In a new roundtable interview for the Hollywood Reporter, director Ridley Scott seems to suggest that the failure of Alien: Covenant might indicate that it's time to retire the Xenomorph once and for all.
Here he is, saying as much.
Here's the exact quote, for those of you who don't feel like watching the above:
“I figured it was a good piece of business to follow through on Prometheus, which - from ground zero - had good liftoff. So, we went to Covenant to perpetuate the idea and re-evolve the universe of the alien, who...I think the beast has almost run out, personally. You’ve got to come in with something else. You’ve got to replace that. And so, I was right. I was ahead of the game (on that)."
If we're parsing that correctly, Scott's saying Prometheus was an attempt to invest the Alien franchise with something new, while the negative reaction to that film indicated people weren't interested in an Alien movie without xenomorphs. Furthermore, Scott seems to believe the reaction to Alien: Covenant proves they were right to try and move past the xenomorph to begin with.
On the one hand, Scott's probably right about the entire xenomorph concept running low on gas. On the other hand, my suspicion is that the xenomorph itself wasn't really the issue on Prometheus or Alien: Covenant. On the former, audiences mostly took issue with the nonsensical script and the inexplicable behavior of its characters; on the latter, it seems more likely that audiences were turned off by the film's bleak atmosphere and bizarro tone (reminder: Covenant features a lengthy, oddly sexual sequence wherein Michael Fassbender's David teaches his clone how to play a flute). The xeno's not the problem, in other words - it's the approach.
That's my theory, anyway, and I say that as someone who'll go to bat for both of these movies. What do you folks think? Should the xeno be shipped off to the xenomorph retirement community, or should the franchise get one more at-bat to finish off this new trilogy? Sound off in the comments below.