Alien: Romulus Will Be A Hybrid Of Alien And Aliens: ‘How Do I Do Both?’ Says Fede Alvarez – Exclusive Image

Alien Romulus

by Ben Travis |
Updated on

It’s the age-old argument: Alien or Aliens? The haunted-house horror movie, or the action-packed war film? The lean, dread-filled original, or the bigger, beefier sequel? Both Ridley Scott’s original Xenomorph outing and James Cameron’s exemplary sequel stand tall among the greatest sci-fi films of all time – each with a strong and valid claim for being the best of the bunch. But when deciding the direction in which to take his sequel, Alien: Romulus, filmmaker Fede Alvarez hit upon the ideal solution: why not a hybrid of the two?

“To ask an Alien fan to choose between them is a perverse question,” he tells Empire, in our world-exclusive new Beetlejuice Beetlejuice issue. “So I thought, ‘How do I do both?’” Get ready, then, for a film that aims to conjure the slow-build scares of Alien with the oh-god-they’re-everywhere assault of Aliens, set at a point between the events of those original two movies. That even extends to the film’s look – with the galactic Renaissance Station split into two sections, the Alien-esque Remus, and the more advanced Aliens-alike Romulus. “There’s a moment where the characters are walking around areas familiar from the Nostromo,” says Alvarez. “Then they cross through that building and on the other side: boom! You’re in a hallway that looks like Hadley’s Hope [from Aliens].”

Amid those fighting for their lives from space’s scariest species is Cailee Spaeny’s Rain (seen above wielding an Aliens-esque Pulse Rifle), and David Jonsson as her android foster brother Andy. “When her father was dying, he left Andy to be a kind of caretaker,” explains Alvarez of the pair’s dynamic. “But Andy is a bit damaged and he’s an older model. So more than a surrogate father, he becomes a younger brother to her. And that was always the heart of the story: this relationship between the two… and how that relationship unfolds once shit hits the fan.” With a blend of serious scares and trigger-pulling thrills in store, they’re about to face the ultimate Alien evolution.

Empire July 2024 – Beetlejuice Beetlejuice cover

Read Empire’s full Alien: Romulus story – speaking to Fede Alvarez about making his ideal Xenomorph film – in the Beetlejuice Beetlejuice issue, on sale Thursday 6 June. Pre-order a copy online here. Beetlejuice Beetlejuice comes to UK cinemas on 16 August.

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