a) The alien is worn out
Alien Covenant didn't appear to do as well as hoped in the Box Office, but on the other hand, it was doing enough and Fox was confident that Ridley and Fox's Vice Chairman named Emma Watts could find the right story to continue with the franchise.
Ridley's point of view about the alien beast was that it was over used, this might not sound too good for those who are fans of the alien beast, but through Alien Covenant, Ridley was steering the franchise is another direction and making sure that he was ahead of the game.
b) Another story
What he wanted to do was transcend the need to include facehuggers and chestbursters as something to remind the audience what Alien is all about and move to another story, which would be take over by AI's, and in that world of the AI might create as a lead if he finds himself on a new planet. He thought that Ai we becoming more dangers and therefore more interesting.
In his intended next sequel there would be three or four different players coming in to investigate. One of which would be the Engineers arriving back to find their planet decimated.
Ridley thought that those ships would come and go on regular intervals and these being were the gardeners of space.
Perhaps we should assume that ten years would seem nothing.
Where to go next seemed to him to be obviously the idea of going to the planet, the next intended stop was Origae 6, and if he was thinking about the planetoid from Alien, one might still wonder why anyone would want to go there anyway.
c) Alien mythos knocked out of joint
The film could go more than one way with its cliffhanger ending, and in a way the audience's perspective of what the alien is all about is being knocked out of line just as the space jockey is. and this perspective has to reassemble itself somehow.
It looked as if David had all he required to further develop his alien life form, and this did not bode well for the remaining crew of the Covenant and its many passengers.
Perhaps David wanted to create a whole army of these creatures to rule space, perhaps as if he Laurence of Arabia but leading aliens instead of arabs.
Still Ridley thought the alien series ought to be about the evolution of the alien beast or should they reinvent it with something else.
d) Escher like paradox for the alien origin
Perhaps what it had seemed to do with the story of the origin of the alien beast was to turn it into something paradoxical like an Escher drawing.
What we have thought all these years is that this alien creature was something as ancient as the derelict ship where it was found in the silo below, but in Alien Covenant, we are led to believe that it was something developed by a 21st Century android named David.
- Interviewer: Plans for more
Ridley Scott: Yeah yeah, oh yeah. We're being written now. There will be three or four different players coming in to investigate. One of which will be the Engineers arriving back to find their planet decimated. Because, I think those ships come and go on regular intervals. I see them as the gardeners of space. If you've got a very expensive vehicle go off into space, everyone's asleep, you've got to have a bloody good housekeeper, who'll never go to sleep, who's a computer dude, so I thought Hal's a genius notion and erm. I've lost the plot, what was the question Where we go next is obvious. We’re gonna actually go to the planet.
Interviewer: I think we were talking about how they fit together, how many more you might do.
Ridley: Oh, okay, so, where we go next is obvious, we're going to actually go to the planet, in so doing, I'm not going to tell you the story.
Interviewer: but there is more to come(Youtube: Ding Dan Published on 18 Jun 2017 )
- Ridley Scott: I was evolving alien Covenant which is an extension of Prometheus
because it did so well, but again , so it's an evolution of the alien
franchise, and we were way ahead and I had to make a decision.
Phil de Semlyen: Right
Ridley Scott: So then we came in with Denis (Empire Podcast #283 6 Oct 2017 )
- Phil De Semlyn: In
Alien Covenant, you've talked about the idea of the the idea of making
another couple of movies set in the world, can you tell us anything
more, sort of give us a sort of status update on where you're at with
the sequel to that one.
Ridley Scott: I think the evolution of the Alien itself, erm, is nearly over. But what I was trying to do was transcend and move to another story, which would be taken over by AI’s. And the world that the AI, and the world of the AI might create as a leader if he finds himself onto a new planet. We have actually quite a big layout for the next one, for Covenant, whatever, Covenant 2 if that's what we want to do. You know what I did with Prometheus, I said to them, I think you can resurrect this whole notion because the Alien franchise ran for four, two were good, the others were not good, and I think when they finally did it, Alien Vs Predator, I felt that put the cap, the bin over on the stew, it was finished and then I went back them five or ten years, well here it is, I think we can do something, so we resurrected that, show how an alien may have come about, we did well enough from that on Prometheus to go again. I was told that the thing that you know, we did Prometheus for a pretty good price, not not your 200 million mark. I don't do that shit. I could buy a bottle of red for a thousand pounds, you've got to be an idiot.You can get a good one for about fifty pounds, or thirty..
Phil De Semlyn: We're journalists, a fiver. .
Ridley Scott: Well, you'll get it for a fiver. But I am very kind of frugal. Very practical..
Phil De Semlyn: So I do Alien, er, Prometheus, really at a very good price, but we make 450, so now you've got Wow, there's life in the dog. For now we go again on Covenant, which again is roughly the same price, five, four years later, so it's very frugal and a very ambitious film. We did well again. So I think, I think it's really about business, but it's me, it's commerce and film making will be that, should be that unless you're making films for a hundred thousand pounds .
Phil De Semlyn: Yes. .
Ridley Scott: If you're doing a film for a million pounds, that's a lot of money to lose. If you're making a film for 260, you should be shot .
Phil De Semlyn: (chuckle). .
Ridley Scott: Sorry
Phil De Semlyn: Harsh but yeah, absolutely
Ridley Scott: If you're doing it for 260, then you put P&A, a hundred, three sixty, you've, then you go global, let's say you make a hundred thousand dollars, the studios don't recieve it an Alien receives for 400, so you're not out yet.
