Alien: Romulus – Release date, cast, plot rumors & more

Cameron Frew
A xenomorph from the Alien franchise

Alien: Romulus will reunite us with cinema’s nastiest monster, the Xenomorph. So, here’s everything we know about the new movie so far, from its release date and cast to plot details.

In 1979, Ridley Scott launched a sci-fi horror hybrid that changed both genres forever: Alien. Following the crew of the Nostromo in deep space, they’re forced to bring a ghastly, face-hugging parasite on board, which leads to the chest-bursting birth of a Xenomorph. It has one goal: killing everything it finds.

After 45 years, the franchise is in a weird place. We’ve had three direct sequels (Aliens, Alien, and Alien Resurrection), two abysmal crossover bouts with Predator, and Ridley Scott’s divisive prequels with Prometheus and Alien: Covenant.

Predator found success with Prey, a bold Comanche actioner that revitalized the franchise. Alien appears to be following suit with Romulus, set to introduce new characters who’ll face off against the Xenomorph with (presumably) bloody consequences. Here’s what we know.

Alien: Romulus release date

Alien: Romulus will be released on August 16, 2024.

A xenomorph in Alien: Covenant

The film was first teased at 2019’s CinemaCon, coming shortly after Disney acquired 20th Century Fox (the same deal that made Deadpool 3 and Fantastic Four possible in the MCU). “We intend to do our part, and it is in that spirit that we will continue to create new stories,” former Fox chief Emma Watts said.

Only a few years prior, Neill Blomkamp had been working on Alien: Awakening, a quasi-sequel with complicated connections to the larger lore. “There was never a script. It was an idea that evolved from, I believe, a 10-page pitch, and I was meant to be the producer on that. And it didn’t evolve. Fox decided that they didn’t want to do it and that was it,” Ridley Scott revealed in 2017, adding that it was unlikely the project would ever see the light of day.

While Scott’s follow-up to Covenant has remained in development limbo since the deal, a completely new entry directed by Evil Dead and Don’t Breathe’s Fede Álverez was announced in 2022. It was originally planned to drop exclusively on Hulu, but it was given a surprise theatrical release, set to cap off the summer blockbuster season in 2024.

Alien: Romulus cast – Who’s in it?

The Alien: Romulus cast is full of young and exciting talent, including:

  • Cailee Spaeny
  • Isabela Merced
  • David Jonsson
  • Archie Renaux
  • Spike Fearn
  • Aileen Wu
The poster for Alien Isolation

While it’s not completely out of the question that other characters in the franchise could appear, it seems unlikely. Earlier sources told The Hollywood Reporter that it’s “unconnected to the previous movies”, with 20th Century’s Steve Asbell describing the pitch as “a really good story with a bunch of characters you haven’t seen before.”

Certainly don’t get excited to see Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley, as she says the “ship has sailed” on the character.

“There are all kinds of younger actors taking this kind of role. And there was an Alien [film] that I really wanted to do with Neill Blomkamp and we didn’t get to do that, but, you know, that ship has sailed. I’m very happy doing what I’m doing. I put in my time in space,” she told Total Film.

As for where you may have seen the cast before, Spaeny earned critical acclaim in 2023 for her portrayal of Priscilla Presley, as well as earlier appearing in Bad Times at the El Royale and Mare of Easttown.

“My first film was big-budget sci-fi [Pacific Rim: Uprising]. I feel like I’m going back to that world. And I have so much fun. I like trying to do as many different things as I can. So I swapped my high heels and my beehive for spacesuits and lots of wire work… I love watching those old ‘70s, ‘80s action sci-fi films. And I’m such a fan of that IP and Sigourney Weaver. It’s legendary to get to be a part of it,” she told Variety.

Merced’s first big role was playing CJ in Nickelodeon’s 100 Things to Do Before High School, before later parts in Instant Family and Madame Web. She’ll also play Dina in The Last of Us Season 2.

Alongside Álvarez, the film is co-written by his longtime partner Rodo Sayagues, with Galo Olivares (who worked on Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma) handling cinematography.

Alien: Romulus plot – What is it about?

Alien: Romulus will follow a “group of young people on a distant world who find themselves in a confrontation with the most terrifying life form in the universe.”

The Xenomorph in Alien: Covenant

As plot synopses go, it’s not exactly brimming with information, but other details are being kept under wraps. We know this much: as revealed by Spaeny, it’ll take place between Alien and Aliens.

“It’s supposed to slot in between the first movie and the second movie. They brought the same team from Aliens, the James Cameron film. The same people who built those Xenomorphs actually came on and built ours. So getting to see the original design with the original people who have been working on these films for 45-plus years and has been so much of their life has been really incredible,” she earlier said.

That’s a 57-year gap; plenty of time for screaming that nobody will hear. We know it’s going to be gory, with Merced telling The Hollywood Reporter: “There’s a scene that I’m in, and they all had to turn away. Not one person stayed looking at that iPad because it was so disgusting.”

Scott has also given the film his seal of approval. “I wanted him to see it before anybody. And everyone gave me the head’s up that Ridley is really tough. He’s really tough, particularly if it has something to do with his movies,” Álvarez recalled during last year’s DGA Latino Summit.

“Fede, what can I say? It’s f**king great,” Scott told him, even specifically praising its dialogue.

Romulus, the first king of Rome (and son of Mars, in myth), could be a clue itself. Fans dug into possible meanings behind the name and predictions for the movie on Reddit – check out the thread here.

Is there an Alien: Romulus trailer?

The first teaser trailer was released for Alien: Romulus and can be seen below:

The trailer shows off all the staples of the series as the Xenomorphs infiltrate the Romulus. There are Facehuggers galore, chaos, darkness ripe for jumpscares, all ending in a shot of a full-grown Xenomorph.

In the meantime, you may be wondering: what happened to Alien vs Predator 3? You can also see where Alien ranks in our top 30 horror movies of all time, 11 other horror films you should be excited to see in 2024, and check out our other upcoming horror hubs below:

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