Last night at the AFI Film Festival, Ridley Scott sat down with Scott Foundas for an hour-long conversation spanning Scott’s entire career (you can read about it in detail here). And, of course, you can’t have a career-spanning conversation with Ridley Scott without touching upon “Alien,” his 1979 sci-fi horror and sophomore effort that minted his career and launched a massive Hollywood franchise.
And, of course, Scott has circled back to the “Alien” series with “Prometheus,” and recently suggested wanting to reclaim sole ownership of the property (sorry, Neil Blomkamp). While the sequel to "Prometheus" has been going by the name “Alien: Paradise Lost,” last night during the AFI talk, Scott casually mentioned a new title as an aside.
“I’ve got no plan,” Scott said, discussing his overall career and which project follows another. “I go from pillar to post randomly. I have this childlike fascination and thrill of doing it.” He then launched into a story about how “The Martian” came about.
“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]…’”
And yes, the rest is history. Goddard had written it for himself, but was happy to hand over the project to Scott, and, in fact, he suggested the director for the gig. But hold the phone then. So “Alien: Paradise Lost” is now “Alien: Covenant”? Sure sounds that way from last night’s conversation.
“Alien: Covenant,” or whatever he ends up calling the damn thing, is already scheduled for a May 30, 2017 release. With potential more sequels to come, this new franchise could keep Scott busy for several more years. Listen to the full conversation below and hit the 20:40 mark to hear the story that reveals the new film title.