It was easy to hear Alien fans scream on Friday night in Austin, Texas.
Before a special presentation of the 1979 classic at the South by Southwest Film Festival, director Ridley Scott introduced new footage from May’s Alien: Covenant alongside cast members Katherine Waterston, Michael Fassbender, and Danny McBride.
“My goals haven’t changed,” Scott said before showing the three clips, which were previously screened late last year for journalists. “My mantra has always been to scare the living sh– out of you.”
Mission accomplished. The scenes were laced with a wicked sense of humor, alternating between intense, terrifying and graphic. One extended set piece in particular — which introduces “backburster” and “mouthburster” to the Alien lexicon alongside the famed chestburster — drew audible reactions from the SXSW crowd.
Speaking after the clips, Waterston, Fassbender, and McBride all praised Scott, who previously returned to the Alien franchise with 2012’s Prometheus. “You kind of have to not think about how awesome it is while you’re shooting or you wouldn’t be able to function,” Waterston said.
Added Fassbender, who also starred in Prometheus, “To get the opportunity to work on this franchise, work with Ridley. As an actor and a dreamer, as a [risk taker] of the cinema and loving movies, the most important thing to me was to have fun with this character. To really enjoy it and enjoy the experience of doing it. Coming back was a follow up to that really. To have the honor to work with Sir Ridley Scott. To work with these guys. The proof is in the pudding.”
While Alien: Covenant will not screen in full during SXSW, the cast was all over Austin on Friday. In a conversation with EW at the Nat Geo Further Base Camp earlier in the day, Scott revealed he had plans for an additional three Alien films beyond Alien: Covenant and noted the sequel to Covenant is being written now.
“There’s a lot of potential in this one,” he said. “It’s not just what you might expect. There are a lot of interesting questions that are pretty fascinating — about creation, who are we, and where do we come from. … As you develop something and make something, all kinds of notions evolve.”
Alien: Covenant is out May 19.