alien covenant prometheus 2

Let’s be honest with ourselves here: the earliest details about Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant made this film sound like a soft reboot, a way of continuing the series while dismissing as much of the divisive Prometheus as possible. However, after a day on the film’s set last year, it became very clear that this is very much a sequel to the first Alien prequel, even as it’s doubling down on being the prequel many Alien fans wanted in the first place. Let’s take a closer look.

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alien covenant characters

The Xenomorph may be the star of the Alien movies, but let’s face it: these movies wouldn’t have much staying power if the humans they were tearing apart didn’t make us care just a little bit. Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley, the crew of the Nostromo, and the colonial marines on LV-426 aren’t just victims – they’re flesh-and-blood people we grow to love before they’re so violently torn away from us.

Alien: Covenant follows in the footsteps of its predecessors by offering up a strong ensemble of actors for the slaughter: Katherine Waterston, Michael Fassbender, Danny McBride, Billy CrudupDemián Bichir, and more. And now, here’s everything we learned about the doomed crew of the colony ship Covenant after visiting the set last year.

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alien covenant set visit 2

Alien: Covenant is a horror movie. Everyone wants us to know this.

It’s a sentiment that comes entirely from an honest place. The audience reaction to 2012’s Prometheus was mixed, so when Fox assembled a group of journalists in Sydney, Australia to visit the set of the latest entry in the Alien series, they seemingly sent out a memo, suggesting that everyone make sure we understood this. And by the time the day was over, we understood it – Alien: Covenant isn’t just an Alien sequel, but a gnarly, blood-soaked horror movie filled with practical monsters. It’s Ridley Scott’s return to the horror genre, everyone insisted.

And it turns out that making a Ridley Scott horror movie means lots of puppets and silicon. And gallons of blood. And spaghetti.

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Daniel Kaluuya interview

In Get Out, Daniel Kaluuya doesn’t play the typical thriller/horror movie lead. The character makes some wise decisions as things go wrong. He feels real, his backstory feels real, his relationship feels real, and his emotions feel real. Kaluuya isn’t playing a cardboard character waiting to get the ax; he plays somebody the audience understands and roots for.

With his directorial debut, Jordan Peele (Key & Peele) has given Kaluuya a role with a genuine interior life. The actor is known for his time on the popular drama Skins, but he’s had some memorable performances over the past few years, including a supporting role in Sicario and an impassioned performance in Black Mirror.

I spoke with Kaluuya, who also has a part in Marvel’s Black Panther, about working with Peele, on-set improvisation, and the significance of the “sunken place” in Get Out.

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alien covenant prologue

If you were watching Legion this evening (and you really should be watching Legion!), you were offered a brief preview of looks like an extended clip from Alien: Covenant. The full scene has arrived online and it introduces us to the crew of the colony ship Covenant, which is venturing deep into space on a mission to establish human outposts on other planets. But it’s not actually a scene from the movie – it’s a short film called Prologue: Last Supper and it’s directed by Luke Scott, the son of director Ridley Scott.

While it probably doesn’t feature any footage from the actual movie, the short does offer something the final film probably will not: this group of people actually having a good time, with no running or screaming or eviscerations. Let’s see what we can gleam from it.

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the predator Yvonne Strahovski

When Shane Black revealed the cast of The Predator in a photo on Monday, one thing became abundantly clear: there was only one woman in that line-up of well-dressed and generally handsome gentlemen. But now, we know that Olivia Munn won’t be the only woman on the alien hunter’s to-kill list. She’s getting some company in the form of Yvonne Strahovski.

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van helsing reboot

I’ve become something of a broken record when it comes to Universal’s upcoming “shared monsters universe,” where the likes of Frankenstein and Dracula and the Wolf Man will brush shoulders across a series of movies. I love the original Universal monster movies too much to not spend at least 30 seconds of every day worrying about what these movies will look and feel like. It’s in my obsessive nature. I store those original movies right next to my soul! Remove them from existence and my spirit withers into dust!

The latest piece of news to emerge from monster-land involves the new Van Helsing movie, which I continue to hope will be a little more Peter Cushing and a little less Hugh Jackman. Specifically, the project has landed a new writer.

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Tales from the Crypt

M. Night Shyamalan is enjoying something of a career resurgence right now. His last two films (The Visit and Split) did well critically and commercially, his TV drama Wayward Pines was well received, and his Unbreakable looks like it might finally get that long-awaited sequel.

Next up on his to-do list for this year was supposed to be Tales from the Crypt, a resurrection of the classic anthology horror series, but rights issues might be keeping that one six feet under for the time being. For whatever it’s worth, TNT has insisted we’ll see the show eventually. While we wait, though, a couple of videos have surfaced to give us a little taste of what Shyamalan’s got in store. Hit the jump to take a look at the Tales From the Crypt promos. Read More »

Stephen King Castle Rock Series

After plowing through several of his novels and short story collections, all Stephen King readers eventually come to a realization: all of his stories take place in the same universe. Well, more specifically, a multiverse. Some stories take place in the same town, while others take place in alternate dimensions. Characters from disparate stories cross paths. People with the same names appear in different places and die different deaths, suggesting alternate realities and timelines. All of this chaos orbits the Dark Tower series of novels, which tie King’s massive bibliography together in one intentionally untidy package. You can read the King oeuvre for the genre chills or you can read it to find those secret and not-so-secret connections.

And considering everyone’s obsession with “shared universes” these days, Hulu’s upcoming Castle Rock series was inevitable. We’ve already seen a trailer, but thanks to a new press release, we now know more about what this show will offer. Specifically, it will be the first onscreen Stephen King project to acknowledge that all these stories take place in the same realm.

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black mirror season 4

When we were assembling our list of favorite moments of 2016, it was decided late in the process to exclude television and focus solely on movies. The decision was made to keep the list manageable, but it also meant we didn’t get a chance to pay tribute to the third season of the science fiction anthology series Black Mirror, which contains my absolute favorite piece of pop culture anything to come out of last year: the episode “San Junipero.” While the season had its ups and down, those highs were remarkably, deliciously high. Nothing abuses my soul quite like the pitch-black world of Black Mirror and it always leaves me begging for more.

So it’s only natural that director John Hillcoat, a man whose filmography is built entirely on movies where nasty and awful things happen to just about everyone unfortunate enough to enter the frame, has reportedly signed on to direct an episode of the upcoming fourth season. He’ll fit right in.

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