The Last Supper Alien: Covenant

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A 5-minute prologue short film that introduced audiences to the crew of Alien: Covenant, in anticipation of the film’s first trailer.

THE CHALLENGE

Alien: Covenant—and by extension its marketing materials—needed an emotional backstory for its main characters, a creative way to launch the first trailer, and a nod to audiences that the franchise would be returning to its roots.

THE SOLUTION

We created The Last Supper, a 5-minute prologue short film that shows the entire crew (all 15 cast members) gathering for a final meal before entering cryosleep—a mirror to the original film’s dinner scene.

Alien: Covenant follows a group of 14 colonists and their android, Walter, who travel to a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy to form a human settlement. We needed to introduce these characters to the world and help audiences develop a relationship with them before they became monster food.

The Last Supper contains a few key nods to the original 1979 film while leaning into the rich emotional territory implied by a colonization mission led by couples. It showcases the dynamics of the Covenant crew, their relationships, and touches on themes of love, jealousy, and ego to put their humanity on display. It was also important for us to reveal the franchise’s first same-sex couple in way that didn’t politicize or minimize their inclusion.

THE APPROACH

In today’s crowded and competitive entertainment landscape, movie studios are faced with constantly escalating challenges, such as eventizing trailer launches and inventing new ways to connect with moviegoers. Creating an original short film that was also qualitatively indistinguishable from Ridley Scott’s vision was a way to introduce the film’s characters to a broad moviegoing audience and gave our cast an opportunity to further develop their characters and directly engage their own fans in a unique manner. This isn’t a spoiler-laden trailer or a clip. This is original storytelling that puts audiences directly into the world and encourages investment in the characters and their journey.

A COORDINATED LAUNCH

We worked together with 20th Century Fox to create a two-week launch plan that grabbed the attention of fans, press, and general moviegoers. We began by revealing the first official photo of the full cast, which racked up headlines and confirmed James Franco’s involvement in the film. From there, we amplified social awareness by partnering with Instagram to help debut their new album feature and shared exclusive images from the film while teasing the upcoming prologue. Next, we debuted the short film during FX’s Legion, targeting core sci-fi fans. Thanks to our multi-audience presence across television, digital, social, and publishing, we were able to reach tens of millions of viewers.

BEHIND THE SCENES

3AM produced The Last Supper with RSA Films during Alien: Covenant’s production, working alongside the filmmakers and crew. The short film was directed by Luke Scott and written by 3AM. It was the only time the entire cast appeared together during the film’s production.

REACTIONS

Audiences and press lauded the prologue as a perfect introduction to the characters, world, and central concepts at play in Alien: Covenant.


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“You don’t see stuff like this three months before a movie is released… This is required viewing.”

— io9


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“This is such an awesome way to introduce everyone to these new characters in this movie…it’s kind of eerie how good this is.”

— First Showing


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“A perfect appetizer to the bloody, severely frightening entree that Ridley Scott’s latest film in the series promises to be.”

— Cinema Blend


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“So good that my faith in this movie is currently at dangerously high levels.”

— Moviepilot


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“A stunning glimpse at the titular ship’s crew.”

— Engadget


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“A great first look at the newest chapter of the Alien franchise.”

— Nerdist


RESULTS

•    14m+ views
•    Covered by 125+ press outlets
•    #1 trending on YouTube
•    #1 trending on Reddit Movies
•    65% YouTube retention rate
•    13% Facebook completion rate (vs. 9.5% trailer avg. benchmark)
•    9% more engagement than teaser trailer

Next Up

Meet Walter Alien: Covenant + AMD