Director Ridley Scott recently confirmed to The Sydney Morning Herald that Alien: Covenant is the beginning of a new prequel series to Alien, and the next installment may start filming as soon as 2018.
“You’ve got to assume to a certain extent success and from that you’d better be ready. You don’t want a two-year gap. So I’ll be ready to go again next year…. If you really want a franchise, I can keep cranking it for another six. I’m not going to close it down again. No way.”
The article goes on to corroborate what many fans (myself included) expected. Prometheus is not a part of the new prequel series starting with Alien: Covenant.
“What we did really well on Prometheus, considering that it was a ground zero idea that was starting all over again, was I discovered that people do have an appetite for the alien and what he means and his evolution – the egg, the facehugger, the chestburster as we call them. People still want to see it. So I return to a little bit of that but not wholeheartedly; there’s a lot in here which is new as well… We go from Prometheus into both worlds of the original Alien and a little bit of Prometheus. Prometheus was about who and why? This is getting closer to who designed it and for what reason.”
This reaffirms my suggestion Alien: Covenant is a soft reboot of the franchise. And could also explain why Neill Blomkamp's sequel to James Cameron's Aliens, thereby retconning Alien 3 out of existence, is on hold indefinitely.