Alien: Covenant is landing in theaters next week, a fact which is understandably causing many folks to revisit the last movie in the franchise: Prometheus. For a movie which many critics were quite fond of –it has a fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes– the Alien franchise prequel has grown to become one of the most divisive movies in sci-fi fandom. Whereas some viewers enjoyed its dark, haunting tone, the vast majority of Alien fans left Prometheus with an overwhelming sense of rage at the fact that they left with more questions than answers, all while never actually getting to see a Xenomorph.
Now, it would seem, that legion of fans who felt hard done by has just gained another member in Ridley Scott himself. The director has generally given off an air of ‘who gives a damn?’ when it comes to fan gripes, but in a new interview, he revealed that those gripes very much influenced how he went about creating Alien: Covenant.
“What changed was the reaction to ‘Prometheus’, which was a pretty good ground zero reaction,” Scott told Yahoo. It went straight up there, and we discovered from it that [the fans] were really frustrated. They wanted to see more of the original [monster] and I thought he was definitely cooked, with an orange in his mouth. So I thought: ‘Wow, OK, I’m wrong’. The fans, in a funny kind of way – they’re not the final word – but they are the reflection of your doubts about something. And then you realize ‘I was wrong’ or ‘I was right’. I think that’s where it comes in. I think you’re not sensible if you don’t actually take [the fans’ reaction] into account.”
Taking on that feedback certainly seems to have paid dividends for the latest movie in the franchise. Alien: Covenant very much represents a ‘back to basics’ approach to storytelling in the world of Xenomorphs and Weyland-Yutani. However, don’t expect Scott to have done a complete ‘180’ in his approach. While Covenant is certainly the scariest Alien movie for some time, it still represents more of a hybrid of the franchise’s heady horror heights and the more cryptic Prometheus. Still, if you were one of those Alien fans who yelled until you were blue in the face after watching Prometheus, this would appear to be your ‘I told you so’ moment to all those doubters.