As we inch closer and closer to the start of production on Ridley Scott’s latest return to the Xenomorph-infested world, Alien: Covenant, there has been a lot of talk that the sequel to 2012’s Prometheus will introduce a bunch of new characters. We don’t know much about them, but we now know who will play one, as the film has found its lead: Katherine Waterston.
The 35-year-old actress co-starred with Joaquin Phoenix in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Day-Glo noir Inherent Vice last year, and according to Deadline, she will play the lead in Scott’s next science fiction adventure. Though the details are sparse, she will play a character named Daniels.
Scott’s off-world survival tale, The Martian, is currently in the thick of the end-of-the-year awards race, but as he revealed during the press rounds for that film, Covenant is next up on the chopping block and will likely begin filming sometime early-ish in 2016. Though there has been a great deal of work on the Prometheus follow up, it’s taken a while to come together, and we don’t know much about the plot.
The story will reportedly follow the crew of a colony ship called the Covenant, bound for a remote world. When they come across and uncharted planet they believe is a paradise in deep space, but boy howdy are they wrong. The only inhabitant of what turns out to be a dark, dangerous world is David (Michael Fassbender), the android who blasted off with Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) at the end of Prometheus. We’ll have to wait and see what happened after the last film.
Covenant is supposedly the first of a new trilogy of films that will fill in the gaps between the events of Prometheus and Scott’s 1979 horror/sci-fi classic Alien. The director also recently said that we’ll get to hang out with a number of different versions of the Xenomorph, which his promising indeed, and that he will continue to explore the larger themes of origins and discovery laid out in the last film.
Though she’s becoming increasingly prominent recently, this will be Katherine Waterston’s biggest role to date. Earlier this year she appeared in the romantic comedy Sleeping With Other People, and Covenant won’t be the first time she’s appeared opposite Michael Fassbender either, as she plays the mother of the title character’s daughter in the biopic Steve Jobs. Landing this role is another in an upward swing for the actress, who is currently filming the Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, where she plays the female lead, a witch named Porpentina "Tina" Goldstein.
The basic question Ridley Scott wants to answer in Alien: Covenant and the subsequent films is one fans have been dying to know for decades, who made the titular alien, and why the hell would anyone want to? We really can’t wait to find out, but we’ll have to put a pin in it until it opens on October 6, 2017.