Previously unreleased concept art for director Ridley Scott’s sci-fi thriller Alien: Covenant has surfaced, three years after the artist rendered the pieces. Scott, of course, is essentially the father of Alien, having directed the first film in the series in 1979 starring Sigourney Weaver in what would soon become the iconic role of Lt. Ellen Ripley.
Seven years later, James Cameron took over the helm and led the film’s first sequel Aliens to seven Oscar nominations, including Best Actress for Weaver; while in 1993, a relative unknown to the film world named David Fincher took the director’s reigns (and shaved Weaver’s head) for Alien 3. The Alien series, for all intents and purposes, came to an end in 1997 with director Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Alien: Resurrection (save a couple Alien vs. Predator hybrid films afterward), until Scott resurrected the franchise with the pseudo-Alien prequel Prometheus in 2012.
Having been bit by the Alien bug again, Scott planned on full-fledged return of the franchise with this year’s Alien: Covenant, which picked up after the events of Prometheus. The film examined an international space crew that gives into the temptation of diverting from its path to colonize on a pre-determined planet and landing on the home planet of the engineers. As it turns out, the engineers were decimated with black goo by the synthetic David (Michael Fassbender) after he and Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) escaped death at the hands of one of the race at the end of Prometheus.
Now, about seven months after Alien: Covenant’s disappointing run in theaters, concept art conceived three years ago has turned up online. According to AVP Galaxy, Khang Le worked on the film in 2014 when it was simply known as Prometheus 2 (before it was titled Alien: Paradise Lost in 2015 and eventually it came to be re-titled Alien: Covenant). Fans of the Alien saga will no doubt be fascinated by the artwork, which appears to chronicle the engineers’ transformation into xenomorphs after David’s attack. In addition to the engineers in their early xenomorph stages, Le also included David in some of the renderings.
While Le was not credited on Alien: Covenant, AVP Galaxy confirmed that the artist did indeed work in the art department on the film in 2014. If anything, the artwork, which clearly didn’t materialize to its full potential in Alien: Covenant, presents a fascinating look at the early pre-production phases of the film. Because the artwork is so compelling, it’s also bound to have Alien fans sighing about what might have been with Alien: Covenant, because, like Prometheus, it didn’t give moviegoers everything they were hoping for with the film.
Whether Le or any other concept artists get at least one more shot to work on an Alien film is a question that’s yet to be answered. Although the information was culled from a forum from Blu-ray.com and thus should be taken with great caution, a user claims to the sequel to Alien: Covenant has been canceled (unless, somehow the Fox property can be brought back to life at Disney).