Alien: Covenant star addresses those Ripley rumors with a classic Fawlty Towers reference

For months, fans have wondered if Katherine Waterston’s character Daniels in Ridley Scott’s upcoming Alien: Covenant is related to Sigourney Weaver’s original Alien hero, Ellen Ripley. In a new interview with SFX Magazine, Waterston was asked point blank about the rumors and offered an intriguing response.

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“Yeah... I’m aware of the rumour,” she said. “There’s this episode of Fawlty Towers where John Cleese tells Manuel he has to lie about something. ‘Whenever anyone asks you, you say, ‘I know nothing.’’ So, that’s what plays on my mind whenever people ask me these spoiler questions.”

That’s not exactly a strong denial, just more of an acknowledgement on her part. But Scott denied a connection himself at this year’s SXSW film festival, telling MovieWeb, “No. That was probably way back when. 'Should [Daniels] be the daughter of Ripley?' I said 'No.' She's herself." But strangely, Scott denied that Daniels was Ripley’s daughter, not the other way around. Did he just misspeak, or was that a purposeful way to dance around the actual question without giving anything away? Hmm...

We know Alien: Covenant takes place around 2104, which is ten years after the events of Prometheus. The original Alien film is set twenty years after that, in 2124, so depending on her backstory, the idea of Daniels being Ripley’s mother might makes sense on the franchise’s timeline. Perhaps this production didn’t pay attention to what happened with Star Trek Into Darkness, which outright lied to journalists and fans when multiple people involved said that Benedict Cumberbatch was not playing Khan. When it turned out that yes, of course he was playing Khan, fans turned on the movie and it’s become one of the least liked Star Trek films ever. Here’s hoping Scott and Waterston are giving it to us straight here.

For her part, though, Waterston doesn’t seem to be worried about connections to other films as she does just surviving this one. “There’s two things that keep [Daniels] from getting killed for most of the film,” she revealed to SFX, “and they are courage and good fortune. She’s not a soldier. She’s not a martial artist. She’s a terraformist. So I kept trying to get the guys to teach me: how do I use this stick like an axe? How do I use the tools that I would use when we get to the planet to help grow things? They were making me too good, I thought, at holding the gun, and fighting the aliens. I tried to make the movements a little bit more pedestrian.”

We won’t have to wait much longer to find out if Daniels’ abilities are going to be passed down to an iconic hero of another generation, or if she meets her end in a bloody neomorph attack on a distant planet.

Directed by Ridley Scott and starring Katherine Waterston, Michael Fassbender, James Franco, Danny McBride, Demian Bechir, and more, Alien: Covenant arrives in theaters on May 12, 2017 in the UK and May 19, 2017 in the US. Learn a bit more about Daniels in a character video here. And if you’re looking to make sure you never sleep again, keep your eyes peeled for the Alien: Covenant VR experience.

You can also read more about the film in the latest issue of SFX Magazine, and buy future issues here.

Images: 20th Century Fox

Ben Pearson
Ben is an entertainment journalist who has written about movies online for nearly a decade. He loves the Fast & Furious franchise, prefers Indiana Jones to Star Wars, and will defend the ending of Lost until his dying day. He shook Bill Murray's hand once (so he's got that going for him, which is nice). Ben lives in Los Angeles with his wife.