Ridley Scott first mentioned the new title for his film in a conversation at the AFI Festival on Thursday. According to IndieWire, Scott remarked that the project formerly known as Alien: Paradise Lost — and referred to as Prometheus 2 before that — will now be called Alien: Covenant. Regardless of the name, the film will be a sequel to Prometheus and will bridge the space between that film, a prequel to the original Alien movies, and the rest of the franchise. The name change comes after the news that Neill Blomkamp’s Alien sequel has been put on the back burner in favor of Scott's Prometheus sequel (which, remember, is now titled like an Alien movie).
Scott mentioned the name change in passing while discussing how he came to be involved in the production of The Martian, which was the focus of the event. “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,” the director said.
According to Scott's earlier remarks, the Prometheus sequel (then titled Alien: Paradise Lost) was going to explore “why and how and when the beast was invented,” and it seems that Alien: Covenant will follow a similar line of inquiry. Perhaps, in substituting a reference to John Milton for one to the Old Testament pact between God and Abraham, Scott is suggesting that Covenant will focus less on humanity’s fall from grace and more on our tenuous continuing relationship with powers greater than his own — fitting, as Michael Fassbender's character seems to live in a Paradise that's already lost. Or perhaps some Fox executive got a bad grade on a Paradise Lost paper and nixed the first title. Who knows?
Updated: 2oth Century Fox has confirmed the new title of Ridley Scott's Alien: Covenant and announced that the film will hit theaters October 6, 2017.
In addition to the name and promo art (above), Fox also released the following synopsis:
Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created in ALIEN with ALIEN: COVENANT, the second chapter in a prequel trilogy that began with PROMETHEUS — and connects directly to Scott’s 1979 seminal work of science fiction. Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, the crew of the colony ship Covenant discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world — whose sole inhabitant is the “synthetic” David (Michael Fassbender), survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition.