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Ridley Scott Talks Alien: Covenant Test Screenings – 20 Minutes of Footage Removed

In a recent interview with Collider’s Steve Weintraub, Sir Ridley Scott talked about the test screenings for Alien: Covenant and revealed that he’d trimmed about 20 minutes from his initial edit of the film.

“Ridley Scott: The only reason I take my hat off occasionally to screenings is you think you know everything, but you know you don’t. Something inordinately simple you’ve assumed everyone understands and they don’t. That’s the key thing, isn’t it? You know when it’s a bit too long. And also, if you’re a bit too long you then ask “Right speed? Too slow? Too fast?” If they go “no, too fast” you go “shit, I’ve got to slow down” – because as you edit, you can get weary and want to cut, cut, cut.

Collider: Oh, so were there a lot of deleted scenes?

Ridley Scott: No.

Michael Fassbender: I don’t think so.

Ridley Scott: I always come out at almost 2:23 first cut. Look at it, and go “I’ve got to get to two hours”.

 Ridley Scott Talks Alien: Covenant Test Screenings - 20 Minutes of Footage Removed

That may not have been entire scenes though. Some of that may have been simple trimming. We’ve already taken note of some sequences missing from the trailers (which in all fairness is pretty standard) but we’ve also had the benefit of knowing of other sequences that were removed from the test screenings. Along with the recently released novelization, we’ve been working on a deleted scenes page for Alien: Covenant. We’ll have that up for your reading pleasure soon!

Will we be seeing an extended release of Alien: Covenant when it finally hits home release? Is that something you would be interested in seeing?  Thanks to echobbase79 for the news.

Keep a close eye on Alien vs. Predator Galaxy for the latest on Alien: Covenant! You can follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to get the latest on your social media walls. You can also join in with fellow Alien fans on our forums!



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  1. D88M
    it has become a trend in hollywood to release incomplete and mutilated movies, even lying with trailers putting stuff that is not in the finished movie (Power Rangers, Covenant/Prometheus, BvS, Suicide Squad, anything from the mcu, etc, the list is endless)
  2. juxtapose
    it's interesting to see how polarizing this movie is. .the very thing i loved about this filming experience is the very thing that others hate. . I felt david and walter took up way enought screen time for instance. .they even kissed. .would u have been more satisfied if they got married and adopted a baby neo?. .i am gay so it would!nt have bothered me much. .i was in for this movie cause of the action . .the gore. .the neo's and ultimately the big awesome f**king acid bleeding chap f**ker with the extended jaw. . .i got to see him like never before. .what i did not get was the love for the opening scene with weyland. .did not hate it. .but it was probably the least memorably scene IMO. .but i am glad others enjoyed it more. .even the flute scene was not quite as munchy as i thought it might be. .but i did not really mind it either. .their was plenty of scenes which i knew about before going into the threater wich i did not think was gonna please me much. .but their was plenty. .the wheatfield attack and the last 20 minutes on the covenant. . Loved it!
  3. Protozoid
    Disagree. This was a really choppy narrative. More so than Prometheus, the cuts are really obvious and harmful. And the unsurosising surprise fourth act is pointless and boring. This one needs a longer cut. The story is cut to shreds. Both prologues should have been in the film, and probably some of the other deleted scenes. Walter had shockingly little screen time. The buildup between him and David is really underdeveloped and appears to happen in minutes. This was a badly cut film, narratively speaking. Although, the script was also quite weak, which is where the real narrative, structural, and character issues are inherited. This movie just doesn't work, IMO.
  4. Salt The Fries
    when i went to see it today for the first time i was most worried that i was gonna really loce it up until that reported rushed 3rd act. .but i actually welcomed the quicker pace it took during the third act. .i generally hate it when the climax of a movie happens to early on. .but it never felt like that while i watched covenant. .some of the most memorable scenes was during the 3rd act. .was surprised how much i enjoyed the shower scene and even the infamous chestburster scene. .actually really loved the look of the baby xeno and it mimicking david did not even bother me in the least. .the fight scene between the androids was also alot more entertaining that what i had imagined. . And loved daniels panic when the alien gave chase before she finally defeated it. .so many awesome events during that 3rd act. .

