In space, no one can see you blush—Earth, though, is a different matter. Just ask filmmaker Fede Alvarez, who was beside himself with joy after Ridley Scott, father of the Alien franchise, gave his new film Alien: Romulus a glowing review. Scott’s initial thoughts on the film? “It’s f****ing great!”
According to Deadline, Alvarez was speaking with fellow horrormeister Guillermo del Toro during the DGA Latino Summit 2023 when he revealed Scott’s positive assessment of Alien: Romulus. The filmmaker told del Toro that he was determined to show his Alien sequel to Scott before he showed it to anyone else—despite Scott’s reluctance to give a thumbs up to any movies pertaining to his earlier work. “He was really tough on Blade Runner , which I thought was a masterpiece,” said Alvarez.
“And then he [Ridley Scott] walks into the room and he did say, ‘Fede, what can I say? It’s f***ing great.’ For me, it was like… My family knows it was one of the best moments of my life to have a master like him, whom I admired so much, to even watch a movie I made, but particularly something like this… and talk to me for an hour about what he liked about it.”Fede Alvarez, director of Alien: Romulus
The Alien: Romulus director went on to say Scott was even critical of last year’s Top Gun: Maverick despite the general consensus in Hollywood being that the movie single-handedly saved the theater business.
I asked him about the new Top Gun, and he’s like, ‘Meh.’ ” Alvarez confessed. Fede went on to elaborate that Scott had a lot of reverence for his brother Tony Scott’s original 1986 Top Gun and called the sequel “eh”—the verbal equivalent of a non-committal shrug.
Alvarez was sure that if Scott was that harsh on a film that was universally praised to high heaven, his Alien sequel—the ninth film overall to feature the titular chest bursters—didn’t stand a chance with the picky director.
Alvarez was instead relieved when Ridley Scott approached him after a screening of Alien: Romulus and declared the film “F***ing great!” Alvarez called Scott just watching a film he directed, “one of the best moments of my life,” and described Scott as a “master” he had great admiration for.
“Everyone gave me the head’s up that Ridley [Scott] is really tough. He’s really tough, particularly if it has something to do with his movies.”Fede Alvarez, director of Alien: Romulus
Alvarez was understandably nervous to meet one of his heroes but wanted to hear Ridley Scott’s opinion of the film in person. The director expressed his desire to talk with Scott face to face about Alien: Romulus rather than finding out how the legendary director felt through an impersonal method like email. According to Fede Alvarez, Scott engaged him in conversation for “an hour” and practically gushed about the new Xenomorph outing the whole time.
“One of the best compliments he said was, ‘The dialogue is great. Are you the writer?’ Yes!” beamed Alvarez when discussing his favorite thing Scott had to say about the movie.
Alien: Romulus’ Release
Alien: Romulus is set to be a standalone project unconnected to any of the other entries in the Alien series. The movie was originally going to debut on Hulu, much like 2022’s Prey, the hit Predator prequel that drew rave reviews from critics and fans alike, but is now scheduled to be released theatrically next year. The change is likely due to advanced screenings of Romulus receiving the same positive reviews from Disney execs as the one from Ridley Scott.
The last two entries in the Alien saga, 2012’s Prometheus and 2017’s Alien: Covenant, drew mixed reviews from fans who felt Scott’s insistence on “explaining” the Xenomorphs and his ruminations on the nature of creation pulled the series too far away from its beginnings as a visceral horror experience akin to a haunted house in space.
Alvarez, with his reputation for directing tense horror thrillers like Evil Dead (2013) and Don’t Breathe (2016), will hopefully bring the series back to its roots with Alien: Romulus.
Alien: Romulus is scheduled for theatrical release on August 16, 2024.