Check Out The 100-Year-Old Inspiration For That New ALIEN: COVENANT Poster

Xenomorphs and Dante were made for each other.

Earlier today, 20th Century Fox unleashed a brand-new Alien: Covenant poster on us. Accompanied on social media with the tagline "The path to paradise begins in hell", the image (a nightmarish conglomeration of limbs, Xenomorphs, Facehuggers, and what may or may not be the crest of an Alien Queen's skull) spread like wildfire. Everyone loves this poster! 

I mean, of course they do. Look at it.

Great, right? Well, here's a cool little piece of trivia: the poster itself seems to be based on Auguste Rodin's monumental sculptural group work, The Gates Of Hell, which is based in part on the first section of Dante Alighieri's The Inferno.

It looks like this:

According to Wikipedia, the sculpture was commissioned in 1880, only to be worked on by Rodin on-and-off for the next 37 years (right up until Rodin's death, as a matter of fact). It's comprised of a number of smaller sculptures, each with their own names, and many of them are meant to represent elements from The Inferno (for instance, "Ugolino and His Children depicts Ugolino della Gherardesca, who according to the story, ate the corpses of his children after they died by starvation [Dante, Inferno, Canto XXXIII]...).

Given that tagline ("The path to paradise begins in hell"), the undeniable visual similarities, and the obvious thematic parallels, we give it pretty good odds that Rodin's The Gates of Hell served as the inspiration for this morning's brilliant Alien: Covenant one-sheet. Head on over to Wikipedia to read more about Rodin's piece (and to see a number of freaky close-up shots).

What do you guys think?

Oh, and PS: shoutout to eagle-eyed art historian Daniel Danger for pointing the above connection out to us. Next time you're in Austin, we're buying you an ice cream cone and a lolly!

(Images used with permission courtesy Wikimedia Commons)