In a roundtable discussion with The Hollywood Reporter, Ridley Scott announced (or let slip) that he thinks the xenomorph, the acid-bleeding, saliva-dripping, face-hugging star of the Alien franchise and one of cinema’s iconic sci-fi/horror creations, may be approaching its final appearance.

Scott had been discussing his decision to produce Blade Runner 2049and handing over the directing reins to Denis Villenueve, when he momentarily switched direction and mentioned last summer’s Alien: Covenant. It comes out as more of an aside than anything, but he’s quite clear about it:

So we went to Covenant to perpetuate the idea and re-evolve the universe of the alien, who — I think the beast has almost run out, personally. You’ve got to come in with something else. You’ve got to replace that. And so I was right, I was ahead of the game.

Below is a clip from the roundtable (full video here):

Now, “almost run out” could mean lots of things. It could mean that the next entry in the alien saga, which Scott said could be called Alien: Awakening, will in fact be the last. Then again, 20th Century Fox owns the property, and if they decide to keep churning out more xenomorph-based films, there’s not a whole lot Scott can do about it. Scott had, at one point, expressed a desire to make as many as six more Alien projects, which he later revised down to one or two.

That was before Alien: Covenant had a decent but not great performance at the box office. It took in $74 million domestic and $240 million worldwide on a $97 million budget, good enough for fifth place in the franchise (unadjusted). That could signal flagging audience interest, or maybe just that Covenant wasn’t that good. (Read our review here.)

Onscreen, the “perfect organism” always finds a way to come back just when you think it’s finally dead. Odds are that ability to escape death and return to terrorize its victims will extend to the xenomorph’s cinematic life as well. We may not know how many more Alien flicks there’ll be in the future, but rest assured that numerous poor space explorers will suffer spine-bursting incidents in the near and long-term future. It’s just too good a character to ever go away forever.

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