Phil De Semlyn:'Right .
Ridley Scott:'Cause the other half goes to the exhibitor.
Phil De Semlyn: Course, yeah, of course
Ridley Scott: That's why the studios are limping because there's too much money spent
Phil De Semlyn: Yeah, yeah. So the franchise is sort of financially viable and and and for you creatively viable. In terms of the narrative, it seems like the end of Alien Covenant, there wasn't very, it was hard to know where it was going to go next from a human point of view. Catherine Waterston seems to be kind of in deadly jeopardy shall we say
Phil De Semlyn: David's behaviour that we've seen
Ridley Scott: It ends on a cliff hanger as opposed to a completion
Phil De Semlyn: It was a cliffhanger where the person's fallen off the cliff , likely, or was at least falling
Ridley Scott: Yuh, But that gives me an option to kind of fundamentally work it whichever way I want
Phil De Semlyn: Yeah
Ridley Scott: When you get come
Phil De Semlyn: Do you have the first scene in your head
Ridley Scott: No, I'm doing something else first. (Empire Podcast #283 6 Oct 2017 )
- Interviewer: For me, one of the cores of the start of Alien,
progress is not everything, so what do you think is progress, also
sometimes is that backwards from being a human being, er and what could
be the solution , er having progress but not for any price.
Ridley Scott: I think that, weird, that's a big question, because the less we know, the more we know, it seems the more problems we discover and we don't seem to be able to deal with them the way we should be able to deal with politics, the behaviour with ourselves today. Have we learnt anything over the thousands of years of religious, religious wars, absolutely not. We're as bad today as we were in, in the crusades, so we don't actually learn, that's what's scary, er, but then if you flip back into a speech that David does, where he's playing the flute, he's explaining music, explaining evolution, and he says that one evening, a neanderthal had a reed and he blew through it, he had a bit of music and he entertained his family, so right there, then in a heart beat we have evolution, then. That, that idea of a being to pick up and go (miming playing a pipe) "phhh phhh" oh, click, "phhh phhh phhh phhh" is massive. Bigger than any apple or Google or whatever. So, that's what we explore, what we think about. The more we have, we have google and this and that, and that, and that, and that, seems to, does a lot of great things, but it also creates a lot of problems. (Film Lounge)
- Matthew Belloni: How do you decide which films to direct and
which films not to direct and which films to produce. You chose Alien as
a director but Blade Runner you chose not to direct.
Ridley Scott: Er, it was a crossfire of too much business, and erm, you know, I'm doing a lot of TV, a lot of films, this is the six films going out this year, so, erm and one of them was, I figured it was good business to follow through on Prometheus which from ground zero had good lift off, and so we went to Covenant to perpetuate the idea and re-evolve the... the universe of the alien.
Matthew Belloni: Right
Ridley: But I think the beast has almost run out personally
Jason Blum: Like in the stock, the stock is dead
Ridley Scott: You've got to come in to something else, you've got to replace that, and so I was right, I was ahead of the game so, I had to make a decision, mm, and so Denis was a terrific choice (Hollywood Reporter)
- Ridley Scott's Alien: Covenant dropped 71 percent in its second weekend, and has earned $232 million worldwide. Sources say Fox will have to reassess two intended sequels Scott has pitched while he is off helming Getty kidnapping movie All the Money in the World and then drug lord drama The Cartel. (Hollywood Rethinks Key Movie Franchises Amid a Mixed Summer at the Box Office, Hollywood Reporter, 27th July 2017)
- Brent Lang: Alien: Covenant” stumbled at the box office. Is that franchise over?
Stacy Snider: It was a disappointment, but I trust Ridley [Scott] and Emma [Watts] to know the right story when they find it. When universes are as rich as “Alien,” they can stay in a too familiar groove — in which case you’re in trouble — but they can also find a planet or a storyline or a villain that also lives in that universe that can be groundbreaking. (Fox’s Stacey Snider Gets Candid About Netflix, Diversity and the Future of Wolverine , Variety, September 20, 2017)
- Ridley Scott: We are [going to make another], we are, I think what we have to do is gradually drift away from the alien stuff.” (http://ew.com/movies/2017/12/04/ridley-scott-alien-franchise-covenant/)
- Ridley Scott: People say, ‘You need more alien, you need more face pulling, need more chest bursting,’ so I put a lot of that in Covenant and it fitted nicely. But I think if you go again you need to start finding another solution that’s more interesting. I think AI is becoming much more dangerous and therefore more interesting. (http://ew.com/movies/2017/12/04/ridley-scott-alien-franchise-covenant/)
- Toronto Sun: I’m a huge Alien fan. What’s coming next? Are Daniels and Tennessee from Covenant going to make it?
Ridley Scott:I think they have to. There’s no reason why Alien should now not be on the same level for fans as Star Trek and Star Wars. So I think the next step as to where we go is, do we sustain the Alien (series) with the evolution of the beast or do we reinvent something else? I think you need to have an evolution on this famous beast because he’s the best monster ever, really.
Toronto Sun: Are you still planning more Alien movies?
Ridley Scott: I would like to; they’re crazy if they don’t. David is a fantastic villain. I love what (Michael Fassbender) did in Covenant. But it’s f—ing hard, dude. We lifted Alien out of a ditch and made Prometheus. (http://torontosun.com/entertainment/movies/how-ridley-scott-rescued-all-the-money-in-the-world-after-kevin-spacey-scandal December 22, 2017)