Prometheus was not at all the Alien prequel that we were hoping it would be, but Alien: Covenant is starting to sound more and more like the movie fans wanted. Part of the problem with Prometheus was that the iconic Aliens, known as Xenomorphs, from the franchise didn't appear in the movie (except for that weird chest burster that sort of looked like a xenomorph at the end). Thanks to some set photos and plot details, we know for sure that Xenomorphs, or at least something that resembles a Xenomorph, will be in Alien: Covenant and according to Michael Fassbender, we now know what they will be called.
In a radio interview with BBC, Michael Fassbender revealed in a sort of low-key manner that the aliens in Alien: Covenant will be called "Neomorphs." Unfortunately, there was next to nothing else to go off of and there is very little context for it, but it does tell us something. The word neo is defined as "a new or revived form of," which could imply that this is the genesis of what became known as the Xenomorphs in the original Alien movies. So if we read into that a bit, we could be seeing the genesis of the species in Alien: Covenant, which is pretty cool.
In addition to the reveal of the name, the fan site AVPGalaxy has also revealed some of what they claim are official details about how the Neomorphs factor into the movie. Be warned, there are some potential spoilers ahead. In the original Alien, it was the facehugger that would plant the seed that would eventually grow into a Xenomorph in the host's body. In Alien: Covenant, that won't be the case. Here is what the site had to say about it.
"These Aliens are the result of the local ecosystem being mutated by the accelerant/black goo. Over time, pods started to grow on the trees and the ground, and release a spore when disturbed. These spores infect several members of the Covenant crew by entering the body through the ear and nostrils. The spores cause the growth of the Neomorphs inside the infected hosts - something that is reminiscent of William Gibson's first draft of Alien 3. One of the Neomorphs bursts from the back of one of the infected crew, a "backburster". The other crewmember's Neomorph erupts through their throat. The births are preceded by the eruption of two small dorsal spikes. These spikes and a pointed skull are also used to break out of an embryonic sack (similar to the Deacon in Prometheus). The Neomorph resembles some of the older concept art of the proto-Aliens from Prometheus (see below), specifically the white colouration, with a pointed head and two dorsal spines. Upon birth, the Neomorphs move on all fours similar to the Bambi-burster from Alien 3. When they mature, they grow significantly larger and walk on their back legs. They were more animal-like in behaviour with fang-like teeth. Unlike the earlier Prometheus concepts, the Neomorphs also have tails. In addition, the adult Neomorphs also developed a slightly translucent appearance (harkening back to unused concepts from Alien and Prometheus) as previously rumored."
So while it sounds like these aliens won't be fully formed Xenomorphs, it does sound much more in line with what fans are used to. Also, it should be noted that what AVPGalaxy is describing has not been confirmed. Prometheus was relatively well received and made good enough money, but was a bit of a disappointment considering the heavy expectations that were placed upon it, given that it was Ridley Scott's return to the Alien franchise. Scott is seemingly looking to make Alien: Covenant a much more direct prequel, and reportedly has more movies planned in the series.
Because most of the crew didn't make it out of Prometheus alive, the only returning characters for this next entry will be Michael Fassbender as David and Noomi Rapace as Elizabeth. The rest of the cast includes Demian Bichir, Katherine Waterston, Danny McBride and Billy Crudup. The only unfortunate part of Ridley Scott's plans for some fans is that it has put Neill Blomkamp's Aliens sequel on hold, at least for now. Alien: Covenant is set for release on August 4, 2017.