Why the alien isn't the only scary thing in 'Alien: Covenant'

Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston and the stars of the new movie share their fears of androids, AI and technology.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
Watch this: 'Alien: Covenant' predicts a future packed with nightmare tech

The alien is one of the scariest creations in cinema history. But it's not the only thing to be scared of in our future.

When they're not dealing with the infamous movie monster, the heroes of new movie "Alien: Covenant" have their hands full with an enigmatic android and a malfunctioning spaceship. Technology may have helped them get into space, but it's also caused new problems -- and that's something that reflects our concerns about science and technology in the real world.

Actor Michael Fassbender sees both sides of the coin in "Covenant", playing a dual role as a pair of artificial intelligence androids with differing ideas about helping or hindering humanity. Katherine Waterston certainly sees potential for technology such as AI to go either way.

Billy Crudup, Danny McBride and Demián Bichir also have their own concerns about the future, although Crudup doesn't think AI is the most pressing concern facing the human race.

Director Ridley Scott has his own ambivalent feelings about technology, a preoccupation that's informed his work since "Blade Runner" and the original "Alien" more than thirty years ago.

Watch this: How 'Alien: Covenant' was inspired by Ridley Scott's fears for the future

"Alien: Covenant" is in cinemas in the UK now and will open in US theatres from 19 May. Here's our thoughts on whether you need to see "Prometheus" first.

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