Alien: Romulus director had an extensive call with James Cameron to go over granular details, right down to the ship’s engine sizes

Exclusive image: Alien: Romulus
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios/Total Film)

The latest entry into the Alien franchise, Alien: Romulus, is set tantalizingly between Ridley Scott’s seminal ’79 original and James Cameron’s superlative sequel. And, in an exclusive new look at the film, director Fede Álvarez tells us it’s "an amalgamation of Alien and Aliens on many levels".

Speaking to Total Film in our new issue, which features Twisters on the cover, Álvarez explains that he embraced many of the same practical filmmaking techniques as Scott and Cameron, down to the use of animatronic creature effects, as well as working closely with both directors to bring his vision to the screen. 

Scott is a credited producer on the film and was instrumental in helping the Evil Dead helmer Álvarez land the gig. Meanwhile, Cameron helped consult on the script during an "extensive" phone call with Álvarez and Alien: Romulus co-writer Rodo Sayagues where they discussed details as granular as the size of the engines on the film’s ships.

"At the end of the phone call, he thanked us for letting him brainstorm with us, which I found hilarious," Álvarez recalls. "I was like, 'You don’t have to thank us; it’s the best day ever for us!'"

Alien: Romulus follows a group of young space cadets who are manning a derelict space station. During their isolated mission, they come face to face with "the most terrifying life form in the universe". The sci-fi horror stars David Jonsson, Archie Renaux, Isabela Merced, and Cailee Spaeny as Rain, who you can see in our exclusive image above.

Álvarez is clear that the film will pay homage to its point in the Alien timeline too. "The environments, and the pace of it as well – it’s more similar to Alien for quite a bit," he adds. "And then gradually – you won’t even know – you feel like it’s more Aliens. It’s a natural progression, and it happens effortlessly."

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, May 23.

Check out the covers below:

Glen Powell, Daisy Edgar-Jones and Anthony Ramos on the covers of Total Film's Twisters issue

(Image credit: Future)

Pre-order the issue here to bag your copy, or click here to subscribe to Total Film and never miss another exclusive. You’ll get every issue before it's in stores, and you’ll get subscriber-exclusive covers. 

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(Image credit: Future)
Fay Watson
Deputy Entertainment Editor

I’m the Deputy Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.