He joins Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Demian Bichir and Danny McBride.
Plot details have not been disclosed for “Alien: Covenant,” the second of what will be a trilogy of films. Principal photography will be shot in Australia’s New South Wales, and the film will hit theaters on Oct. 6, 2017.
“Prometheus” was set in the late 21st century and about 30 years prior to the events in Scott’s 1979 movie “Alien.” The pic, which generated box office of more than $400 million worldwide, followed scientists aboard the spaceship Prometheus who discovered remains of an advanced civilization developing weapons that could wipe out the human race.
Noomi Rapace is not expected to return to play her archaeologist character, while Fassbender will reprise his android character David.
The original “Alien,” starring Sigourney Weaver, was followed by three sequels in 1986, 1992 and 1997.
Smollett plays musician Jamal Lyon on Fox’s “Empire,” which has been renewed for a third season. He’s the son of the characters portrayed by Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. The actor broke into the business in 1992 in “The Mighty Ducks.”
Amy Seimetz, Carmen Ejogo and Callie Hernandez have also joined the cast of “Alien: Covenant.” Billy Crudup is in negotiations.
Smollett is repped by CAA and Vince Cirrincione and Associates. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.