Remember “Prometheus”? Well, it’s pretty clear the ad team behind “Alien: Covenant” doesn’t want you to. The summer movie may be a sequel to 2012’s sorta-prequel to the first “Alien,” but it’s becoming clearer and clearer Fox wants you to think of it more as a straight-up “Alien” semi-remake — closer to how “The Force Awakens” was basically the original “Star Wars.” Like the big "SW" reboot, it won’t just be similar-but-different, but reallllly similar though still pretty different.
On the heels of the original teaser, the first trailer, the little opening “prologue” that might not be in the final cut and the latest red band trailer, Team “Alien: Covenant” has released three brief web ads, titled "Run," "Hide" and "Pray" (as oppposed to "Eat," "Pray" and "Love"). If that weren't enough, there's also, on top of these, a new TV spot that blasts John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” as Katherine Waterston skulks about corridors, a serious Danny McBride glowers and Billy Crudup gets to first base with a face-hugger.
Throughout the combined two-or-so minutes, the expected OG “Alien” business is on hand: dude gets impregnated by a slimy extraterrestrial, the crew gets picked off one by one, the day may (or may not!) be saved by a strong female character, with Waterston standing in for Sigourney Weaver. (MIA this round: the sight of the new aliens that come out of people’s backs. Yikes!)
We can’t be sure how accurate this is. The original pitch for “Alien: Covenant” was that it was a sequel to “Prometheus” that led into the 1979 “Alien.” It would deepen the complicated mythology and world-building of “Prometheus,” but then also give us actual creatures murdering the hell out of everyone. It would give us the old fashioned goods while fitting in with our new blockbuster landscape of interlocking Cinematic Universes that keep bringing ticket buyers back for a threatened six more sequels. Failing that, it will just scare the bejesus out of us.
And maybe it will! But it’s clear from all these ads that the campaign is trying to apologize for the very different “Prometheus” — a movie that, whatever its faults (and there were many), actually tried to do something original, even while glomming onto a beloved brand.
Anyway, here’s the three web videos, plus the TV ad: