It’s not the first time something like this has happened, but it’s still odd: This morning Fox dropped a "prologue" for “Alien: Covenant.” It’s not the opening; in fact, it’s a scene that might very well not be in the movie at all. It’s meant to give us a taste, tiding us over until the blockbuster’s release on May 19. It even has a joke. Behold:
That it’s some extra bit director Ridley Scott presumably decided he didn’t need for the final cut makes this quickie affair a bit more palatable. We, personally, don’t get the thing where you release the first 5 or 10 minutes of a movie ahead of time. A couple months ago, some poor journalists sat throughthe first 40 minutes(!!) of “Logan,”long enough to get comfortable in their chairs and with the story, only to be yanked right out of it. When the lights abruptly rose, everyone knew full well they’d have to do it again later. Hope they liked it!
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The “Covenant” clip isn’t even a tease. Both a sequel to “Prometheus” and the second prequel to the original 1979 “Alien,” it’s set aboard a ship destined for a new Earth. The intro shows one crewmember waking up as the previous one preps for hypersleep. We see most of the main cast/potential alien chow: Katherine Waterston, Demian Bichir, Billy Crudup, Carmen Ejogo, Amy Seimetz, Danny McBride in a cowboy hat. Michael Fassbender is there, allegedly playing a different android than he did in “Prometheus.” It’s even got James Franco, as if he didn’t have enough to do already, and he manages to keep a straight face around McBride, even though we won’t because we may be thinking about this (NSFW!).
As we said, there’s a joke, and it’s an easy joke, but we’re always happy when Ridley Scott cuts loose. Yes, he made the comedy classic “The Martian,” but we think “The Counselor,” from a script by Cormac McCarthy, is hilarious. The prologue offers a perverse change of tone after the gruesome (and also NSFW!) trailer released in December. And since it sounds like "Covenant" is going to be some mish-mash of "Prometheus" and the first “Alien,” we’ll take something that feels like neither. And hey, it's 35 minutes shorter than 40 minutes.
Follow Matt Prigge on Twitter@mattprigge