The information contained within this article is compiled from scenes from the trailers (though not The Last Supper, Meet Walter or She Wont Go Quietly as they were filmed as completely separate entities and were never intended to be included within the film) that were absent from the theatrical release of Alien: Covenant, information provided about the test screenings (thanks to El Diablo for the intel), interviews with the cast and crew and the film novelization by Alan Dean Foster.
Not all of the alternate sequences from the novelization have been included here because some of those were Alan Dean Foster’s creations and not scripted or filmed. You can hear more about that in our podcast interview with him (coming soon!). The draft of the script used to write the novelization was received by Alan Dean Foster on July 28th 2016.
We will continue to update this page as more information comes out.
Entry of the Gods Into Valhalla – Extended Opening Prologue (Source: Test Screening, Novelization)
During the opening prologue, when David is playing Richard Wagner’s Das Rheingold – Entry of the Gods Into Valhalla on the piano, there was extended dialogue between David and Weyland where David explains the meaning behind the piece.
After Weyland comments that “it sounds a little anemic without the orchestra,” David explains that the piece is about God’s abandoning their creations due to their displeasure with their creation’s greed and vanity, only to realise that the Gods themselves share the same flaws.
Prior to seeing Walter checking on the Covenant crew in hypersleep, there was a scene showing Daniels dream where she and Jacob Branson are in their apartment back on Earth. Jacob wakes her up to show some modifications he has been making to his design for a log cabin he’s planning on building when they arrive at Origae-6. Afterwards Daniels looks out of the windows at the snow falling on the city.
Walter Offers Daniels Some Cannabis (Source: Novelization, The Art and Making of Alien: Covenant, News Article)
In the novelization there is a brief segment where after a disagreement with Oram, Daniels heads back to her quarters where Walter eventually appears and offers Daniels some cannabis joints to help her relax.
The involvement of cannabis in Alien: Covenant was first hinted at in May 2016 when it was reported that some plants had been delivered to Fox Studios in Sydney as props. This was also mentioned in The Art Of book.
Record Player (Source: TV Spots, The Art and Making of Alien: Covenant)
In the various TV spots set to “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” there’s a very brief shot of what appears to be a record player (the record coloured blue or red) playing in a crew cabin. According to The Art Of book, it’s actually Jacob’s turntable and Daniels retrieves it when she is mourning him and looking over his various belongings. In the novelization, Daniels is listening to Nat King Cole’s Unforgettable on it.
Though the scenery through the window looks like Paradise and would suggest it’s on the lander, this is actually Daniels’ quarters above the Covenant which we can tell from the window design.
“Come with me… if you want to stay alive.” (Source: Test Screening)
When David comes to the aid of the Covenant landing party during the Neomorph attack, instead of telling the crew to “come with me,” there’s extended dialogue where he references slightly The Terminator and says “come with me… if you want to stay alive.”
Improper Maintenance (Source: Test Screening, Novelization)
As the survivors follow David into the Citadel, Walter expresses concerns to Oram about David’s lack of maintenance in the ten years the older synthetic has been isolated. Oram asks about the effects the lack of maintenance on a synthetic. Walter simply states “I think we’re about to find out.”
In the novelization, there’s a similar sequence but it takes place later after David has been teaching Walter how to play the flute. He reports back to Oram and Daniels and Walter tells them his impressions of David. Walter states that one moment David seems perfectly normal and then his mind wanders off on a tangent, expecting Walter to be able to follow his train of thought. Oram asks if David is dangerous, Walter replies “disturbing.”
Walter then goes on to explain that though synthetics are largely self-sustaining, they benefit from maintenance and that a lack of it can result in “aberrations.” He goes on to state that he has no idea what will happen if David has truly “lost his mind” due to his isolation.
Rosenthal’s Extended Death (Source: Test Screening, Trailers)
The scene in which the Neomorph kills Rosenthal was slightly extended in earlier test screenings. The Neomorph slowly rises behind Rosenthal – similar to the way the Alien rises in front of Lambert in Alien – and instead of instantly killing her, there’s a pause where Rosenthal swears at the Neomorph before reaching for her weapon.
There is also a brief shot of Rosenthal screaming in the trailers that was including one of the test screenings during the death scene. It’s possible this was an incomplete effects shot, missing the Neomorph attacking her neck.
