Is James Franco in Alien: Covenant? That's what we're hearing. And the news sounds fairly legit. Alien: Covenant is ready to drop it's first trailer at any moment, and many believe it will come tonight during the big Rogue One premiere. Fox has never been happy about losing what is the biggest franchise on the planet at the moment, and what better time to take some heat off the upcoming release then by getting all eyes on Alien: Covenant, and the the conversation started about Ridley Scott's Prometheus sequel.

20th Century Fox moved the release date by nearly three months, hinting that they're quite proud of what they have. The studio recently showed footage at a special event, and it was met with intense positivity by press in attendance. Now we have an exciting new reason to look forward to Ridley Scott's next entry in the Alien franchise. It appears that James Franco will reunite with his old comedy running buddy Danny McBride in the cockpit of the Covenant. We also hear that the movie is a truly gory exercise in horror cinema, drenched and blood and fully earning its R-rating.

The 'rumor' arrives from the fan site AvPGalaxy. They've been on a bit of hot streak breaking news related to Alien: Covenant over the past couple of months. The site uncovered the latest details about the new Xenomorphs referred to as "Neomorphs" in the movie and now they bring us news that James Franco is the captain of the starship Covenant. And a very important husband to one crew member in particular. AvPGalaxy says this 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 was previously reported that Alien: Covenant will set up some of Sigourney Weaver's backstory as Ripley. Following Katherine Waterson's casting, rumors claimed that she is playing Ripley's mother. 20th Century Fox later had some major sites retract this information. We're assuming because it will be a surprise, and that it's true. Because of his luscious curly hair, some had suspected that Danny McBride is playing Ripley's father, which many groaned at.Now it appears that, if the Waterson rumor is true, James Franco is her father. Which make sense.

Related: Next Alien Movie Is More About Androids Than Xenomorphs

James Franco is reuniting with his buddy and frequent comedic collaborator Danny McBride, who plays the pilot of the ship in Alien: Covenant. The pair have starred alongside one another in movies such as Pineapple Express and This is the End. It seems doubtful that anyone could have predicted their next collaboration would arrive courtesy of the Alien franchise. They will be working together for whatever screentime James Franco does have, since he is the captain and Danny McBride is the pilot. The report goes onto say he won't be in the movie long. We can assumeJames Franco probably dies in the first act. Katherine Waterston is likely a widow in Alien: Covenant.

Fox released the first poster for Alien: Covenant a few weeks ago, announcing the new May 2017 release date, as opposed to August 2017, where the studio had it originally slated to open. The poster was effective for fans of the Alien franchise, featuring a classicXenomorph and the simple 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 is 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