The Evolution of the Alien & Alien: Covenant Posters, & How It Reflects the Franchise

On 26th April 2017 earthlings came together to celebrate one of the most ferocious fictional threats to mankind with World Alien day. It’s a mark of the franchise’s popularity that the Xenomorph, first introduced in Ridley Scott’s Alien, has endured for nearly four decades, culminating in Scott’s third film and the eighth film of the franchise, Alien: Covenant – to be release on 18th May. All of which makes this the perfect opportunity to analyse one of the franchises most iconic elements: the posters, specifically that of Alien, and Alien: Covenant to show how the franchise has developed over the years.

Like the film it advertised, the Alien poster is a masterpiece, and like the film, it’s all about the sense of dread, of the unknown. The darkness, the sickly glowing green, the egg that could contain anything at all, certainly something dangerous, and one of the most iconic taglines in cinema history. This is the franchise at its highest point, Aliens is another masterpiece, but it doesn’t quite match the tension of the original. It’s subtle and ambiguous, something the franchise would lose over time which brings us to a short detour....

While Alien VS Predator can’t hold a candle to the rest of the franchise, it remains a crazily fun (ok, largely silly) concept that is just impossible not to love.

Alien VS Predator poster

Here, in the original Alien VS Predator double-sided cinema poster from 2004, we see the beast in all its glory; bearing its arms; ready to strike; naked, unrepentant aggression. Sadly, though, here the Xenomorph has been overused, over-hunted even! And this film’s iteration of the creature lacks the blood-curdling, toe-curling, sheer get-your-freak-on scariness of the first two flicks – but, pleasingly, the imagery remains starkly awesome!

While we’re here, let’s check out the Predator himself in this Alien VS Predator original double sided cinema poster of Predator:

Alien VS Predator poster

He’s always been a mean looking so and so, but there just ain’t no comparison. Keep your net gun and ornamental dagger, Predders – we want some more inner jaw!

So, on to Alien: Covenant. From its trailers, and especially its posters, it seems to be trying to recreate the magic of the first movie. Prometheus was an entertaining, flawed oddity, with more navel-gazing than actual threat, and the ties to the first film felt flimsy at best. Ridley Scott seems to have taken note of the fan consensus that an Alien film needs more Alien. Which comes through loud and clear from the first promotional posters. “Hide” is a chilling reminder of the original poster’s greatness, shrewdly re-deploying the impact of that work of art. “Run” goes one better, relying on the fact that everyone knows what’s going to kill everyone in the film, but unlike AVP, Covenant puts the monster back in the shadows – right where it belongs. 

4th May 2017 Antony Team

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