Everything you need to know about Alien: Romulus

Cailee Spaeny in Alien: Romulus.
20th Century Studios

There’s a distinction that few people make with Alien‘s famous “In space, no one can hear you scream” tagline. That statement is only true in the vacuum of space. Inside of a spaceship, the screams are perfectly audible, and it sounds like there’s going to be a lot of screaming in the next film in the series, Alien: Romulus.

It’s no secret that the films after Ridley Scott’s Alien embraced action over horror. But Alien: Romulus is getting back to the franchise’s horror roots thanks to director and co-writer Fede Álvarez. Prior to this film, Álvarez established himself in the horror genre with his terrific remake of Evil Dead as well as his original film Don’t Breathe. That’s the sensibility that Álvarez is bringing to Alien: Romulus.

Alien: Romulus was originally conceived as a direct-to-Hulu movie, which was upgraded to a theatrical release before production began. That’s going to make it the first time in seven years that the franchise will be back on the big screen. To help you prepare for the return of the Xenomorphs, we’re sharing everything you need to know about Alien: Romulus.

What is Alien: Romulus about?

At the moment, story details about Romulus are pretty light. But we do know that this film will focus on a much younger cast of characters than its predecessors. The main characters are all colonists who are scavenging a space station for anything useful. What they find there is an infestation of Xenomorphs, which may prevent any of them from making it out alive.

Where does Alien: Romulus fall on the Alien timeline?

Álvarez has revealed that the story takes place in the decades between the events of Alien and Aliens. This seemingly rules out a cameo appearance by Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley, since she was in suspended animation during that long gap. It also raises some questions about how the Xenomorphs were unleashed on the space station, and how much the people back on Earth know about the ongoing threat that they represent.

Who’s starring in Alien: Romulus?

A man stands in a space ship hallway in Alien: Romulus.
20th Century Studios

Cailee Spaeny is headlining the film as a young woman named Rain Carradine, with David Jonsson as Andy, and Isabela Merced as Kay. The other confirmed cast members include Archie Renaux, Spike Fearn, and Aileen Wu, but their character names are currently unrevealed.

It’s a pretty safe bet that most of these characters won’t live to see the end of the film. But that’s true of any movie in the Alien franchise.

Is there a trailer for Alien: Romulus?

Yes, and it does something amazing: It makes the facehuggers terrifying. As you may recall, there aren’t adult Xenomorphs without the Facehuggers jumping on to a victim and laying eggs inside their body. But we’ve never seen Facehuggers move with the same ferocity and speed as they do in this footage.

Alien: Romulus | Teaser Trailer

The trailer also withholds its first look at a full-grown Xenomorph until the very end. That’s probably a good idea, because the Xenomorphs aren’t as impressive when they’re always on-camera. When they’re the off-screen monsters, they can be frightening again.

When will Alien: Romulus be released?

Alien: Romulus will hit theaters on August 16. That’s typically a slow month during the summer, but films like Guardians of the Galaxy have done very well with that mid-August slot.

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