There is still a lot of mystery surrounding Ridley Scott's Alien: Covenant, which is probably the way a lot of fans want it to be at this point. However, we can now put one big mystery to bed. Well, maybe not so much a mystery as it was a rumor. Either way, we can definitively say that Katherine Waterston's character Daniels is not related to Sigourney Weaver's character Ripley from the original Alien.
Ridley Scott recently participated in a roundtable discussion about Alien: Covenant at SXSW in Austin. I was lucky enough to be at the roundtable and at one point the director was asked point blank whether or not Daniels was related to Ripley, which has been a popular theory up to this point. The director made it clear that isn't going to be the case, but did imply that it was at least brought up at one point or another. Here is what he had to say about it.
"No. That was probably way back when. 'Should she be the daughter of Ripley?' I said 'no.' She's herself."
So there you have it. Katherine Waterston is playing her own, brand new character to the world of Alien named Daniels. Waterston was also present at the roundtable and when the subject came up, she made it clear she was aware of the rumor and responded by saying, "who started that shit?" It was a very genuine reaction, so the idea that they could just be trying to throw people off the scent isn't really likely. It looks like Ridley Scott just wanted to create another presumably strong female character that can stand on her own merit in Alien: Covenant. That is probably for the best because even though the movie looks great based on everything we have seen so far, Ellen Ripley is one of the most iconic female characters in the history of cinema and it would be best not to mess with that legacy.
It is interesting that Ridley Scott seems to imply that there was at least a discussion about possibly making a connection between Daniels and Ripley. That is possibly where the original rumor could have stemmed from, but it doesn't really matter because the man behind the movie has made it very clear that it was taken off the table before the movie got made. Here is the official synopsis for Alien: Covenant.
"Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, the crew of the colony ship Covenant discover what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world, whose sole inhabitant is the synthetic David, survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition."
We may still have a couple of months to wait until the welcomed return of the Alien franchise, but at least now we can go into it without having to wonder if some potentially unnatural connective tissue will be shoehorned into the movie.The cast for the movie includes Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, James Franco, Demian Bichir, Katherine Waterston, Danny McBride, Carmen Ejogo, Amy Seimetz, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Nathaniel Dean, Alexander England, Benjamin Rigby and Billy Crudup. Alien: Covenant is directed by Ridley Scott and is set for release on May 19.