“Alien Romulus” Leans On Practical Creatures SuperNayr

20th Century Studios

Following its trailer premiere this past week, filmmaker Fede Alvarez has spoken some more about the upcoming “Alien: Romulus” film and what to expect.

One very good piece of news to hear is that the film will rely heavily on practical effects, and not just for the xenomorphs either.

Alvarez tells THR that he and the production team hired numerous creatives who worked on James Cameron’s “Aliens” to work on the puppeteering and creature effects for Romulus.

In addition, the Weyland-Yutani spaceship in the film was built using real sets and practical effects:

“For the creatures, we brought in all the guys from ‘Aliens.’ They were in their early twenties when they made ‘Aliens,’ and they were a part of Stan Winston’s [special effects] team.

And now we had them at the top of their game. They have their own shops, and so we brought them all together to work on all the creatures , because we went with all animatronics and puppets at every level. I even got the chance to be under the table with them, puppeteering all these animatronics.”

Alvarez in fact goes out of his way to say they tried to minimise green screen use in the film as much as possible:

“I have this obsession with no green screens, so we built every creature and set. Everything had to be built so we were really living and breathing in these spaces. But I’m not an anti-CG guy.

I come from a background where I know how to build the effects myself. I still do VFX shots in my movies to this day. It’s just whatever is best for the shot, and when it comes to face-to-face encounters and moments with creatures, nothing beats the real thing.”

In a separate interview with Variety, he spoke about the film’s tech elements that will adopt a balance between the old-fashioned 1970s utilitarian aesthetic of the original “Alien,” and the sleeker more advanced high-tech of “Prometheus”.

There’s been a fan debate about the differences in tech use between the films, it’s a debate Alvarez thinks is moot as you’re dealing with two very different parts of civilization:

“I know a lot of people felt like it makes no sense. But I think we make the mistake when we watch the Nostromo and assume that’s how the entire universe looks like.

If I decide to make a movie on Earth today, and I go to the Mojave Desert and I take an old truck because a guy drives a Chevy, if you’re an alien, you’re going to go, ‘That’s what the world looks like.’

But it doesn’t mean there’s not a guy in a Tesla in the city, which would be the ‘Prometheus’ ship. The first movie is truck drivers in a beat-up truck. ‘Prometheus’ is the ship of the richest man in the world.”

The new film is set twenty years after the first film and follows a group of young space colonisers who encounter ‘the most terrifying life form in the universe’ inside a run-down space station whilst scavenging its depths.

Cailee Spaeny, Isabela Merced, David Jonsson, and Archie Renaux lead the cast of “Alien: Romulus” which will hit cinemas on August 16th.

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