The Alien: Romulus trailer has FINALLY dropped. Here’s 36 things you need to know about the film based on what we saw in the trailer and from interviews with its director, Fede Alvarez…

The first trailer for the new Alien movie from Fede Alvarez, Alien: Romulus, has just dropped online. I’ve included it below (in case you missed it). 

2024 is shaping up to be a good year for fans of the franchise too because we’ll also get the first season of Noah Hawley’s Alien TV series (it’s coming to Disney+ and HULU during mid-2024).

But this film. My god. It’s looking like a proper, balls to the wall Alien flick. And true to form, Alvarez is doing things right: the trailer gives nothing away, no plot details, no nothing – but it is drenched in horror, claustrophobia, and iconic low-fi tech. 

I love how Alvarez shoots, writes and directs. He goes straight for the jugular and in nearly every film he’s done, the guy appears to have one, singular goal: make the audience as uncomfortable as possible. With him at the helm for Alien: Romulus, I think we’re in for the bloodiest, scariest film in the canon yet. 

I’ve watched the trailer numerous times and just finished reading an excellent interview with Fede which I’d recommend everyone check out. I’ve collated everything currently known about the film, the trailer, and the cast into one big slab of info, spread across 36 points below… 

Alien: Romulus Deep Dive: The Trailer, The Plot, The Cast & Fede’s Vision

Alien: Romulus 101: Literally Everything You Need To Know…Pin

Creative Foundations & Atmosphere

  • Back to Basics: “Alien: Romulus” seeks to recapture the claustrophobic terror and intense atmosphere that defined Ridley Scott’s original 1979 “Alien” film, returning the franchise to its horror roots.
  • Director’s Vision: Fede Alvarez, known for his work on “Evil Dead” (2013) and “Don’t Breathe” (2016), brings his distinct directorial style to the Alien universe, promising a genuinely frightening experience that will unsettle audiences.
  • Nostromo Vibes & Blue-Collar World: The production design pays loving homage to the iconic Nostromo ship, capturing a gritty, industrial, retro-futuristic aesthetic. Expect a tactile, analog world filled with chunky keyboards, flickering CRT monitors, and clunky machinery that grounds the setting in a relatable, blue-collar reality.

Plot & Setting Exploration

Alien: Romulus 101: Literally Everything You Need To Know…Pin
  • Interquel Intrigue: Set between the events of “Alien” and “Aliens,” “Romulus” explores the wider universe during the 57-year period while Ripley is in hypersleep. This allows the story to carve out its own territory while maintaining connections to the beloved original films.
  • Mythological Ties & Weyland-Yutani’s Rome Obsession: The title “Romulus” directly references the Roman myth of Romulus and Remus, hinting at themes of siblinghood, rivalry, and betrayal. The Weyland-Yutani corporation’s imperial ambition and corporate ruthlessness is said to be a huge part of Noah Hawley’s Alien TV series, but it should make an appearance here too.
  • Renaissance Station & Romulus Lab: The primary setting is a remote space station composed of two halves named Remus and Romulus, adding layers to the mythological symbolism. A mysterious “Romulus Lab” door, marked with the image of the legendary wolf, suggests shady experimentation and deepens the world-building.

Cast & Characters

Alien: Romulus 101: Literally Everything You Need To Know…Pin
  • Star-Studded Cast: “Alien: Romulus” features an impressive ensemble of rising stars, including Cailee Spaeny, David Johnsson, Isabela Merced, Archie Renaux, Spike Fearn, and Alieen Wu. Their fresh talent brings new energy to the franchise.
  • Hero’s Entrance & Young Protagonists: Lead character Rain, played by Cailee Spaeny, is introduced in a way that mirrors Ripley’s iconic moments, establishing her as a worthy successor to the legacy of strong female protagonists.
  • Android Mystery & Question of Androids: David Johnson’s character drops hints of being an android, touching on the franchise’s exploration of the blurred lines between human and machine.

Special Effects & Authenticity

  • Practical Effects Pride & Animatronics Over CGI: “Romulus” emphasizes the extensive use of practical effects, with legendary studios like Weta Workshop and original “Aliens” crew members involved. Full animatronic xenomorphs are utilized over CGI to enhance realism and impact.
  • Set Authenticity & No CG Set Extensions: Committed to old-fashioned filmmaking aesthetics, Alvarez insisted on fully constructed sets without CGI extensions.

