Over the past few weeks, the cast of Alien: Covenant has started to fill out, with director Ridley Scott prepping to start production. Today we have word from Deadline that four new cast members have signed on, with Jussie Smollett (Empire), Amy Seimetz (Entertainment), Carmen Ejogo (Selma) and Callie Hernandez (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) joining the cast. No details were given regarding their characters at this time.

They join Michael Fassbender, who reprises his Prometheus role as the android David. There was speculation that Noomi Rapace' Elizabeth Shaw, the only human survivor from Prometheus will also appear, but this new report claims that it's unclear whether or not she will return. In an interview from earlier this year, director Ridley Scott said she was definitely not returning. Costume designer Janty Yates, who worked with Ridley Scott on Prometheus and his latest sci-fi thriller The Martian, recently revealed that Alien: Covenant takes place 10 years after the events of Prometheus. The cast also includes Katherine Waterston, Danny McBride and Demián Bichir in unspecified roles.

We reported earlier this month that production on Alien: Covenant will get under way this April, on location in Sydney, Australia, but it seems the project may actually be ahead of schedule. This new report reveals that production is being eyed to start next month, although an official start date has not yet been announced. The story centers on the crew of the colony ship Covenant, who are bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy. They discover what they think is an uncharted paradise, but it actually turns out to be a dark, dangerous world. And the sole inhabitant is the "synthetic" David (Michael Fassbender), survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition.

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Ridley Scott is directing from a script by Jack Paglen, Michael Green and John Logan. It has also been confirmed by the director that Alien: Covenant will feature some sort of connection to Sigourney Weaver's iconic Ellen Ripley character from the original Alien. Some have speculated that we may even see Ripley conceived on the Covenant ship, and that Katherine Waterston's character may actually be Ripley's mother.

20th Century Fox has set an October 6, 2017 release date for Alien: Covenant, putting it up against Warner Bros.' The Jungle Book: Origins. Jussie Smollett is best known for playing Jamal Lyon on Fox's hit TV series Empire, while Amy Seimetz is coming off Entertainment and she will next be seen in Lovesong with Jena Malone. Carmen Ejogo will next be seen in the highly-anticipated Harry Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, while Callie Hernandez stars in the upcoming La La Land.