Ridley Scott: 'Alien: Covenant' Is First of 3 Films Before Linking Up With Original 'Alien'

<p>Michael Fassbender leads Noomi Rapace and Marshall-Green into tunnels built at Pinewood.</p>
The director revealed details of the 'Alien' origin stories as he begins pre-production on the followup to 'Prometheus' in Australia.

Ridley Scott confirmed that he is planning another two Prometheus sequels to follow Alien: Covenant before the Prometheus storyline meets up with the original 1979 Alien.

Alien: Covenant and the following two films will be origin stories, answering the “very basic questions posed in Alien: why the alien, who might have made it and where did it come from?” Scott revealed at a press conference in Sydney where he is starting pre-production on Covenant, the first sequel to Prometheus.

“It's a very complex story. It's an evolution of what I first did with Prometheus 1,” he said of the new film, which tells the story of the crew of the colony ship Covenant, who discover 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.

Prometheus 1 was born out of my frustration that on Alien 1 in 1979  I only did one as I don't normally do sequels. I was amazed that in the three that followed  that no one asked the question: "Why the Alien, who made it and why?" Very basic questions. So I came up with the notion of Prometheus 1, which starts to indicate who might have made it and where it came from,” Scott said.

"So I’m now going to the next one, which is the next evolution directly connected with the first one, which was this Shaw, when he replaced Michael Fassbender in two pieces and we’ll kind of pick it up there and it will evolve. When that’s finished there’ll be another one and then another one, which will gradually drive into the back entrance of the film in 1979,” the British director revealed.

“So in other words, why was this space jockey there and why did he have an Alien inside him? And those questions will be answered,” he added.

Scott’s aversion to sequels is clearly fading  in part inspired by the new Star Wars films.

Star Wars will be a juggernaut. Why do you think I’m doing sequels?” he quipped.

Alien: Covenant will shoot at Sydney’s Fox Studios from March with Michael Fassbender to reprise his Prometheus role as the synthetic David. Other casting hasn’t been confirmed, although Scott did say that Prometheus 1 star Noomi Rapace will only appear briefly in Covenant. Scott is keen to use Australian actors, revealing that that he wanted Cate Blanchett for The Martian but she was unavailable.

Shooting will be  a mix of location and studio shoots with location requiting “monumental forest and monumental rock and the rest will be in the studio with fairly formidable CGI. The Martian was made for the most part 94 pecent in a Budapest studio. With green screen I now can’t tell what was studio and what was shot in Wadi Rum,” Scott said.

Michael Fassbender will arrive in Sydney in mid-March for the 16-week shoot.

The NSW state government said the film will contribute more than $43.3 million (AUS$60 million) to the state’s economy and employ more than 600 local cast and crew.

The Australian government committed a one-off grant  to get the film made in Australia. That grant in effect raised Australian location tax offset from 16 percent to 30 percent,  a move which it's now considering making permanent for all productions. A decision will be made on that before May next year, foreign minister Julie Bishop, who secured the shoot for Australia, said. 

At the same time Scott revealed that Blade Runner 2, which he wrote and will produce, with Denis Villeneuve directing, will be made in Budapest, where he made The Martian, and Beijing.

But he said the idea is to shoot the three Prometheus/Alien films in Australia.