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Trivia / Alien: Covenant

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  • Acting for Two: Michael Fassbender is playing two different androids: David and a new one named Walter (who is a part of the Covenant crew).
  • Ascended Fanon: Colin Shulver, one of the artists who worked on the film's creatures, has referred to the film's version of the Xenomorph using the fan-term "Protomorph" in his art gallery.
  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, $97 million. Box office, $73,842,907 (domestic), $232,461,524 (worldwide). The film came out just two weeks after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and debuted to only $36 million at the domestic box office, at #1, but still well below expectations. It sank like a stone in its second week, grossing a mere $10 million, facing competition with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Its 71% drop is the second worst in history for a film playing on more than 3,700 screens. Any potential for a sequel will be fully dependent on overseas box office. It's also part of a very bad string for Michael Fassbender.
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  • Creator Breakdown: Fan backlash from Prometheus not having Xenomorphs — especially in the wake of the Alien: Engineers script being leaked and showing What Could Have Been — caused Scott to revise his opinion of the Xenomorphs and include their origins in the film — with a few last-minute changes he thought would be interesting. The mixed reception Alien: Covenant received — in part because of those last-minute changes — has since caused him to relapse into stating "the beast is cooked" and wanting to move away from and/or replace them for the third Prometheus movie.
  • Development Gag:
    • The premise of Alien: Covenant and the revised Prometheus saga tying back into the Alien saga reads similarly to Alien: Engineers, the original draft of the first Prometheus film back when it was a direct prequel:
    • According to an interview, the film was to feature a creature directly based off Giger's NECRONOMICON IV, like the Ultramorph from Alien: Engineers was. This was ultimately proven false.
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    • The Neomorphs are suspiciously similar to the malleable "prototype" Xenomorph seen in Alien: Engineers.
    • The premise of one of the planned follow-ups (a story explaining what happened to the Engineers) is suspiciously similar to the original premise of Alien: Covenant, back when it was Paradise Lost.
  • Dueling Works: With Life. Both are big-name cast Sci-Fi Horror movies released in early 2017 wherein a hostile alien lifeform infects a spaceship and kills off the crew after they investigate a mysterious planet, and conclude with severely downer endings. Especially watching both trailers back-to-back in the theatre feels way too much like deja-vu.
  • Fan Nickname: Some people have taken to calling the film's version of the Xenomorph the "Protomorph", due to it having a more organic appearance than the "classic" Xenomorphs, and lacking many of the iconic features associated with the species — like a pronounced tail ridge and a large tail-blade — that were added in films after the original Alien.
  • Flip-Flop of God:
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    • The original Prometheus started as a direct prequel to the original Alien before being revised into a stand-alone spinoff, and the sequel was originally going to have as little to do with Alien as possible given their shared universe. In the four years that followed the lackluster reception of Prometheus from fans of the Alien series, Scott did a complete 180 and decided to not only include the Xenomorphs, but explain where they come from.
    • Whether or not Noomi Rapace would be involved also ran through the gauntlet of various positions from the people involved in production. First, she was in because the movie was a Prometheus sequel. Then, her character was written out when it was decided to make the movie more akin to a direct prequel to Alien rather than a spin-off set in the same world. Finally, her character was reinstated into the movie's script mid-production.
  • Franchise Killer: The disappointing box-office results and mixed response from critics and fans have put the likelihood of another Alien film being made increasingly unlikely. If that wasn't enough, Disney's acquisition of 20th Century Fox in late 2017 has made even Ridley Scott uncertain about the franchise's future in their hands.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: A number of shots and scenes present in the trailers and preview clips are not present in the finished product. This includes both of the prologue clips (The Crossing and Last Supper, which appear to have been deleted scenes restructured to serve as short films), the "She Won't Go Quietly" trailer (which was apparently a scene shot specifically for marketing purposes) or the shot of the Xenomorph racing down a darkened passageway as it jumps between walls (although we get a "Jaws" First-Person Perspective shot of the Xenomorph shifting around through these same halls in the movie itself).
  • Release Date Change: Originally planned for an October 6, 2017 release date, the film was pushed forward to August 4 of the same year. Later, it was moved to a May 19 release instead.
  • Troubled Production:
    • Shockingly averted. The film was filmed in just 74 days without going over-budget, and was finished on time.
    • Neill Blomkamp's Alien 5 (which was supposed to go into production as this film was filming) on the other hand, got cancelled because of this. Despite James Cameron stating that the film's script was "gangbusters" and Sigourney Weaver's avid support for the film, Ridley Scott stated in an interview that the film had no script during its long development and was unable to get one in time for production, and that Weaver and Michael Biehn hadn't even signed on yet. Fox also had no faith in the project and preferred Scott's film so they canned it. It's also likely Fox wanted to avoid a repeat of Alien³.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Ridley Scott and Damon Lindeloff originally intended the Prometheus series to distance itself even further from the Alien series, exploring Shaw's and David's adventures seeking the Engineer homeworld. Scott retracted this idea and sought to tie the sequel back into the Alien saga — with his proposed prequel to Alien: Covenant, Alien: Awakening being a direct prequel... but Covenant's lacklustre reception has put the series' future in question.
    • Composer Harry Gregson-Williams (who also worked with Ridley Scott before on projects like Kingdom of Heaven and The Martian) was chosen to do the film's music but left due to Creative Differences and scheduling issues. Jed Kurzel (Macbeth 2015, Assassin's Creed (2016)) is now doing the score instead.
    • In an interview, Ridley Scott stated that initially the Engineers were going to be the creators of the Xenomorphs, with David trying to reproduce their work by hybridizing different Neomorph strains — which is retained in the novelization — and the Xenomorphs that appeared were biomechanical. However, late in development he thought it would be more interesting if David was the sole creator of the species, and deliberately removed the biomechanical features from the film's Xenomorph.
    • Concept art for the film shows Shaw having been transformed by David's experiments into a "Neomorph Queen" — a pale-skinned humanoid creature with a naked female lower body, a genderless torso with protruding shoulders, arms with elbow-spikes and fused fingers, and an eyeless mushroom-shaped head.
    • In earlier drafts of the film the Neomorph and Xenomorph were going to fight, and in a later draft there was going to be a scene where the second Neomorph and the first Xenomorph faced off against Daniels and Lope in the escape from the Engineer Temple scene. These were scrapped from the film but retained in the novelization.
    • Scott was planning shooting the film in 3D like his past couple of blockbusters but stuck to 2D due to the fading interest in the format.
  • The Wiki Rule: Xenopedia has information on Prometheus, Alien, Predator, and Alien vs. Predator.
  • Word of God:
    • Even before the film was released, Scott stated in an interview that Covenant would be exploring the origins of the Xenomorphs and that people who thought the Engineers created them were wrong.
    • In an interview with IGN, when asked why David created the Xenomorphs, Ridley Scott stated he did so out of curiosity — a callback to Charles Holloway's "'cuz we could" response to David's question of why humans created him; a rejection of humanity as inadequate and the Engineers for having "bleeped-up" by creating something that would ultimately turn against them (humans), and the desire to create a superior species to exterminate and replace them both.
    • In the DVD version, the Director's Commentary has Scott discuss various behind the scenes details that weren't directly shown or were cut out — like David drugging Oram to make him less cautious around the Xenomorph egg,note  and the fact that the Xenomorphs can regenerate even if they're sliced to pieces.

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