Even on Earth, no one could hear you scream if you were imagining something vastly different from what Ridley Scott hatched in Prometheus and Alien Covenant— but now you can change the trajectory of the Alien Universe.
This is for real. For the 1979 extraterrestrial thriller’s 40th anniversary, 20th Century Fox has teamed up with video content platform Tongal for a contest that is really out of this world. The mission? Wake up from cryosleep, grab your flashlight and, according to Tongal, “create an original five to nine-minute short set within the universe of legendary sci-fi horror film Alien,” which should be “set in the aftermath of the original film.”
Of course, the void of space is vast. Where do you even start? The studio is looking for something with the same DNA that made the original such an adrenaline rush, a cosmic nightmare that really chest-bursts onto the scene. Tongal urges potential directors to think of what made the ill-fated Nostromo really take off.
Alien held audiences in intense suspense mode starting with the trailer, which gave away no spoilers except that the film had something to do with things you wouldn’t want to encounter in total darkness. Alien is about what you can’t see, that creeping feeling of something lurking in the shadows and the shock of it leaping out and baring its fangs when you least expect it.
Humans are also an immense part of Alien's impact. Ripley was the first badass, kickass female horror lead, not just a final girl but someone who took charge and faced down the Xenomorph threat before she literally got eaten alive. The film also soared because of what Tongal calls “space truckers”, or everyday people who just happen to be stranded on a hostile planet millions of light-years away.
The deadline for submitting written pitches is July 3, with 18 selected for the next phase on July 6th. Don’t let this be game over, man.