The New Alien Movie Has Found Its Lead In A Mare Of Easttown Actor

Cailee Spaeny in HBO's Mare of Easttown
(Image credit: HBO)

The Alien franchise has been on pause since the release of Alien: Covenant in 2017 (not counting the Alien comics being published by Marvel Comics), but plans are in motion for it to get both big and small screen love in the coming years. In addition to the Alien TV series that Ridley Scott and Noah Hawley are developing for FX on Hulu, it was announced in March 2022 that there’s a new Alien movie coming from Evil Dead director Fede Álvarez, who pitched his idea directly to Scott years ago. The latter project has now taken another big step forward by lining up a Mare of Easttown actor as its lead.

Cailee Spaeny, who played Erin McMenamin in the hit HBO miniseries led by Kate Winslet, is reportedly in talks to star in the new Alien movie 20th Century Studios is putting together. According to Deadline, the actress has been “the top choice for the lead role for some time” after meeting with Fede Álvarez and producers. A deal will need to be reached soon for Spaeny to come aboard since cameras are expected to start rolling in early 2023.

For those who didn’t watch Mare of Easttown, you might recognize Cailee Spaeny from movies like Pacific Rim Uprising (her feature film debut), Bad Times at the El Royale, On the Basis of Sex, Vice and The Craft: Legacy. She also recently recurred as Anna Roosevelt Halstead in the Showtime series The First Lady. Aside from potentially joining the next Alien movie, Spaeny is set to play Priscilla Presley in a Sofia Coppola-helmed movie about the woman’s relationship with Elvis (who will be played by Jacob Elordi), and she’ll also appear in Alex Garland’s Civil War.

Although specific details concerning the new Alien movie are being kept secret, per the original announcement from March, it will not be connected to the other Alien movies. In other words, don’t expect this Fede Álvarez offering to be a sequel to Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, both of which were set decades before the events of 1979’s Alien. So although speculation is already running rampant on social media that Cailee Spaeny starring as an established Alien character, it seems more likely that she’ll play someone brand-new. 

Between the reported smaller scale nature of this new Alien movie and that it’s expected to debut exclusively to Hulu subscribers rather than get a theatrical release, this feature sounds like it could have a similar feel to Prey, the most recent entry in the Predator franchise. It’s unclear if Ridley Scott will ever get to finish off his Alien prequel trilogy, i.e. resolve where we left things off in Covenant, but this other Alien movie might be just the thing to give the franchise a jolt back into the mainstream consciousness. At the very least, it gives Cailee Spaeny a platform to play a character who must survive a Xenomorph rampage and maybe even eliminate the monstrosity by the end of the story.

We’re a ways off from this Alien movie from reaching our eyeballs, but as the wait for more news about is progress continues, familiarize yourself with the final upcoming movies in 2022 and what’s on the 2023 film schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.