What The Title Of Alien: Covenant Really Means

Alien Covenant Katherine Waterston Screaming

As you may have realized from the trailer that was released last night, the subtitle of Alien: Covenant is a direct reference to a specific element in the film -- namely the ship that is taking humans to terraform a new planet. If you were thinking that's the only meaning to derive from the name of the new Ridley Scott movie, however, that would be a mistake. As those who are familiar with the Old Testament might have pieced together, the name of the upcoming sci-fi horror blockbuster is also a biblical reference to the story of Noah's Ark, and also helps define many of the relationships between characters in the story.

The story behind Alien: Covenant's title was one of the many, many things I learned about the film last summer when a small group of journalists including myself were invited to visit the set while production was rolling. It was a subject that was touched upon in multiple interviews with the stars and filmmakers, but nobody addressed it more directly than actor Demian Bichir -- who plays Sergeant Lobe in the movie, the head of the military side of the operation. Speaking to the fact that the eponymous ship is populated with couples, he explained,

It's a Noah's Ark. You're going out there, we have a lab, and we have many different species of this and that. And this is about moving - and when you move houses, you make sure you bring your blender with you. [laughter] You don't leave anything behind. You never know what you'll find or not find in the new place.

To get more detailed, the Covenant is actually populated with 2,000 colonists, all of whom are involved as couples with another person on-board. This extends to the central cast as well, as Sergeant Lobe is involved with Nathaniel Dean's character, Hallett (as seen in the prologue that was recently released), and Katherine Waterston's Daniels is with the ship's captain (James Franco). Of course, because this is an Alien movie, we all know that a whole lot of those colonists are featured in the narrative simply to be fodder for the xenomorphs running amok, but there is a deeper reasoning behind their presence.

While all of that explains the "Covenant" half of the movie's title, there is still the "Alien" part that is still very much worth discussing as well. The film is a direct sequel to Ridley Scott's 2012 feature Prometheus, and yet has no titular connection to it. I asked producer Mark Huffam about this during our time interviewing him on set, and he explained it thusly:

The 'Alien' is very much saying, yes, you are going to go back to the root of how the Alien franchise started. I think it's much like the other thing. It's bringing the best of Prometheus, and the best of Alien, and combining them to hopefully get something even better.

From all of the footage that has been released thus far, we definitely know that Alien: Covenant will be featuring a hell of a lot more xenomorphs than Prometheus did, and that alone has us excited for the follow-up.

As suggested earlier, this information about Alien: Covenant is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the stuff that we learned when I was on set. Be sure to pay attention here on CinemaBlend from great info from Ridley Scott, Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston and more... and look for the blockbuster in theaters on May 19th.

Head on over to Page Two to watch the amazing new trailer again!

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.