Thematic Depth & Legacy

  • Survival Horror Core & Standalone Yet Connected: At its heart, “Alien: Romulus” is a survival horror story that strips away the military trappings to focus on the primal terror of facing xenomorphs just like in the first movie.
  • Ridley Scott’s Approval & A Love Letter to the Franchise: Ridley Scott, engaged as a producer, praised the film upon screening it, endorsing its success in honoring his original vision. Alvarez describes his approach as a love letter to every “Alien” movie, positioning “Romulus” as a comprehensive tribute.
  • Legacy of Ripley & Creature Design Excellence: Protagonist Rain is carefully conceived to echo Ripley’s admirable qualities while standing as a unique, memorable character. With veteran creature effects artists involved, the xenomorph designs will apparently maintain the franchise’s signature blend of awe and revulsion. I’m expecting to see people getting torn apart by them in this movie; Alvarez is no stranger to body horror and gore.

Technological & Cinematic Details

Alien: Romulus 101: Literally Everything You Need To Know…Pin

Pulse Rifle Evolution & Directorial Under the Table: Rain wields a weapon that appears to be a precursor to the iconic Pulse Rifle, reflecting the film’s technological era. Alvarez took a proper hands-on approach to filming.

According to the director, he personally helped with puppeteering the xenomorphs in certain scenes just like Ridley did with the chestburster scene in the OG Alien movie.

Siblinghood Themes & Rome and Imperialism: The Romulus and Remus mythological underpinnings lend the narrative a thematic depth, exploring ideas of rivalry, succession, and familial bonds. Roman iconography positions Weyland-Yutani as a dark reflection of imperial ambition.

Technological Nostalgia & A-Level Talent Throughout: “Romulus” celebrates the lo-fi, industrial aesthetic of the early franchise which, since the sequel, Aliens, has been completely ignored. This was one of Prometheus’ biggest problems: it was set before the events of Alien, yet all the tech was way more advanced which was terrible for continuity.

Alien Easter Eggs & The Future of The Franchise

  • Easter Eggs Galore & Callbacks to Iconic Moments: “Alien: Romulus” is packed with visual and thematic nods to iconic franchise moments, rewarding attentive fans. Key scenes pay homage to memorable series elements in fresh, surprising ways.
  • The Future of the Franchise: Alvarez’s film promises to be a fitting tribute to the series’ roots while broadening its horizons with new mythos, characters, and tantalizing story threads waiting to be explored.

Alien: Romulus Release Date

Alien: Romulus will be released in cinemas (praise the lord) on August 16, 2024. It’s a Disney flick too, so it could – and I pray it will – also get a release on HULU and Disney+ shortly after its initial theatrical run.

Alien: Romulus FAQs

What will Alien: Romulus be about?

Alien: Romulus is a survival horror film that aims to recapture the claustrophobic terror and intense atmosphere of Ridley Scott’s original 1979 Alien movie. Set between the events of Alien and Aliens, it explores the wider universe during the 57-year period while Ripley is in hypersleep. The primary setting is a remote space station composed of two halves named Remus and Romulus. The film will focus on the primal terror of facing xenomorphs and feature themes of siblinghood, rivalry, and betrayal.

Is Alien: Romulus a sequel to Alien Covenant?

No, Alien: Romulus is not a direct sequel to Alien Covenant. It is set between the events of the original Alien (1979) and Aliens (1986), exploring the time period when Ripley was in hypersleep. While it may contain references or connections to the broader Alien universe, it is a standalone story.

Is David in Alien: Romulus?

David Johnson’s character in the film drops hints of being an android, touching on the franchise’s exploration of the blurred lines between human and machine. David – from Ridley Scott’s last two movies – will not appear in this movie (it is set way before the events of Prometheus).

Where does Alien: Romulus fit in the timeline?

Alien: Romulus is set between the events of Alien (1979) and Aliens (1986), during the 57-year period when Ellen Ripley is in hypersleep. This places it after the original Alien film but before the events of Aliens and subsequent movies in the franchise timeline. The film aims to explore the wider Alien universe during this gap in Ripley’s story.

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