Alien: Covenant, director Ridley Scott’s newest venture into the Alien mythos, is officially released in Chinese theaters on the 16th of June. Fortunately, eager fans living in 20 of China’s biggest cities need not wait until then, as advance IMAX screenings are already available.
However, early buzz seem to indicate that an arguably key aspect has been excised—the aliens.
Given the country’s track record, it would not be a surprise if this was actually the case. Having experienced Scott’s previous Alien film in cinemas, 2015’s Prometheus, Chinese audiences can always expect a shorter cut of any R-rated movie, for violence, gore etc.
But getting rid of the xenomorphs (the classic model from Alien, Aliens, and Alien: Resurrection) seems a bit much.
Chinese audiences have been split: Some say the cuts do not affect the story much and are only a minor nuisance. Others claim that the film has been completely ruined, with much of the horror aspect taken away.
One YouTuber, Mr H Reviews, posits that the exclusion of the xenomorphs may have improved the film (indeed, rumor has it that this was originally Scott’s preference, but the studio insisted). Mr H argues that the missing aliens heighten the scares—the horror is hardly ever seen, which was what made the original Alien so effective.
Or it could be another Prometheus.
Cover image from Mtime