After teasing the origins of the famous xenomorph at the end of Prometheus, Ridley Scott said he was done with the character. However, with Alien: Covenant the creature is back in a big way. So why the change of plans? Ultimately, it was the Alien fans who changed Scott's mind. Apparently, fans were frustrated with Prometheus only giving them that brief tease of the classic sci-fi creature and the director realized that while he thought the creature had met its expiration date, the fans certainly had not. According to Scott...
What changed was the reaction to Prometheus, which was a pretty good ground zero reaction. It went straight up there, and we discovered from it that [the fans] were really frustrated. They wanted to see more of the original [monster] and I thought he was definitely cooked, with an orange in his mouth. So I thought: 'Wow, OK, I'm wrong.
As popular as the xenomorph has always been. It's not necessarily that surprising that Ridley Scott might have thought the creature was "cooked." Following his own original film the Alien franchise saw three sequels, only one of which is generally regarded as being any good, followed by a pair of Alien vs. Predator movies that are...well, they're movies that happened, to be sure. Sigourney Weaver has very publicly claimed that the AvP movies did significant damage to the Alien brand, so it's not too surprising if Ridley Scott's comments to Yahoo Movies came from the same place.
This might also explain the confusion surrounding Prometheus as a film. All throughout production, it was never truly clear whether or not Prometheus was an Alien prequel or not. At different times we heard different things. It's possible Ridley Scott didn't want people to think of it that way because he thought that would damage the movie.
Except fans still love the Alien movies, the good ones anyway. It turns out the franchise is still fairly strong among fans, and when Ridley Scott realized this, he recalibrated her own perspective on the series. While Scott says he doesn't make all his decisions based on what fans want, he does think it's an important barometer that should be taken into account.
The fans, in a funny kind of way --- they're not the final word --- but they are the reflection of your doubts about something, and then you realize, 'I was wrong or I was right.' I think that's where it comes in. I think you're not sensible if you don't actually take [the fans' reaction] into account.
Fans are certainly important to movies because they're the ones that pay the money that make movies successful or not, which in turn leads to more movies. At the same time, movies are meant to be art and the vision of their creator. We'll find out just how happy the fans truly are when Alien: Covenant hits theaters this Friday. Be sure to check out our review.