Posted on Wednesday, December 28th, 2016 by Peter Sciretta
Over the weekend, the first trailer for Ridley Scott‘s Alien: Covenant hit the internet. If you haven’t watched the Alien Covenant trailer yet, click over and watch it now. There are a lot of things happening in this trailer, and we thought it might be worth doing an image by image breakdown to figure out what’s going on here and point out some interesting bits that you may have missed. So hit the jump for our Alien Covenant trailer breakdown.
The trailer opens with a pan up (compiled into one image above via my limited photo editing skills). We see some blood on the spaceship floor, leading to a long hallway with a flickering light. Are those bloody footsteps human or alien shaped?
In the preview that we saw in New York, we were shown a clip that explains how we got here. The movie is set aboard a colony ship named the Covenant, which has discovered a promising new planet. The plan is to send a small shuttle down to the surface to explore. Something happens on the planet which has made one male crew member played by Carmen Ejogo very sick, wheezing, sweaty, and vomiting black.
Amy Seimetz as Faris (seen above) and Carmen Ejogo‘s characters drag him into the sick bay. Faris makes Ejogo’s character stay with him as she rushes out to try and contact the mother ship. She hears a scream and rushes back.
“Let me out!” shouts Carmen Ejogo’s character.
Faris hesitates, and the woman inside begs “Please, open up!” Faris explains that why she can’t do that, but her dialogue is drowned out by the screaming coming from in the locked room.
They both look back to find…
The man has gotten worse. He’s convulsing, and it looks like there’s something inside of him. Ejogo screams and cries and pounds on the door, demanding to be let out, but Seimetz tearfully refuses. It looks like a creature — a neomorph — bursts out of his back.
Faris runs away, but Ejogo is still trapped inside. In the footage presentation we saw, they show the neomorph notice Ejogo and starts charging toward her. Angie Han described it as “small, but it’s agile and fast and vicious.” We see the reverse shot of Ejogo extending a knife, hoping that might be enough to defend herself but probably knowing it won’t be.
We cut there, but in the footage presentation, Angie saw the attack with Ejogo getting a couple of good kicks in, “There’s blood everywhere.” The door opens, and Faris tries to shoot at the neomorph, but that doesn’t work so she attempts to close the door to trap it inside, only to get her foot stuck in the entry.
“When she finally does manage to close the door, it’s still no use — the neomorph attacks the glass until it breaks. She flees the shuttle, still shooting at the creature. Eventually, she manages to escape the craft and blow the whole thing up. It’s a spectacular finish to that battle… only the neomorph manages to get off in time and escape into the wild.”
After a moment of blackness, we return on a close-up of an eye. The song “Nature Boy” (Acoustic) by Aurora begins to play over the trailer telling us “There was a boy…”
We see a large white room with a reflective black floor. A piano sits on the far end as two men look out a large panoramic window at a new planet.
The song continues, “A very strange enchanted boy.”
We see a close-up of Michael Fassbender, who played the character David in Prometheus. An android created by the Weyland Corporation who Guy Pearce’s character Peter Weyland said was the closest thing he had to a son. David and Noomi Rapace‘s character Elizabeth Shaw were the only survivors of the spaceship Prometheus but the last time we saw David he was decapitated and able to help Shaw pilot one of the Engineer’s spacecraft off the planet in destination for their home world.
What we see here is a much more human-looking room, which leads me to believe this is an interior aboard the Covenant. We are not seeing David but instead Walter, another synthetic android created by the Weyland Corporation who is said to be more advanced and assisting the crew aboard that new ship. I assume they have just landed on this new planet and are looking out at what wonders and horrors may lay before them.
We a spaceship pass by the screen, over an unnamed planet — probably the same planet they land on.
We see Fassbender, presumably as Walter, investigating what looks like an alien craft.
Katherine Waterston who plays Daniels, a terraforming expert aboard the Covenant. Waterston has revealed that she took inspiration from an unexpected source — Daniels’ hairdo is based on Ezra Miller’s in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
We see our first look at Danny McBride as the cowboy hat-wearing pilot of the Covenant. The footage we previewed gave the impression that McBride’s character and Seimetz’s character are a couple.
Jussie Smollett plays another crewmember about the Covenant.
Nothing too exciting here, but this shot of the control panel for the ship looks a lot more inspired by the set-up of audio engineers crossed with jet fighters than the traditional sci-fi interfaces.
Here we are seeing the small shuttle making a turbulent descent down to the planet.
Crew members are holding on for their life.
Billy Crudup is the captain of the Covenant. We see a wireframe of the newly discovered planet on the display at the front of the shuttle.
The shuttlecraft descends through the clouds to reveal a world with water surrounded by mountains. We know from science that water can be a sign of life.
The crew disembarks the shuttle, prepared with large guns for whatever this new planet may bring.Notice the Covenant patch, which features “Weyland/Yutani” corporate branding.
Weyland-Yutania is a large British/Japanese multinational conglomerate that was founded in 2099 by the merger of Weyland Corp and the Yutani Corporation. According to the fictional Wikipedia entry, Weyland-Yutani is “primarily a technology supplier, manufacturing synthetics, spaceships and computers for a wide range of industrial and commercial clients, making them a household name.”
While the company is mentioned in most of the original Alien movies, the prequel Prometheus featured The Weyland Corporation before the merger. We learned in the backstory of that film that Japanese start-up Yutani Corporation filed a lawsuit against Sir Peter Weyland for the patent of their android creation but after years of litigation, Weyland “wins the David patent lawsuit in December 12, 2029, effectively protecting the investments of both Weyland Corp and its shareholders.”
Prometheus took place in the last week of the year 2093, so this film must take place at very least a decade later.