Watch the four-minute prologue to Alien: Covenant

Meet the crew of space ship Covenant, who include Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, and, er, James Franco and Danny McBride

Video by The Skinny | 23 Feb 2017

A playful teaser to Alien: Covenant has arrived online introducing us to the crew of the eponymous colony spaceship, which is taking a long journey through space to establish a new human settlement on a distant planet. And what does any spaceship crew need before a long period in cryosleep? A last supper.

Being a colony ship, the crew seems to be entirely made up of couples, save for android Walter (Michael Fassbender), who we last saw as a decapitated head at the end of Prometheus. The four minute clip, described as the Alien: Covenant Prologue, shows the high-spirited crew have a bite to eat, some celebratory drinks and say a few inspirational words before their long trip into deep space.

Returning director Ridley Scott seems to be leaning even more heavily on his taut sci-fi masterpiece Alien, which kicked off this franchise, than he did with 2012 prequel Prometheus. Fans of the original 1979 film will have a sense of déjà vu here when one of the crew members starts to choke at the dinner table. As we’re braced for something horrible to happen, the tense moment is wryly undercut.

More curious is the cast. As well as solid character actors like Billy Crudup, Demián Bichir, Carmen Ejogo and Amy Seimetz, we have the ubiquitous James Franco as the ship’s captain, who seems to be in his strangely subdued, serious actor mode. Katherine Waterston looks to be taking on the 'kickass woman' role in the absence of series icon Sigourney Weaver. Danny McBride, meanwhile, seems to be playing, well, Danny McBride, and if the xenomorphs don’t kill him, it looks like some of his fellow crew members might.

Take a look at the clip in the player above.