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James Franco Boards Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien: Covenant’

James Franco is coming on board “Alien: Covenant,” the sequel to Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus.”

He joins Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, and Guy Pearce — who are reprising their roles from “Prometheus” — along with newcomers Katherine Waterston, Demian Bichir, Billy Crudup, and Danny McBride. 20th Century Fox had no comment.

Scott is directing from a script by Jack Paglen, Michael Green, and John Logan. The film follows the colony ship Covenant as it heads toward a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy. Crew members discover what they believe to be an uncharted paradise, which turns out to be a dark, menacing world in which the only inhabitant is the synthetic David (Fassbender), a survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition.

The film is the sixth in Scott’s “Alien” franchise and arrives in theaters on May 19, 2017. Fox originally planned to release the movie in August, but decided several months ago to move it forward three months.

“Prometheus” was set in the late 21st Century and about 30 years before the events in Scott’s 1979 movie “Alien.” “Prometheus,” which generated $403.3 million at the worldwide box office, followed scientists aboard the spaceship Prometheus who discovered the remains of an advanced civilization developing weapons that could wipe out the human race.

The original “Alien,” starring Sigourney Weaver, was followed by three sequels in 1986, 1992, and 1997.

Franco is currently starring in Fox’s “Why Him?” opposite Bryan Cranston. The comedy opens this Friday. Franco is repped by UTA.

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