Warning: spoilers for Alien: Covenant are ahead!
When facing a dangerous force, it's advised to obtain as much information as possible about the threat. Even a name can be helpful. In the case of the Alien franchise's eponymous monsters, they are also known as Xenomorphs, while some the creatures that appeared in the 2012 prequel Prometheus included the Hammerpede, Trilobite and Deacon. For next year's follow-up, Alien: Covenant, is returning to classic territory by giving audiences a variation of the original Alien, and we finally know what this particular beasts are called: Neomorphs.
While being interviewed on BBC Radio 2, Michael Fassbender identified the creatures that will appear in Alien: Covenant are called Neomorphs. While it's certainly great to finally have a label for these new adversaries, Fassbender didn't reveal anything else about them. Fortunately for Alien fans, the folks at Aliens vs. Predator Galaxy have followed up on Fassbender's revelation with additional details on what to expect from the Neomorphs, though keep in mind that none of this information is 100% official yet.
According to the report, these new aliens are the result of the local ecosystem being mutated by a black goo, and this eventually led to pods growing on the trees and ground that release a spore when "disturbed." These spores will infect several members of the Covenant crew and initiate the growth of the Neomorphs within their bodies. One of the Neomorphs will emerge from the back of an infected crew member (earning it the nickname "backburster"), while the others will emerge from the throat of its victims. These Neomorphs apparently look similar to the "proto-Alien" concept art from Prometheus, specifically their white color, pointed head and two dorsal spines. Upon reaching adulthood, they grow larger, walk on their back legs and have grown tails. The report caps off by saying that aside from the Engineer, none of the creatures seen in Prometheus will appear in Alien: Covenant, although the Neomorph does reportedly resemble the Deacon.
While it remains to be seen how much of the above information is true, these Neomorphs definitely sound like they'll be a formidable threat. It also seems like Alien: Covenant is taking deliberate steps to make sure these new beast have closer ties to the Xenomorphs. Judging by these details, the Neomorphs look and sound similar to the classic Aliens, but there are also enough different characteristics that they'll bring something fresh to this mythology.
Taking place 10 years after Prometheus, Alien: Covenant will follow the crew of a colony ship arriving at a planet they believe to be an "uncharted paradise," only to discover numerous dangers lurking around shadowy corners. The main cast includes Katherine Waterston as Daniels, Danny McBride as the Covenant's pilot, Demián Bichir, Billy Crudup and more. Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace are also reprising their roles as David and Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, respectively.
Alien: Covenant will be released in theaters on August 4, 2017.