Alien: Romulus Is Making An Unexpected Change

Fede Alvarez's Alien: Romulus will release in theaters, rather than streaming exclusively on Hulu as originally reported.

By Douglas Helm | Published

alien: romulus

The first two Alien movies are beloved classics, but the once mighty sci-fi franchise has been floundering for a while now. There’s a chance that may all change with the upcoming next entry to the franchise tentatively titled Alien: Romulus, which was originally planned as a Hulu release. However, it seems like Disney has some confidence in the film, as Collider just reported that the film will now get a theatrical release on August 16, 2024.

It’s very possible that Disney was so impressed with the performance of the Hulu original film Prey, which revitalized the Predator franchise, that it is willing to take a chance with bringing Alien: Romulus to theaters. The Predator franchise was in a similar position as the Alien franchise, with the modern films consistently failing to live up to the classic early film. Prey breathed exciting new life into the franchise, and hopefully, this new Alien film will do the same.

There isn’t a ton of information about Alien: Romulus right now, but we do know the synopsis states that the film follows a group of young people on a distant world that have to contend with the most terrifying lifeform in the universe. Also, the cast consists of Cailee Spaeny, Isabela Merced, Archie Renaux, David Jonsson, Spike Fearn, and Aileen Wu. Finally, we know that Fede Alvarez, best known for the Evil Dead reboot in 2013 and the horror-thriller Don’t Breathe, is in the director’s chair.

Stephen Lang in Don’t Breathe (2016), helmed by Alien: Romulus director Fede Alvarez

Judging by the younger cast and the absence of Sigourney Weaver, it seems like Alien: Romulus will be leaving behind the baggage of other storylines in the franchise, including the overcomplicated origin story of Prometheus. Prey employed a similar tactic, making it a cat-and-mouse survival story that has the Predator as the main threat. The film smartly simplified things, left needless sci-fi exposition out of the equation, and cast up-and-coming star Amber Midthunder to deliver an unexpected and exciting hit.

Stripping away the more exposition-heavy aspects of the franchise that were added in recent years should make Alien: Romulus just the shot in the arm the franchise needs. Plus, Fede Alvarez’s horror chops mean that we will likely be getting a very scary version of the Xenomorph again. The hype for this new film is undoubtedly high, and hopefully, it can live up to the high expectations set by Prey.

Outside of Alien: Romulus, Disney has its sights set on expanding the Alien franchise on TV as well. The Alien TV project is separate but will be handled by showrunner Noah Hawley (Legion, Fargo) and star Sydney Chandler. Other than that, there is very little information about the show, but Hawley has said that the series will take place on a future version of Earth.

If both Alien: Romulus and Hawley’s TV series manage to be knockouts, then the Alien franchise may very well be back on track. It would be hard to predict that both the Alien and Predator franchises could have bright futures based on their films released in the late 2010s, but here we are. Stay tuned, and we’ll keep you updated on both of these projects.