Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien: Covenant’ Makes SXSW Scream

Alien Covenant Katherine Waterson
Courtesy of Fox

As he took the stage of the Paramount Theatre on Friday night, Ridley Scott admitted this was his first trip to Austin. He complimented the local food as good and the tequila as even better. But this wasn’t a holiday for the prolific 79-year-old director.

Scott was at SXSW to introduce 15 minutes of footage from “Alien: Convenant,” the sixth installment of the Twentieth Century Fox tentpole, which opens on May 19. “My mantra has always been to scare the living sh-t out of you,” he said, just as the lights dimmed.

That wasn’t an empty promise. Judging from the Austin crowd–a fairly accurate bellwether for box office success–“Alien Covenant” is now poised to be one of the biggest hits of the summer. The reaction among the fanboys (and girls) was uniformly enthusiastic, with screams and hoots erupting in the theater.

After 2012’s “Promethus,” which was met with mixed reviews for its slower pace, Scott has returned to form. Set on a deserted planet, a space crew is under attack by alien forces. These creatures reveal themselves by erupting from the mouths of their host bodies in fountains of blood–a terrifying sequence that brings to mind the original “Alien” meets “Jurassic Park.”

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Watch the New Trailer for ‘Alien: Covenant’

Scott re-emerged for a Q&A with his cast and he momentarily forgot the full name of his star. That would be Katherine Waterston (“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”), who continues a tradition started by Sigourney Weaver. “She’s a very strong female,” Scott said.

Waterston didn’t know what part she was meeting for when she landed the lead. “You kind of have to not think of how awesome it is when you’re shooting or you wouldn’t be able to function,” she said, adding that a director friend would send her email reminders that Daisy Ridley from “Star Wars” had a strong sprint. “I was really obsessed with my run. I still think I look like a Fraggle. But I f–king tried.”

Michael Fassbender, who appeared in “Prometheus,” plays an android in the new movie that sounds like R2-D2 by way of Norman Bates. How did he pull off the robotic character? “Easy,” the actor joked. “I’m half German.”

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  1. Denise rivera says:

    Alien sucked. To slow, actors not good, not worth it…not even on DVD.

  2. Isv says:

    I saw the movie in the cinema and I can say that the CGI is superb. The ultra high resolution-photography is really good. BETTER BY FAR THAN 35MM PRINTS. First and second acts are great. But the engineers eyes looked wrong. The interiors of The city of dead are a mistake, didn’t look like the engineers architecture at all. It’s a big mistake in design. It didn’t look like Prometheus or Alien. In addition, the ending is the worst ending in an Alien movie. Ever. Even Alien 3, Alien Resurrection or Prometheus were much better movies than Alien Covenant. The CGI Aliens are really well done. So those that are saying that CGI is ruining movies are idiots. BIG, BIG IDIOTS. All tge CGI is great in this cinema version. I think that Blu-ray and DVF are ruining movies, ruining colours, ruining well studied photography light exposures, ruining the white zones, ruining the black zones, over saturating colurs.

    The big problem of Alien Covenant is that Alien Covenant is the worst Alien movie ever made. It’s like an Adolf Hitler or Stalin propaganda. It’s worse than Prometheus. I think (I think) that Prometheus was a good film. Well, I can say that Alien Covenant is a really bad film. And the ending sucks. By the way, I saw the Nostromo at the end of the film?

    Alien Covenant: 4/10

  3. Rob says:

    “After 2012’s “Promethus,” which was met with mixed reviews for its slower pace, Scott has returned to form”

    You don’t know if it’s a return to form. You’ve not, to my knowledge, seen the film – and… What form? Prometheus wasn’t met with mixed reviews for having a slower pace. Consider Alien, one of the director’s best films. Prometheus was met with mixed reviews because it is an uneven film and wasn’t very good as a whole. That’s it.

  4. Christa D'Auria says:

    Well, I still was a college student who had the summer job in Washington, D.C.. then I saw the first movie-“Alien” in Landover Mall as I remembered so that. Christa D’Auria

  5. Paully says:

    It needs to be good.. Prometheus disappointed..

  6. Ben says:

    Fan boys will eat anything, film or food. Once upon a time Ridley Scott was a pretty good director, he is now on autopilot. Alien has been recycled too many times, but I am sure that the mass audience will slop of the seconds and thirds of this predictable blue tinted stuff.

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