    I had almost no problems with 3rd act and I think the Covenant's pacing was a deliberate attempt to distance itself from Prometheus's pacing. And the film - to me - had a superb flow.
  5. juxtapose
    when i went to see it today for the first time i was most worried that i was gonna really loce it up until that reported rushed 3rd act. .but i actually welcomed the quicker pace it took during the third act. .i generally hate it when the climax of a movie happens to early on. .but it never felt like that while i watched covenant. .some of the most memorable scenes was during the 3rd act. .was surprised how much i enjoyed the shower scene and even the infamous chestburster scene. .actually really loved the look of the baby xeno and it mimicking david did not even bother me in the least. .the fight scene between the androids was also alot more entertaining that what i had imagined. . And loved daniels panic when the alien gave chase before she finally defeated it. .so many awesome events during that 3rd act. .
  6. BonesawT101
    I feel like the film would absolutely benefit from an extended cut on Blu Ray. In particular, the third act. I wonder if there were many scenes of the Alien and Neomorph cut from the film... ???
  7. D88M
    the pacing is too quick, and extended cut would be nice

    yes, i really hope so, the pacing of the movie is a little rushed, just like in Prometheus, you can tell stuff was cut
  8. Protozoid
    Blade Runner, Heaven's Gate, Once Upon a Time on America, and possibly Brazil

    This is not those movies (and I don't even like Heaven's Gate much, though it is visually incredible).
    Those were just off the top of my head. The idea is that it bombed in theaters and most people saw the home video version, resulting in a reappraisal. The bigger the bomb, the more opportunity for improvement there is. Sounds like they have a lot of footage for the last two movies. They could cobble together ultimate editions using all available footage and see if Ridley's vision grows on them. It almost certainly will. People want the long cuts to be good, which is most of the battle right there.
    Look no further than William Friedkin's Sorcerer from 1977. One prominent critic from New York Times gave it a bad review, then everybody went apeshit on Friedkin because he dared to remake a beloved French art-house classic from 1953 and then suddenly without giving ANY thought everybody was aping those comments without putting any thought. Simultaneous release next to Star Wars, confusing marketing and lack of English language for the first 20 minutes didn't help, either. But hey, 35 years later, it became gradually reappraised. I even had DIRECT impact on this reappraisal, I made 99% of content on its wikipedia page, and it even influenced Warner Bros. which then used quotes from 40 years ago which I painstakingly fished out from the deepest depths of the Internet. One chick who's a film reviewer even wrote a piece on it for Medium.com and she acknowledged my help and put a special thanks for me :) But anyway, even the crtiics which initially hated the film now made a U-turn and admitted they were wrong. And now even it is not only thought of as a lost classic but even a lot of critics think it's more relevant than the original version.
    Sorcerer is a great example! All Friedkin had to do was recolorize the movie and critics treated it like a new cut of the movie, right? And now almost overnight its rep went from one of the worst films to one of the best. Incredible. Just saw it for the first time last year and it was gripping, mesmerizing, haunting stuff. Friedkin's masterpiece, IMHO.
  9. Salt The Fries
    Blade Runner, Heaven's Gate, Once Upon a Time on America, and possibly Brazil

    This is not those movies (and I don't even like Heaven's Gate much, though it is visually incredible).
    Those were just off the top of my head. The idea is that it bombed in theaters and most people saw the home video version, resulting in a reappraisal. The bigger the bomb, the more opportunity for improvement there is. Sounds like they have a lot of footage for the last two movies. They could cobble together ultimate editions using all available footage and see if Ridley's vision grows on them. It almost certainly will. People want the long cuts to be good, which is most of the battle right there.
    Look no further than William Friedkin's Sorcerer from 1977. One prominent critic from New York Times gave it a bad review, then everybody went apeshit on Friedkin because he dared to remake a beloved French art-house classic from 1953 and then suddenly without giving ANY thought everybody was aping those comments without putting any thought. Simultaneous release next to Star Wars, confusing marketing and lack of English language for the first 20 minutes didn't help, either. But hey, 35 years later, it became gradually reappraised. I even had DIRECT impact on this reappraisal, I made 99% of content on its wikipedia page, and it even influenced Warner Bros. which then used quotes from 40 years ago which I painstakingly fished out from the deepest depths of the Internet. One chick who's a film reviewer even wrote a piece on it for Medium.com and she acknowledged my help and put a special thanks for me :) But anyway, even the crtiics which initially hated the film now made a U-turn and admitted they were wrong. And now even it is not only thought of as a lost classic but even a lot of critics think it's more relevant than the original version.
  10. Protozoid
    Blade Runner, Heaven's Gate, Once Upon a Time on America, and possibly Brazil

    This is not those movies (and I don't even like Heaven's Gate much, though it is visually incredible).
    Those were just off the top of my head. The idea is that it bombed in theaters and most people saw the home video version, resulting in a reappraisal. The bigger the bomb, the more opportunity for improvement there is. Sounds like they have a lot of footage for the last two movies. They could cobble together ultimate editions using all available footage and see if Ridley's vision grows on them. It almost certainly will. People want the long cuts to be good, which is most of the battle right there.
  11. Protozoid
    We definitely need extended Cuts of Prometheus and Covenant, just to get the pacing right and make the story just that bit clearer.

