The hype surrounding Alien: Covenant is starting to build very quickly. 20th Century Fox decided to bump up the release date by nearly three months and they recently showed some footage at a special event, which was met with intense positivity by those in attendance. Now we have yet another reason to look forward to Ridley Scott's next entry in the Alien franchise, as James Franco will reportedly be appearing in the movie.

The news comes courtesy of the fan site AvPGalaxy, who have been on a bit of hot streak breaking news related to Alien: Covenant over the past couple of months. The site was able to uncover details on the new "Neomorphs" in the movie not all that long ago and now, they bring us news that James Franco will be appearing in the movie as the captain of the starship Covenant. Here is what AvPGalaxy had to say about his role in the movie.

"Franco will be appearing in Alien: Covenant as Branson, the captain of the Covenant and husband of Katherine Waterson's Daniels. Franco's appearance in Alien: Covenant will only be brief, though. He appears in the first ten minutes or so of the film with later small appearances. Franco will also be reprising the role as Branson in some of the viral footage that has been shot for Alien: Covenant."

It has been previously reported that Alien Covenant will directly tie into Sigourney Weaver's Ripley character. And following Katherine Waterson's casting, there were rumors that she is playing Ripley's mother. Adding fire to fuel this rumor was the fact that 20th Century Fox had some major sites retract that information. We're assuming because it will be a surprise. Some had speculated that perhaps Danny McBride would be Ripley's dad, which many scoffed at. But now, it appears that, if the Waterson rumor is true, that leaves James Franco as her father. Which, in the scheme of things, does make sense.

James Franco will be reunited with his buddy and frequent comedic collaborator Danny McBride, who is playing the pilot of the ship in Alien: Covenant. The pair has starred alongside one another in a ton of movies like Pineapple Express and This is the End, but it seems doubtful that anyone could have predicted their next collaboration would come in the form of a movie in the Alien franchise. It also sounds like they will be working together for whatever screentime James Franco does have, since he is the captain and Danny McBride is the pilot. That said, since the report claims he won't be in the movie very long, we can only assume that means James Franco probably won't be making it out alive. So, Katherine Waterston may wind up a widow in Alien: Covenant.

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Recently, Fox released the first poster for Alien: Covenant, which also served as an announcement that the movie was bumped up to May 2017, as opposed to August 2017, where the studio had it originally pegged. The poster was simple, but incredibly effective for fans of the Alien franchise, featuring a classic looking Xenomorph, teeth showing, cloaked in shadow with a very effective tagline; "Run." That, coupled with the fact that they feel confident enough to move up the release date and put the movie right in the heart of summer should give fans a lot of reason to be excited. Even those who feel Prometheus didn't quite live up to their expectations.

Michael Fassbender will be reprising his role as David in Alien: Covenant (as well as another android named Walter) and Noomi Rapace will be returning as Elizabeth, but she isn't expected to have a huge role in the movie. The rest of the new cast includes the previously mentioned Danny McBride and James Franco, as well as Demian Bichir, Katherine Waterston and Billy Crudup. Alien: Covenant is set for release on May 19, 2017.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott