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Disney’s New Alien Movie Finally Returns To Ridley Scott’s Original Formula After 45 Years

Summary

Alien: Romulus trailer confirms a survival horror tone, teasing a return to basics for the franchise.
Alvarez’s focus on horror with Alien: Romulus is a fresh start needed after divisive prior films.
Alien: Romulus is delivering what the franchise needs after Prometheus and Covenant.

Alien:Romulus’ first trailer highlights the tone of the movie and all but confirms that the film will fulfill its massive horror promise by returning to Ridley Scott’s original formula. After a long period of anticipation, the first Alien:Romulus trailer offered a first look at the new Alien movie by Fede Álvarez, which will act as a standalone entry in the franchise. Alien:Romulus is one of two upcoming live-action Alien projects, the second being FX’s Alien TV show.

The fact that the new Alien movie was going to be helmed by a director known for horror films such as Evil Dead (2013) and Don’t Breathe (2016) strongly indicated that the franchise was trying to go back to its horror roots. Additionally, with Alien:Romulus being more of a standalone film rather than a sequel, it appeared like Alvarez would have enough freedom to move the saga forward without having to worry about what Prometheus and Covenant established. Much has yet to be revealed about Alien:Romulus, but the trailer confirms one great news about the film.

The First Alien: Romulus Trailer Confirms It Will Be Survival Horror

Alien: Romulus feels like a classic survival horror movie

The Alien:Romulus trailer has barely any dialogue and takes place almost entirely inside a spaceship, focusing on the horror aspect of the Xenomorph and the Chesbursters without barely showing them. Not only does this confirm that the new Alien movie will be a survival horror, but it also means that Alien:Romulus is living up to its promise of being a return to basics for Alien. While not much has been revealed about Alien:Romulus’ timeline and story, the movie was expected to bring Alien back to its horror roots and serve as a relaunch of the franchise.

Between the single-location setting and the gruesome sequences teased in the trailer,
Alien:
Romulus
is delivering everything the saga needs after
Prometheus
and
Covenant

Following Prometheus’ divisive reaction and Alien:Covenant’s poor box office performance right when Disney was in the process of buying 20th Century Fox, the future of the Alien franchise was up in the air. Fortunately, not only is Alien returning to the big screen seven years after Covenant, but it is also delivering the survival horror story that the saga has been lacking for decades. Recent entries in the Alien franchise, including in other media like comic books, have struggled to recapture the magic of the saga’s first two films, which is why Alien:Romulus’ horror approach is good news.

Alien: Romulus
premiers on August 16, 2024.

The Sci-Fi Elements And Larger Alien Mythology Are Taking A Back Seat

Prometheus and Covenant leaned into the sci-fi side of Alien

While it cannot be denied that Alien is a sci-fi franchise as much as it is a horror one, movies like Alien vs. Predator and Prometheus focused more on the larger-than-life aspects of the saga rather than on what made it special in the first place. As interesting as the Alien lore can be, from the different types of Xenomorphs featured in the comics to the conflicting explanations regarding the species’ origins, the sci-fi elements were never the most interesting thing about the original movie. The psychological horror brought by the “perfect life form” is what defines Alien.

Movie

Release Year

Rotten Tomatoes Score (%)

Alien

1979

93

Aliens

1986

98

Alien³

1992

48

Alien Resurrection

1997

53

Alien vs Predator

2004

22

Alien vs. Predator: Requiem

2007

12

Prometheus

2012

73

Alien: Covenant

2017

65

Focusing on the larger Alien mythology, which itself retconned multiple aspects of the franchise, was perhaps the biggest problem with Ridley Scott’s Alien prequels. Some portions of Prometheus felt like they were from a completely different franchise entirely compared to the previous Alien films, introducing discussions about the meaning of life and the origins of the human race. Although the rich Alien lore should not be ignored in new movies and TV shows, the franchise has proven more than once that it thrives on simplicity. Even James Cameron’s action-packed Aliens still felt more like a horror film than Prometheus.

Alien: Romulus’ Hard Horror Approach Is Smart After Prometheus & Covenant

Alien needed a fresh start after Prometheus and Covenant

Images from Alien, Aliens, and Alien- Romulus. Custom Image by Sam MacLennan

Bringing back the Alien franchise to the big screen after Prometheus and Covenant was no easy feat, as the latter was a box-office disappointment and put the future of the series in check. Even though Ridley Scott had plans for a Covenant sequel, which would likely have seen more of David’s journey, going with a brand-new film that serves as a fresh start for the saga is the right decision. Considering how convoluted Prometheus and Covenant were, there was no better way to bring Alien back than with a simpler, more centered horror film.

David Jonnson in Alien Romulus juxtaposed with a xenomorph head Related

Alien: Romulus’ Place In Franchise Timeline Clarified By Director

Director Fede Álvarez clarifies when Alien: Romulus, his upcoming take on Ridley Scott’s franchise, falls in the universe’s larger timeline.

Between the single-location setting and the gruesome sequences teased in the trailer, Alien:Romulus is delivering everything the saga needs after Prometheus and Covenant. Alien:Romulus is not necessarily a reboot that disregards everything that came before it, but it can be considered a new beginning for the franchise after two films that distanced themselves way too much from the core elements of Alien. Even the technology in the ship shown in the trailer is more reminiscent of Alien than what Prometheus used, further proving that Alien:Romulus will be the film it has been promising to be.

Alien Romulus Poster

Alien: Romulus

Alien: Romulus is the seventh film in the Alien franchise. The movie is directed by Fede Álvarez and will focus on a new young group of characters who come face to face with the terrifying Xenomorphs. Alien: Romulus is a stand-alone film and takes place in a time not yet explored in the Alien franchise.

Director Fede Alvarez

Release Date August 16, 2024

Cast Cailee Spaeny , David Jonsson , Archie Renaux , Isabela Merced , Aileen Wu , Spike Fearn

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