    Im all for ambiguity in some places, but not when its for the sake of it

    The problem with an Extended Cut is that it doesn't reach the same audience as a cinema does. Extended Cut's sometimes add more scenes that improve (or not) a certain aspect in the movie.

    I remember Prometheus had an alternate opening. But I haven't seen any footage of that...
    Alien Covenant could use some additions here and there and I'm pretty damn sure alot has been cut.

    We'll see.

    A sequel is 100% garantueed at this point. Covenant has been made on a relatively low-budget ...
    Depends. I bet you more people saw the director's long home video cut of Blade Runner, Heaven's Gate, Once Upon a Time on America, and possibly Brazil than in their original theater releases. If they put out a longer version of Covenant, over time it may become the "true" version that everyone sees and remembers, and if it's good, that will improve the movie's rep.
  12. SyntaX
    We definitely need extended Cuts of Prometheus and Covenant, just to get the pacing right and make the story just that bit clearer.

    Im all for ambiguity in some places, but not when its for the sake of it

    The problem with an Extended Cut is that it doesn't reach the same audience as a cinema does. Extended Cut's sometimes add more scenes that improve (or not) a certain aspect in the movie.

    I remember Prometheus had an alternate opening. But I haven't seen any footage of that...
    Alien Covenant could use some additions here and there and I'm pretty damn sure alot has been cut.

    We'll see.

    A sequel is 100% garantueed at this point. Covenant has been made on a relatively low-budget ...
  13. Whiskeybrewer
    We definitely need extended Cuts of Prometheus and Covenant, just to get the pacing right and make the story just that bit clearer.

    Im all for ambiguity in some places, but not when its for the sake of it
  14. echobbase79
    Originally, I think both survived because in the novelization one showed back up at the end to confront Daniels and Lope. It eventually was killed by the Xenomorph in a brutal fight.

    Also, from the first test screening the same scene was shot, but without the fight between the two beasts.


    http://i.imgur.com/CVLhVIx.jpg

    Ever wonder what happened to the OTHER Neomorph that went scurrying off into the darkness? Well he actually shows up in a short action scene that was only screened in the first cut. It is near the end of the film when Daniels and Lope are outside the Citadel awaiting rescue. They see Tennessee bringing down the landing platform but the second Neomorph makes a surprise appearance and begins charging at them. At that same time the Xenomorph steps out of the Citadel and sees the two in the distance and immediately gives chase from the opposite end. Daniels and Lope begin running for the landing platform, back to back, and firing in opposite directions at both Aliens. If I recall correctly we see the Xenomorph effortlessly dodging bullets mid-stride while Daniels is able to take down the Neomorph with her rifle.


  15. Ingwar
    But that's just one thing. The real reason this film CANNOT BE more than 2 hours is because it R-RATED and has a 100 million dollar budget.
    This is why the movie feels rushed. FOX would be wise to invest the money in the franchise's shelf life and not worry about the next film making back its money so much as they worry about getting it right.

    Terminator 2 - 102 million - 137 minutes
    Gladiator - 103 million - 155 minutes. Non-franchise movie.
    American Gangster - 100 million - 158 minutes. Non-franchise movie.
    Django Unchained - 100 million - 166 minutes. Non-franchise movie.
    The Wolf of Wall Street - 100 million - 179 minutes!. Non-franchise movie.
    The Revenant - 135 million - 156 minutes. Non-franchise movie.
  16. dallevalle
    here is my advice to you Ridley dont listen to people you are the film maker here you know a hell of alot more than they do
    so do the movies the way you want. dont listen to stupid people you screened it for.
  17. Dan2004
    Wouldn't mind seeing the alleged Xeno/Neo scene which sheds light on what happened to the second Neo. Almost insulting they left the second Neo unexplained. Rookies. Fans are too smart for this cute editing.
  18. dinosauriac
    Although it seems like Ridley might have more self respect and class than Robert Rodriguez and his ilk, I do wonder if they did the same crap with the Covenant trailers that pissed me off with the Predators trailers. Shooting pieces specifically for advertising purposes that were never in the script, never intended to go in the movie, but look good and show something cool to get people interested. In my book, it's the height of false advertising as far as movies are concerned, and both Prometheus and Covenant were woefully missold. 
  19. CainsSon
    I would like to see the uncut Covenant on home video, but I doubt it will be a substantial increase in quality.  My issues with the movie have to do with the broad strokes of the story more than anything else.

