In space, no one can hear your script.
Recently, news broke that a script had been completed for ‘Alien: Awakening’, the third (and potentially final) installment in Ridley Scott’s series of ‘Alien’ prequels. You may recall that Scott announced – even before the release last year of ‘Alien: Covenant’ – that the process of writing the was already well underway. The reports in question indicated that the script, penned by ‘Covenant’ co-writer John Logan, serves as a bridge between Scott’s prequels and the original. All of this is based on information contained in the forthcoming ‘Alien’ issue of Empire Classics, which includes the following excerpt:
“Logan’s script would have seen the return of ‘Prometheus’ Engineers, with that species survivors coming after the genocidal David. Setting-wise, Scott said it was obvious, “We’re gonna actually go to the planet,” by which we assume he means LV-426.”
All of this is pretty encouraging, particularly if you’ve been enjoying the fruits of Scott’s return to the franchise he helped establish. There’s just one problem. These reports are all wildly premature at best and bogus at worst. According to Scott Wampler of Birth. Movies. Death., a noted ‘Alien’ fan who in turn cites an anonymous source who is “certainly in a position to know,” ‘Alien: Awakening’ does not currently have a script. Wampler’s confirms both that things are happening behind the scenes of the ‘Alien’ franchise and that the current lack of a script doesn’t mean that a ‘Covenant’ sequel won’t happen. What it does mean is that rumors currently circulating about Logan’s script
Reading between the lines a bit, John Logan definitely wrote something. Whatever that was may or may not include the various rumored plot beats. But even if he wrote a complete script that perfectly lines up with these rumors, it seems likely (based on Wampler’s reporting) that at best it’s not a final draft. It may be undergoing rewrites or it may have been discarded altogether. It’s hard to make an educated guess without knowing what Fox has planned for the franchise’s future, not only post-‘Alien: Covenant’ but post-Disney.
When Neill Blomkamp’s alternative ‘Aliens’ sequel was cancelled, Scott seemed to have been given the keys to the kingdom. But the studio’s silence since the release of ‘Covenant speaks volumes. This is only underscored by the apparent lack of movement on a follow-up film, especially given Scott’s evident eagerness to do exactly that. It suggests that Fox may be reconsidering their approach to the franchise writ large.
Though to be fair, it also took him five years after ‘Prometheus’ to get ‘Covenant’ out the door, so maybe I’m overthinking things. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time.
Be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more on the future of the ‘Alien’ franchise as it becomes available.