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Katherine Waterston takes aim in new Alien: Covenant photo

Ridley Scott tells EW about scaring audiences all over again.

Updated

Mark Rogers

Ridley Scott has learned the following from five decades of directing: “It’s hard to scare people,” he says. “It’s a lot easier to make ­people laugh. But to really scare the sh– out of somebody? That’s difficult.”

Scott has been doing exactly that ever since we saw a monster burst out of a man’s chest in 1979’s Alien. That cover-your-eyes kind of fear looks to continue with Alien: Covenant, about the crew of a colony ship who think they’ve found a great new planet when — surprise! — it turns out to be a terrifying one they need to escape. If 2012’s kinda-sorta Alien prequel Prometheus was confusing, Scott says this film will provide some answers. ­“Covenant is really going to show you who did it and why.”

Michael Fassbender returns as David alongside Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Jussie Smollet, and — looking an awful lot like a certain heroine of old — Katherine Waterston, who most recently starred in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Waterston was wowed by her director. “He’s a master! He’s got the energy of 10 25-year-olds,” she says. Plus, “he’s sadistic. He loves the thought of making people scream in a cinema.”

For more on Alien: Covenant, pick up Entertainment Weekly‘s First Look Issue, on stands Friday, or buy it here — and subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

Alien: Covenant
will launch into theaters on May 19.