Studios.
Studio head Steve Asbell explained to THR that the decision to stream the movie as opposed to releasing it theatrically was made to give Álvarez more creative freedom to make the movie he wants to make. According to Asbell, releasing a movie theatrically is a higher-stakes endeavor that often requires movies to be altered to appeal to mass audiences, which isn’t necessarily the case for movies released primarily on streaming platforms. On Hulu, “It’s not a film that has to be all things to all people,” Asbell said.
This approach makes sense, especially considering the success of prey, which was released on Hulu last month to rave reviews from both fans and critics. That movie certainly felt like a fully-realized, artistically unencumbered final product that took risks and pointed the predator franchise in a new and fresh direction. The fact that 20th Century is giving Álvarez’s film Similar Treatment is a good sign.