    However, they certainly have the footage they need to improve Prometheus and make it a proper masterpiece.  If Scott wants to preserve the mystery, cool, but he could at least restore character scenes and give us a more rounded, heroic Shaw.  If audiences connected a little more to the characters, the third act would work much better.  Principally they just need to restore Janek's drunken monologue.  The movie needs his character's decisions to work, and for that to happen, that scene needs to be restored.  You can do the same with Milburn, having another scene of him being curious about life forms.  His later behavior is easier to understand.  These character beats also further reinforce the "humans are victims of their programming" theme.

    Scott should make extended cuts of BOTH prequels ASAP.
  20. AlienFanIL17
    I would love to see an extended cut of Covenant.  I usually like the extended cuts of the movies I get on Blu-ray more than the cinema version because of the added detail.  I do like the extended cuts of the Alien movies on Blu-ray compared to the cinema versions, especially the extended cut for Aliens. 

    As much as I loved Covenant, even I felt the third act felt rushed.  I understand the economic pressure from the studio to get the movie to about 2 hours.  However, it then falls to the director and writers, I feel, to craft a story that won't feel rushed in that 2 hours. 

    A lot of people have complained that outside of Tennessee, Daniels, and Oram, they didn't really get too invested in the other crew members.  I've been thinking about that ever since seeing Covenant.  I realize that the original Alien was a fairly simple affair, especially when compared to the scope of the other movies.  However, the crew of the Nostromo was only 7.  Covenant's crew was I think 15, including the original captain and we all know how that turned out.  Prometheus was basically the same thing, people all over the place.  I know this wouldn't solve all of the problems that people have stated they have with Covenant.  However, less people means less time needed to give everyone screen time, which hopefully means a tighter story and much better pacing.
  21. Protozoid
    I would like to see the uncut Covenant on home video, but I doubt it will be a substantial increase in quality.  My issues with the movie have to do with the broad strokes of the story more than anything else.

    However, they certainly have the footage they need to improve Prometheus and make it a proper masterpiece.  If Scott wants to preserve the mystery, cool, but he could at least restore character scenes and give us a more rounded, heroic Shaw.  If audiences connected a little more to the characters, the third act would work much better.  Principally they just need to restore Janek's drunken monologue.  The movie needs his character's decisions to work, and for that to happen, that scene needs to be restored.  You can do the same with Milburn, having another scene of him being curious about life forms.  His later behavior is easier to understand.  These character beats also further reinforce the "humans are victims of their programming" theme.
  22. CainsSon
    Im so sick of hearing that they have to get to 2 hours dead on,  WHY?  i would be happy to sit through 3 hours of an Alien movie

    The next one needs to be 2.5 hours at least. ALIEN worked at 2 hrs because of how minimal the plot was. It was able to take its time. Today ALIEN would be 1.5 hours maximum, because modern audiences complained that COVENANT was too f'in slow.

    But that's just one thing. The real reason this film CANNOT BE more than 2 hours is because it R-RATED and has a 100 million dollar budget. I dont think most audiences realize how UNHEARD OF that is. This is the only R-RATED major franchise that commands a budget anyway near that.

    It needs to be 2 hours to earn its money back or, like RIDLEY SCOTT says "There wont be a sequel." If it plays 8 x a day at 2 hours, it would only play 6 x a day at 2 hours and 20 min.

    This is why the movie feels rushed. FOX would be wise to invest the money in the franchise's shelf life and not worry about the next film making back its money so much as they worry about getting it right.

    One more ALIEN Prequel at a 2 hours and 40 min length, would be great. But the only way thats gonna happen is if SCOTT heads towards PG13.

    I hope fans start weighing their bitching and moaning against whether they want another film to happen.
  23. zoidy
    I^ I edited my earler post......... But they look different. Haven't you see the compairisons?
    Yes ... one is a sacrificial engineer, no need for a flight suit when he's about to kill himself. The other is a spaceship piloting engineer, as discussed in Prometheus itself that installation they found was a military installation with the bio weapons ready to wipe out Earth in the case of the one ship we see inside (before an outbreak killed most of them).

    Face it - as far as Ridley is concerned, the idea was the sacrificial engineer was the same as the military engineer. Time and clothing aside.

    They are engineers, and intended to be the same.

    Thats not to say Ridley might not retcon the whole thing in the future, who knows.
  24. Russ840
    I'd like to see an extended version if it showed more of the Engineers before David arrived.

    But the problem is that they aren't the engineers. They appears to be the humanoids from the beginning of Prometheus.

