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With Prometheus, Ridley Scott dipped his toe back into the Alien franchise. Now, he's about to jump in with both feet thanks to Alien: Covenant. What's more, the director is already planning yet another entry in the franchise. Also, that entry is coming a lot sooner than we would have thought. According to Scott, he expects to be filming the next Alien movie before next summer. According to the director...
We're writing [a sequel] now, as we speak. I'll be filming that within 14 months
That's fast. Ridley Scott was recently quoted as saying that one of the things he hates about being a director is his inability to make multiple films in a year. Apparently, the best solution he can find is just to make them as quickly as possible. Filming 14 months from now would put the start of principle photography no later than July of 2018. From there, we could expect that a summer movie release date in 2019 would certainly be a strong likelihood. While Scott doesn't give IGN any insight into what this movie would be exactly, one would expect it will continue to fill in the prequel space between Prometheus and Alien.
Following Alien: Resurrection in 1997, the franchise essentially shut down and spent the early part of the 2000s in cryo-stasis, unless you count the Alein v. Predator movies, and we don't. However, with Prometheus Ridley Scott, the man who started it all, began to create the backstory that led into his original Alien film. Alien: Covenant will give us some answers in regards to how Prometheus ended, though it will do it via an entirely new cast of characters. As the trailers, and the title, have made clear, the new movie follows the traditional Alien formula with the primary enemy being the titular xenomorphs.
Ridley Scott has previously said that he's more than willing to continue to make Alien movies for the foreseeable future, saying he had at least six more movies he could make. Now, however, it appears that Scott isn't just willing to make the films, he's planning on it. It seems the Alien franchise is officially back for the long term.
Early reviews for Alien: Covenant have been mostly positive, though not necessarily glowing. It would appear that fans of the Alien franchise will likely find something to enjoy, though it may not be the home run that many were hoping for. However, if there will be many more movies in the series coming, that will give Ridley Scott and team plenty of time to adjust their approach and produce new Alien movies that will be everything we hope they are.