As the arrival of Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant builds momentum with each passing day, expectation levels are steadily on the rise. From the first moment that Scott announced his follow up to 2012’s Prometheus, it’s felt like the production has been relentlessly chased by question after question. But Scott’s no stranger to lingering questions about his work – one need only consider the massive amount of debate that followed in the wake of Prometheus for proof.
In fact, it would be fair to suggest that Ridley Scott thrives on the mysterious, unknown or downright unexpected aspects of his work on Alien: Covenant. To date we’ve been given many clues and even statements regarding what will or will not be in the upcoming sci-fi/horror film and yet for some reason, it still feels to many that the entire project is one big riddle. For a film that opens in less than six months time, even the casting continues to surprise fans.
The latest casting news comes to us courtesy of Alien vs. Predator Galaxy and confirms that James Franco will be joining the crew of the Covenant. Between writing, directing and acting, Franco has always been known for the numerous projects he typically has on the go, but a spot in Alien: Covenant is sure to surprise some. Franco will play the captain of the Covenant, Branson, and husband to Daniels (Katherine Waterston). Word is that his role is a small one, appearing mainly in the first ten minutes with some minor scenes later on as well.
If Scott is trying to add cast members to Alien: Covenant that few could have ever imagined – let alone pictured in an Alien film, then he’s doing an excellent job so far. The decision to cast comedic actor and Franco buddy Danny McBride took some Alien fans by surprise when it was announced earlier this year – though McBride’s assurance that Covenant contains “no comic relief” allowed for a collective sigh of relief from many. Though a somewhat surprising addition to Covenant, James Franco’s acting career is filled with a variety of roles to date in a wide variety of genres. Some will even recall that Franco was being seriously considered for the lead in Shane Black’s The Predator earlier this year – a role he eventually turned down.
It will be interesting to see if Franco and McBride share any screen time. If they do, it might seem a little strange watching the two of them in serious roles together. The duo battled the forces of an otherworldly evil together back in 2013’s This Is The End, but a spot in the Alien franchise is of course, an absolutely different can of worms. It’s also safe to say that by this point in his career, Ridley Scott more than understands the importance of casting. Come May 2017, hopefully audiences will see just what Scott sees in Franco.
With positive word-of-mouth still spilling out from the recent Covenant press event as well as confirmation that Alien: Covenant is actually going back to its horror roots, things appear to be shaping up quite nice for this fifth installment in the franchise. There’s still several months to go before the film arrives in theaters, which means there’s plenty of time left for Ridley Scott to throw a few more curve balls our way.