Alien: Romulus Was Inspired by an Aliens Deleted Scene

Fede Álvarez started making an Alien movie without realizing he was making an Alien movie. He was in a meeting with Ridley Scott’s company right before Scott made Alien: Covenant, and he mentioned some things he would like to see. “I was like, ‘I think you guys should do this and approach it this way, and maybe it’s about that,’” he told the Hollywood Reporter. “And suddenly, I was pitching, but I was not really being asked to do it. So that stayed in the air there somehow, and then a couple of years later, Ridley remembered that.”

Those initial seeds became Alien: Romulus, which released its first trailer today. Not much is revealed in it but the studio describes the film as follows: “While scavenging the deep ends of a derelict space station, a group of young space colonizers come face to face with the most terrifying life form in the universe.” The key here is “young space colonizers,” an idea Álvarez took from his DVD of Aliens.

“I remember watching an extended cut of Aliens, and there’s a moment where you see a bunch of kids running [and riding a Big Wheel] around the corridors of this colony,” Álvarez said. “And I thought, ‘Wow, what would it be like for those kids to grow up in a colony that still needs another 50 years to terraform? There’s no sunlight and there’s no real life, except to just take the place of a parent and do the same job they did.’”

“So when I saw those kids, I remember thinking, ‘If I ever tell a story in that world, I would definitely be interested in those kids when they reach their early 20s, and what they want to do and where they want to go,’” he continued. “And when it comes to having them encounter the creature, the dynamics are completely different. So that might be the reason why we managed to make it. When Ridley read it, he felt that it was completely different than the other movies.”

It’s back.

It’s back.
Image: Fox

Seeing a group of young people fighting one of the aliens is, indeed, different, but the director swears his film draws upon the best elements of the Alien series: the terror of the original, the action of the sequel, and more. “It is crafted in that way, and hopefully it works that way for everybody, but it is connected to all of them,” Álvarez said. “I love all of those movies. I didn’t want to omit or ignore any of them when it comes to connections at a story level, character level, technology level, and creature level. There’s always connections from Alien to Alien: Covenant.”

Another key was he developed both the script and the final film with the help of two masters: Alien director Ridley Scott, who is also a producer, and Aliens director James Cameron. Both read the film’s script, have since seen a completed edit, and loved it. “It’s also fascinating because [Cameron and Scott’s] notes and comments are completely different,” Álvarez said with a chuckle. “They wouldn’t repeat a note. Whatever Ridley said, Cameron said something different. They were all super smart comments, notes and thoughts on the film and the filmmaking, et cetera, but both of them have completely different approaches. So the fantastic part of being able to make this film is to have the chance to work with them.”

Obviously, with only a teaser trailer out there, Álvarez’s job is to start hyping his movie leading up to the film’s release. And guess what? He’s doing one hell of a job by saying everything above. He says even more in a fantastic interview over at the Hollywood Reporter, which you should 100% read. Then mark August 16 for the release of Alien: Romulus.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.