    I would have liked to know why they greeted the boneship & if they were at war with the engineers from Prometheus? So many questions that I doubt can be answered in the next film.

    The only way I think these prequels can work is if David is secretly being remotely controlled by Weyland Yutani the whole time. The same way Google controls our android phones. At the end of the day, David is still just a Robot. & Weyland Yutani's moto is "crew expendable."

    They are Engineers. It is confirmed in the 'Art and Making Of Alien:Covenant' book that it is the Engineers homeworld that they land on.
  25. Jenny Quantum
    Modern audience don't like any movie that goes over 2 hours. Its counted as one of cons for movies in critic reviews. Peter Jackson too gets lot of flak for making long movies.
  26. zoidy
    Why? Commercial reasons, number of showings, aimed at 'average' moviegoer, not the people on this site. Cos, let's face it, we were always going to go, 3 hrs 10 hrs or 65mins ...
  27. echobbase79
    First cut was two hours 23 mins approx? Thats a significant amount of material. I look forward to seeing it. The film feels like it zips by so quickly. An extra 20 mins or so could really add to the film. I seriously hope we get an extended cut. There is a big demand for it among fans. And it would make sense for Fox to make a bit of extra money off of the film by releasing an extended edition on Blu Ray etc.

    The whole 2nd act in the Citadel, there are just basic story beats and character reactions that aren't there. They literally walk in say 2 min of dialogue and David is like "Hey settle in."
    There are just basic reactions and discussions about whats going on and their surroundings that would be happening. It FEELS like it was cut-out when I watch it.
    One line where Daniels says "So much doesn't make sense here..." Isn't enough. They dont even react to their surroundings. To where they are settling and why.
    They are sitting around a campfire and no one is having conversations? Its clear stuff has been edited out.

    In the novelization there's a scene where Walter plays an original tune on the flute for Daniels that was really good. I hope this was shot because it showed how conflicted Walter was with being an AI. 
  28. Captain Dallas at Thedus
    The version of Alien:covenant that works best after Prometheus is whatt I call the 3 prologues scene.After the White Room Opening,you have to watch The Crossing&The Last Supper!And then the starfield opening credits.They fit in seemlessly and make @ the first 65-70 minutes better.That's the best I've got-Nothing can save the second act!The amount of technical talent Rid surrounds his set with.....and not a decent effing script in sight!!Alonger version of Prometheus&Covenant could be another Kingdom Of Heaven for Ridley Scott! ::)  ::)
  29. Salt The Fries
    What I haven't seen discussed anywhere is when exactly does the Juggernaut end up the mountain, and how? Where does Shaw's signal fit in with the crash? Any thoughts?

    I was thinking the same thing :'( 

    Just imagine if the movie was more about the humanoids race & a first contact scenario between David Shaw & the Covenant Crew, Then having the Neomorphs be the only creature. Then have the next film explain how the Humanoids created the Xeno to destroy the Neomorphs only to have them backfire. I don't know. I just felt sad when all those humanoids died. I realy hated David for killing off a entire civilization without no explaination. I think we are going to need another set of Prequels, to explain the humanoids.

    I think when he weaponized those ampules, Shaw was still in a cryotube. Then he did his thing and deliberately crashed the juggernaut into the woods so that it looked like an accident to Shaw.
  30. HELGHAST SHOCK TROOPER
    What I haven't seen discussed anywhere is when exactly does the Juggernaut end up the mountain, and how? Where does Shaw's signal fit in with the crash? Any thoughts?

    I was thinking the same thing :'( 

    Just imagine if the movie was more about the humanoids race & a first contact scenario between David Shaw & the Covenant Crew, Then having the Neomorphs be the only creature. Then have the next film explain how the Humanoids created the Xeno to destroy the Neomorphs only to have them backfire. I don't know. I just felt sad when all those humanoids died. I realy hated David for killing off a entire civilization without no explaination. I think we are going to need another set of Prequels, to explain the humanoids.
  31. Protozoid
    I'm pretty sure the special features refer to that as a flight suit or pressure suit, but that doesn't mean that was ts the Sam reaction of Engineer from the waterfall or Paradise.
  32. Robopadna
    I^ I edited my earler post......... But they look different. Haven't you see the compairisons?
    http://www.scified.com/topics/3172711139087145.jpg
    ^ That is his body, NOT a space suit
    I assume that the engineers are bio-robots created by the space Jockys, and the Humanoids are the ones David Killed.
    https://www.retrozap.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Prometheus_Engineer.jpg

    Those ones were created that way or born that way on purpose. They are all the same species. We are also never really seeing them again.
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