ROMULUS Gets A Terrifying First Trailer; Director Fede Alvarez Confirms Timeline

20th Century Studios has released the first trailer for Fede Alvarez’s Alien: Romulus, and it takes things back to basics for what the tagline promises will be a “truly terrifying cinematic experience.”

It obviously remains to be seen if this side-sequel(?) manages to recapture the sheer dread of Ridley Scott’s classic, but this intense, visceral teaser is definitely a step in the right direction.

The trailer begins with terrified screams (always a good sign) and empty, blood-splattered cryo-tubes, before we cut to members of this new crew being chased down by what looks like a full army of Face-Huggers.

We don’t see any actual full-grown Xenomorphs until right at the end, when Cailee Spaeny’s character – looking more than a little Ripley-esque – hears a sound and looks up to a quick glimpse of that familiar extendable inner jaw jutting out at her.

While chatting to THR, Alvarez confirmed that Romulus takes place between the events of Scott’s Alien and James Cameron’s direct sequel, Aliens.

“The way we crafted it is, if you haven’t seen any of them, I’m jealous because you’ll have an incredible experience. You’ll have all these worlds of Alien coming at you, and you’ve never experienced any of this. You don’t know how the creature is born, and you don’t know any of these things. That’s fantastic. You’ll have a blast.”

“Now, if you’ve seen the others,” he continues, “then it’s a completely different experience in a way, because you’ll see and you’ll find those connections with the other movies. And if you’re a fan, you’ll be that person who annoys your friends in the theater, by telling them that you know what this is from and where that gun is from and what the characters are talking about.”

In a separate interview with Total Film, the director offered an explanation for the “Romulus” subtitle.

“It’s based on the Romulus and Remus myth. If people aren’t familiar, it’s the creation myth of Rome. Romulus killed Remus. It’s not a siblinghood that went down the right path. [Alien: Romulus] is a film about siblinghood. A lot of the character stories are related to siblinghood. As you may know, Weyland-Yutani, which is the big company in the Alien movies, has this obsession with Rome and Imperialist iconography.

You really have to go deep into the canon, but a lot of the planets, and a lot of names come out of the early Roman Empire, either from rivers or cities. And there’s a station where most of the story takes place. It’s called the Renaissance Station, and it’s made of two big models that are connected. One is Remus, the other one is Romulus. And that’s as much as I can tell you.”

Check out the trailer and poster below, and let us know what you think.

“The sci-fi/horror-thriller takes the phenomenally successful Alien franchise back to its roots: While scavenging the deep ends of a derelict space station, a group of young space colonizers come face to face with the most terrifying life form in the universe.”

The film stars Cailee Spaeny (Priscilla), David Jonsson (Agatha Christie’s Murder is Easy), Archie Renaux (Shadow and Bone), Isabela Merced (The Last of Us), Spike Fearn (Aftersun), Aileen Wu. Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead, Don’t Breathe) directs from a screenplay he wrote with frequent collaborator Rodo Sayagues (Don’t Breathe 2) based on characters created by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett.

Alien: Romulus is produced by Ridley Scott (Napoleon), who directed the original Alien and produced and directed the series’ entries Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, Michael Pruss (Boston Strangler), and Walter Hill (Alien), with Fede Alvarez, Elizabeth Cantillon (Charlie’s Angels), Brent O’Connor (Bullet Train), and Tom Moran (Unstoppable) serving as executive producers.