The Alien: Romulus Trailer Brings the Iconic Sci-Fi Franchise Back to Basics

In space, no one can hear you scream (again).

20th Century Studios

The original Alien was a revolutionary sci-fi movie. Until its 1979 debut, alien invasion stories were the stuff of big-budget spectacle or B-movie pulp, movies that treated aliens with reverence and awe. But Ridley Scott took the first-contact concept and turned it into a home invasion movie on a spaceship, in a grimy, claustrophobic thriller that featured blue-collar characters and a surprising female heroine. It’s no wonder Alien became instantly iconic, spawning hundreds of copycats and a franchise characterized by spectacular highs and embarrassing lows.

While Scott took the franchise to divisive new places with his prequel films Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, a return to its roots could make Alien truly feel like Alien again. And it looks like that’s what Fede Álvarez has done with the upcoming Alien: Romulus.

Watch the trailer for Alien: Romulus below.

Alvarez takes the director’s chair after Scott’s departure, though Scott stays on as producer. But even though Scott isn’t as involved, his influence is all over it, as Alien: Romulus appears to play very much like a return to everything that made the 1979 Alien great. We’ve got a dark, grungy spaceship, a cast of blue-collar characters, and at least one Xenomorph on the loose. All the imagery — especially that surrounding star Cailee Spaeny, who even feels like she’s shot similarly to how Sigourney Weaver was in Alien — seems to point to Álvarez paying homage to the 1979 classic, which the Don’t Breathe director all but confirms in an interview with GamesRadar.

“The characters of this movie and the world are very blue-collar,” Álvarez tells GamesRadar. “The technology is still very low-tech and analog. And, look, I’m a kid from the ‘80s. Any monitor with some VHS tracking issues puts a lot of joy in my heart.”

Alien: Romulus takes place between Alien and James Cameron’s 1986 sequel Aliens, roughly 20 years after the first film (which explains the similar-looking technology). The official plot synopsis describes: “While scavenging the deep ends of a derelict space station, a group of young space colonizers come face to face with the most terrifying life form in the universe.” In addition to Spaeny, the film also stars David Jonsson (Agatha Christie’s Murder is Easy), Archie Renaux (Shadow and Bone), Isabela Merced (The Last of Us), Spike Fearn (Aftersun), and Aileen Wu, many of whom will likely have rather unpleasant encounters with the Xenomorph.

Alien: Romulus opens in theaters August 16.

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