New Alien Movie Gets A Strangely Star Trek Name

The title for Fede Alvarez's upcoming Alien movie has been revealed as Alien: Romulus.

By Michileen Martin | Updated

alien romulus

There’s a new Alien movie on the way and its title almost sounds like it will be a Star Trek film. The title Alien: Romulus has just been revealed, with production set to begin in February. This is the same film which, untitled at the time, was announced in March to be directed by Uruguayan filmmaker Federico Álvarez.

The confirmation of the title Alien: Romulus comes from the Film & Television Industry Alliance, which lists February 6 as the production start date in Budapest. There’s also a brief summary that doesn’t provide a lot of information, but does say some significant things. It calls the film an “original standalone feature” based on Ridley Scott’s first film in the series.

If accurate, the Alien: Romulus summary indicates it won’t be a reboot or a continuation of either Scott’s prequel films or the original film series.

This update represents the biggest piece of solid information that’s been released since reports last month indicated that Cailee Spaeny (Mare of Easttown) would star in the film. Considering Álvarez’s horror background, the potential presence of a female lead, and the summary’s reference to the first Alien, it’s tempting to assume the director plans to bring a tone to Alien: Romulus more reminiscent of Scott’s first feature in the franchise. In contrast, the first sequel — 1986’s Aliens — feels more like an action thriller.

alien romulus
The Romulan villain Narek, played by Harry Treadaway, in Star Trek: Picard

Of course, the name Alien: Romulus will no doubt sound intriguing to Star Trek fans. The origins of the name “Romulus” go back to ancient legend, but plenty of modern Trek fans know it better as the homeworld of the Romulans who more often than not are antagonists in the franchise. In fact, both the Romulans and their home Romulus took center stage in 2020’s first season of Star Trek: Picard.

Much of the backstory of Picard involves the destruction of Romulus, and Jean-Luc Picard’s (Patrick Stewart) abortive campaign to evacuate and relocate her people. The Romulans also had a prominent place in Season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery, in which we learn in the distant 32nd century the Romulans and Vulcans have finally reunited on the former planet Vulcan which was renamed Ni’Var to commemorate the reunification.

Alien: Romulus likely has little to do with Star Trek, in spite of the signs that Trek is gravitating closer to the horror genre. The name does not originate with Trek, but with the name of the legendary (and likely mythical) founder of Rome. In fact, the name of Romulus’s twin brother Remus was also borrowed by Trek as a planet’s name, with the native Remans revealed to be a slave caste offshoot of the Romulans in 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis.