New Alien Movie’s Unexpected Place In Franchise Timeline Confirmed By Star


  • Alien: Romulus is set between the original 1979 Alien and the 1986 sequel Aliens, according to star Cailee Spaeny.
  • The same team that built the xenomorphs for James Cameron’s Aliens came on board to build the creatures.
  • The new timeline of the movie provides an opportunity to explore a previously untouched era and offers a plausible explanation for the absence of Ripley’s character.

Alien: Romulus star Cailee Spaeny has revealed where the upcoming movie fits into the sci-fi franchise’s timeline. Helmed by Evil Dead director Fede Álvarez, the upcoming movie marks the ninth entry in the long-running series, and the first to be produced since Disney acquired the franchise rights as part of their 2019 merger with 21st Century Fox. The Alien: Romulus release date is currently planned for August 2024, and the film is also set to star Madame Web’s Isabela Merced and Shadow and Bone actor Archie Renaux.

During a recent red-carpet appearance at the 2023 Gotham Independent Film Awards, Spaeny spoke to Variety about her upcoming Alien franchise debut. Offering a previously unreleased plot detail, Spaeny revealed Álvarez’s new movie is set between Ridley Scott’s original 1979 Alien and James Cameron’s 1986 sequel Aliens. She also revealed that the creature effects team from Cameron’s movie also came in to build the xenomorphs that will appear throughout the course of the movie. Check out her comments below:

“It’s supposed to slot in between the first movie and the second movie. They brought the same team from ‘Aliens,’ the James Cameron film. The same people who built those xenomorphs actually came on and built ours. So getting to see the original design with the original people who have been working on these films for 45-plus years and has been so much of their life has been really incredible.”

Why The New Alien Movie’s Timeline Is The Perfect Choice

Ripley carrying Newt and holding a gun in Aliens

While the first two Alien movies are widely regarded as science-fiction classics, later installments in the beloved franchise would attract mixed reactions from audiences and critics alike. Even when Scott returned to the franchise with 2012’s Prometheus and 2017’s Alien: Covenant, the response fell well short of the acclaim enjoyed by the series’ earliest entries. As such, there is currently a great deal of pressure on Álvarez’s own Alien movie to succeed where so many others have already failed.

In addition to the existing six Alien movies, the franchise’s xenomorphs also featured in the two Alien Vs Predator movies released in 2004 and 2007.

However, this newest piece of information not only bodes well for Alien: Romulus, it opens an entire, untouched era ripe for exploration in other potential sequels. With 1979’s Alien ending seeing Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley place herself in stasis, her character was left floating in space for nearly six decades before her body was recovered by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation in Aliens. That leaves Álvarez a more than generous gap in which to explore other deadly interactions with the mysterious xenomorphs, as Weyland-Yutani continue their nefarious plans to capture a sample for bioweapons research.

Moreover, with Ripley’s character considered such an important part of the franchise’s overarching story, this new timeline instantly provides audiences with a plausible explanation for why her character would not be appearing directly. It is also possible that references to Ripley’s original ship, the Nostromo, or even the exomoon LV-426 featured in Aliens could be used as potential connective tissue between Alien: Romulus and what are widely considered to be the best two movies in the franchise. While audiences are still yet to see whether Alien: Romulus will live up to its enormous potential, the revelation of its timeline offers the movie an exciting premise.

Source: Variety

  • Alien Comic Cover

    Alien: Romulus

    Release Date:

    Fede Alvarez

    Cailee Spaeny, David Jonsson, Archie Renaux, Isabela Merced, Aileen Wu, Spike Fearn

    Fede Alvarez, Rodo Sayagues

    Scott Free Productions, 20th Century

    20th Century



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