The Crossing (Source: Test Screening)
Unlike the other marketing videos, The Crossing was filmed as part of the actual film by Ridley Scott. In the October and December test screenings, the entire prologue video was included in the film as the flashback sequence. In the finished film, the flashback sequence was trimmed down to start with David arriving on Paradise and commencing his genocide of the Engineers.
According to Ridley Scott, the entire flashback sequence was nearly removed from the film but he insisted and some of the sequence was retained in the finished film. We’re unable to verify the following but according to someone who claimed to have attended a test screening in February, the scene was completely absent from that cut of the film.
David Looks Over The Egg (Source: Interview)
Matt Hatton, one of the illustrators on Alien: Covenant, mentioned in an interview that there was a very short scene in an earlier script where David is showing Oram around the nursery and demonstrates that he is able to look over the Alien eggs without anything happening.
Alternate Chestbursting (Source: Test Screening)
In both October and December test screenings, Oram’s chestburster scene was slightly different to the finished cut. In both, the chestburster emerged with the back of its head first. It looked clearly phallic and caused some laughter from the audience. This was later reversed to have the chestburster emerge face first in the theatrical release.
David vs. Walter (Source: Test Screening)
The December test screening featured slightly different editing during the end of the fight sequence between David and Walter. There was no shot of David reaching for the knife before Walter brought the rock down. The next that was seen of “Walter” was him running from the Citadel, without that lingering shot of him looking over his shoulder into the Citadel.
The Neomorph vs. the Alien (Source: Test Screening, Novelization, Publicity Stills)
The novelization of Alien: Covenant featured a brief fight sequence between the Neomorph and the Alien that didn’t make it into the film. It starts similar to the scene as reported in the testing screenings (detailed below), with Daniels and Lope trying to shoot both creatures as they appear to ran towards the characters.
However, both Daniels and Lope run out of ammo and begin to retreat towards the descending loader platform and the Neomorph attacks the Alien. Both creatures attack each other, trying to claw at each other and stab each other with their tails. In the end, the Alien “disembowels” the Neomorph and then follows Daniels and Lope to the loader.
In the October screening, the fight scene was completely absent but there was still a brief sequence featuring both the Alien and the Neomorph. While Daniels and Lope are outside the Citadel, waiting for Tennessee to come down with the loading platform, the second Neomorph appears and charges them.
At the same time, the Alien appears out of the entrance to the Citadel and starts to run towards them from the opposite direction. Running for the shuttle, back to back, Daniels and Lope fire in opposite directions at the Alien and the Neomorph (as seen in the publicity still below). The Alien evades Lope’s shots but Daniels is able to eventually take down the Neomorph.
Alternate Ricks and Upworth Death (Source: Test Screening)
In the test screenings, the deaths of Ricks and Upworth were slightly extended and more graphic. There was a slightly longer cut of the Alien’s jaw retracting from Ricks’ face, focusing on his mutilated face. There was also a full body shot of the Alien leaping through the glass partition and landing on Upworth.
The Red Corridor (Source: Trailer)
The second trailer featured several “money shots” of the Alien, including this brief shot of the Alien leaping down a red lit corridor aboard the Covenant. This scene wasn’t in the finished film. The sequence was very similar to the way in which Sir Ridley Scott had originally wanted the Alien to move when Dallas was in the vents in the original Alien. He was unable to achieve it with the technology at the time.
Alternate End Sequence (Source: Test Screenings, Novelization)
In both the October and December test screenings and the novelization, David doesn’t reveal himself to Daniels, she goes to sleep peacefully. In the October screening and the novelization, David then goes to check on the embryo storage where he has already stored the embryonic facehuggers (the novelization has them as eggs, rather than facehuggers).
In the December test screenings, it plays out the same way but instead of the Aliens already in cryostorage, David regurgitates them as seen in the finished film. In both test screenings, he then proceeds down the colonist cryostorage area listening to Das Rheingold, doing a little jump where he playfully kicks his heels together.
In neither test screening did David record a message as Walter to transmit back to the Network. However, in the novelization he asks Mother to open a secure line back to Weyland-Yutani’s headquarters back on Earth.