Alien: Romulus star teases "proper horror" in the sequel and following in Sigourney Weaver's footsteps

Alien Romulus
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Alien: Romulus is set to bring us face-to-face(hugger) with the xenomorph when it hits the big screen this summer, with Priscilla's Cailee Spaeny taking on the lead role as new character Raines. Set between 1979's Alien and 1986's Aliens, the new movie is a loving homage to the two. 

"We used practical effects. We had the same people who worked on Aliens. They came back. They were there making the xenomorph. This is a creature that they have so much love for. We had puppeteers working on the face-hugger. So to see that – it all felt so alive," Spaeny tells Total Film in our new issue out on Thursday, March 28, which features The Fall Guy on the cover

"I had to turn off my 'nerding out' brain, because I was just like, 'Wow, it’s beautiful. Ooh, you put the Giger skull…' I had to turn that off. But it was properly scary. We set it between the first movie and the second. We were talking about, 'How could this be a child of the two?' So we have those heightened moments, but then proper horror."

One moment in the recently released trailer sees Raines step out of an elevator with a Pulse rifle in an indubitable reference to a climactic moment involving Sigourney Weaver's Ripley in Aliens. 

"I definitely did everything that I could to bring that character to life. Watching Sigourney play that role – she’s part of the changing of the game that those films did," Spaeny continues. "I could never be her. But I injected whatever I have in me into that character, and tried to make it three-dimensional – as three-dimensional as possible. So I hope that that’s there, and it comes alive."

Alongside Spaeny, the cast of the movie also includes Rye Lane's David Jonsson, Shadow and Bone's Archie Renaux, and Madame Web's Isabela Merced. They play a group of young space colonizers who find themselves getting up close and personal with the xenomorph while scavenging a derelict space station.

Alien: Romulus is released in cinemas on August 16. And you can read more about it and a whole lot else besides in the new issue of Total Film when it hits shelves and digital newsstands on Thursday, March 28.

Check out the covers below:

Total Film's The Fall Guy covers

(Image credit: Universal/Total Film)

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(Image credit: Total Film)
Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.