In anticipation of the release of Alien Covenant this summer, South by Southwest welcomed Ridley Scott for the very first time to screen his 1979 classic Alien for the Austin, Texas crowd.
Scott did not come alone as he was joined by stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston and Danny McBride, all with something special for the crowd in attendance.
Before the screening of Alien, Scott greeted the audience with news they would be getting a sneak peek of a few scenes from Alien: Covenant two months before the release. Scott urged the audience he had been trying to do what he always has tried, “scare the living shit out of you.”
So what did we learn? Here is a breakdown of the three scenes shown. Obviously spoilers are ahead but nothing that isn’t hinted at in the recently released trailer.
Scene 1: The Descent
After arriving to the new Earth mirroring planet on the far side of the galaxy the crew aboard the ship Covenant begin to descend through the atmosphere and plan to land on this uncharted, newly discovered world.
Not much happens in this scene. But it paints the beautiful world and scenery Scott has created. The new space ship, Covenant, is massive and beautiful. Also the visuals of the descent and bumpy ride that follows creates the growing tension that any Alien movie made by Scott is going to have.
But the thing that popped the most was the casting of Danny McBride. In this short five minute scene McBride had the crowd laughing a handful of times. This was exciting to see. A truly great suspenseful thriller should be able to hit on every level and with the inclusion of McBride we could and should have several comedically gold moments.
Scene 2: It’s Not Going to Go Well
This scene turned up the action to a hard 10. It opens with a woman screaming and begging for help. We then see this woman carrying a young man who is coughing and spitting up blood.
After much struggle and blood spewing they get the stricken passenger on the ship. Then, a woman who appears to be the captain of the ship brings the plagued man to the medical room. While examining something begins to protrude from the back of his spine. Then, in a very educated decision, they scramble and lock the door on the sickened man and his wife in Quarantine. As the man’s wife sprints to the door and begs to be let free we see what may be the iconic scene of Alien: Covenant as a baby Alien punctures the mans back and slithers out of his spine and on to the floor. The Alien then attacks the man’s wife and the Captain decides to open the door and shoot the creature.
What happens next is not what was intended. After missing several times and escaping the Alien punctures the glass and escapes itself. As the Alien begins to make way through the ship, the woman holding her gun continues to fire and miss. These missed shots begin to damage the ship and as we see Billy Crudup’s character, Christopher Oram, outside running to the rescue of this woman, who we can assume is his wife, and we hear a final scream, a final shot and then we see the ship explode.
Scene 3- Fassbender is back and up to no good
The final scene was Michael Fassbender’s Walter character walking Crudup’s character Oram through his collection of relics and being as creepy as we remember him from Prometheus. As Walter talks to Oram we get the idea something isn’t quite right and Walter knows a lot more than he is letting on. As Walter leads Oram to the lower level we discover the eggs from Prometheus. Oram is very cautious, but Walter urges him nothing bad will happen. Spoiler alert. He is lying.
The action and thrills in just these 10-15 minutes of these scenes was incredible. The audience was left wanting more and the anticipation of this new installment in the Alien franchise was growing exponentially from person to person. The visuals were amazing, the cast looked incredible and Scott’s direction looked like he was in his best form.
Alien Covenant looks to be a wild, violent, thrilling ride that should be just what this Summer and the Alien franchise needs.