Back in September, director Ridley Scott mentioned that the upcoming sequel for his Alien prequel Prometheus would actually be titled Alien: Paradise Lost. An intriguing title, as Scott has indicated that the film will dive deeper into the origins of the alien bio-weapon xenomorphs at the heart of the franchise as well as their creators, the mysterious Engineers first seen in Prometheus. It now appears as if that title may be changing.
Speaking with Indiewire about how the slow progress on the screenplay for the Prometheus sequel opened up a hole in his schedule that allowed him the time to shoot the recently released The Martian, Scott casually dropped a new name for the project.
I was going to be doing what will be called Alien: Covenant, which starts shooting next February, and we were struggling then with the screenplay there and then there was a phone call, somebody saying, ‘Listen, we’ve got this thing which is completely written called Martian, and I said, ‘Huh.’ And I sped read it in an hour and by mid-afternoon, I talked to Fox and said, ‘I need to talk to ‘Drew [Goddard]…’
(Drew Goddard is the screenwriter for The Martian, who initially had adapted the novel as a directing vehicle for himself.)
I have to admit, that Alien: Covenant doesn’t feel as evocative as Alien: Paradise Lost does. Interestingly, though, both titles do have a religious connotation. Prometheus clearly showed the Engineers as seeding Earth with the DNA that would eventually give rise to humanity, certainly a creation story of its own. It should be interesting to see how this continues to be developed through the next film.
Production on the Prometheus sequel, whatever it winds up being titled, is set to begin in February, 2016 in Australia. Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender will be reprising their roles of scientist Elizabeth Shaw and the android David, last seen heading out into space to track down the Engineers homeworld. We’ll find out what they discover when the film is released on May 30, 2017.