Everything we know about 'Alien: Romulus'

closeup of the head of a xenomorph from the "alien" movies, focused on its sharp-toothed, drooling mouth
"Alien: Romulus" is set to hit theaters on Aug. 16, 2024. (Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

After the surprise success of "Prey" on Hulu/Disney+ in 2022, 20th Century Studios and Disney have wasted no time and are developing more "Predator" and "Alien" projects for both cinemas and TV. Up next is "Alien: Romulus" (tentative title) from "Evil Dead" (2013) director Fede Álvarez, a new standalone movie that's returning to the series' roots.

Word on the street is that the movie was originally set to be released on Hulu, but studio executives were so impressed by the production — as well as the stellar reception and performance of "Prey" — that the seventh non-crossover "Alien" installment was granted a theatrical release. Meanwhile, Noah Hawley ("Fargo," "Legion") has been developing the first-ever "Alien" TV show for FX/Hulu. As far as we know, there's no narrative tissue connecting both projects, besides the fact that they both happen in the same universe.

If you're looking to get into the "Alien" mood ahead of this summer 2024 release, we of course recommend watching all the movies featuring Xenomorphs so you can come up with your own ranking, and checking out some of the best "Alien" video games available.

Related: "Alien" movies in order: chronological and release

"Alien: Romulus" will be the seventh film in the "Alien" series. (Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

'Alien: Romulus' release date

After the original plan to release the movie exclusively on streaming via Hulu was scrapped, Disney and 20th Century Studios were quick to give "Alien: Romulus" an Aug. 16, 2024, release date in the United States.

As far as we know, this won't be a limited release or a day-and-date movie also available on streaming from the get-go. The seventh "Alien" movie is getting a full theatrical run.

We don't know much about the plot of "Alien: Romulus" yet, but facehuggers will probably be involved. (Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

What is the plot of 'Alien: Romulus?'

While Disney and 20th Century Studios quickly admitted that new "Alien" movies were in development after the Disney-Fox acquisition, it wasn't until early 2022 that we learned about the first big-screen project in active development: Fede Álvarez, of both "Evil Dead" and "Don't Breathe," would co-write and direct a new installment of the sci-fi horror franchise reportedly disconnected from the Ripley-centric entries as well as Ridley Scott's two prequels.

The plot and character descriptions have largely been kept under wraps, but the trades received a vague but official plot synopsis earlier this year that said the story follows a "group of young people on a distant world who find themselves in a confrontation with the most terrifying life form in the universe." At first glance, nothing about it reads very surprising, but we can infer that the scale is much closer to that of the first and third "Alien" installments. Plus, the young cast of characters suggests that Álvarez is sticking close to the formula of his past two movies: terrifying and butchering a group of young adults who are in over their heads, now in space. According to star Cailee Spaeny, the movie is set between "Alien" (1979) and "Aliens" (1986). For those unaware: 57 years pass while the sole survivor of the USCSS Nostromo, Ellen Ripley, is floating in deep space, so that's a big gap during which more stories could be set.

Álvarez reportedly came up with the idea for his "Alien" movie many years ago and talked to Ridley Scott about it, but it wasn't until 2021 that Scott called the horror filmmaker and formally proposed to work on it. It wasn't long until 20th Century Studios decided to move forward with the pitch. According to boss Steve Asbell, Álvarez's pitch was "just a really good story with a bunch of characters you haven't seen before." Rumors say the characters at the center of the story are young thieves coming across the Xenomorph during a heist, but we can't confirm that information.

Related: 'Alien' Horror: 9 Terrifying Xenomorphs from the 'Alien' Movies

The first trailers for "Alien: Romulus" should come out in early 2024. (Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

'Alien: Romulus' trailers

No trailers have been released yet for "Alien: Romulus," but we're expecting marketing to kick off in early 2024 or spring at the latest. It all depends on how much money Disney wants to spend on promoting a medium-budget sci-fi horror movie. Since the theatrical release calendar for Disney's 2024 is looking a bit bleak, a new "Alien" movie should get more attention than under other circumstances.

We'll update this article with the trailers for "Alien: Romulus" trailers as they come.

"Alien: Romulus" features a young cast. (Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

'Alien: Romulus' cast

While we don't have meaty character descriptions to go with these names, 20th Century Studios has revealed who stars in the seventh "Alien" movie: Cailee Spaeny ("Pacific Rim: Uprising"), Isabela Merced ("Transformers: The Last Knight"), David Jonsson ("Industry"), Archie Renaux ("Shadow and Bone"), Spike Fearn ("Aftersun"), and newcomer Aileen Wu.

Another "Alien Day" will be coming next year, when "Alien: Romulus" is released. (Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

'Alien: Romulus' director, writers and crew

Fede Álvarez is directing from a script co-written by himself and longtime collaborator Rodo Sayagues, who worked on the two "Don't Breathe" flicks (also directing the second one) and executive produced and helped crack the story for 2022's "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" legacy sequel. Galo Olivares ("Gretel & Hansel") handled the cinematography.

Original "Alien" director Ridley Scott ("Prometheus," "Alien: Covenant") and Michael Pruss ("Earthquake Bird," "Boston Strangler") serve as producers. Of course, Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett are getting credits for cracking the original story for the first "Alien."

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Fran Ruiz

Fran Ruiz is our resident Star Wars guy. His hunger for movies and TV series is only matched by his love for video games. He got a BA of English Studies, focusing on English Literature, from the University of Malaga, in Spain, as well as a Master's Degree in English Studies, Multilingual and Intercultural Communication. On top of writing features and other longform articles for Space.com since 2021, he is a frequent collaborator of VG247 and other gaming sites. He also serves as associate editor over at Star Wars News Net and its sister site, Movie News Net.

  • Nightshade09
    They should rename it Alien: Overkill. As much as I love science fiction and the original three Alien movies. This constant re-imaging, re interpretation business. With no continuity, killed the interest. So now we have a group of stranded teenagers in space fighting the aliens. (teenagers fighting the big bad meanie, another overused troupe) Come on give us something fresh and exciting something otherworldly! Such as the Engineers having to unite with their creation (us) to save both civilizations. Anything other than oversexed teenagers in space fighting a Jason / Freddy stand in aka Alien.
    Reply
  • JagKry
    Considering the cast, age group, the outline of the plot and the shooting location (Budapest?) it will be another crap for non-smart teenagers... it's a pity.
    Reply