• New Alien: Romulus footage at CinemaCon confirms a return to the franchise’s horrifying roots, honoring earlier movies.
  • Facehuggers in Alien: Romulus show new terrifying abilities, swimming through water for the first time ever.
  • The webbed royal facehugger, first teased in 2003’s Alien 3: Special Edition, finally pays off in the upcoming film.



New footage of Alien: Romulus debuted at CinemaCon and it teased that a facehugger promise first set up in the special edition of Alien 3 might be paid off in the upcoming movie. The Alien: Romulus CinemaCon footage confirmed even more than the brief, terrifying teaser did, that Fede Álvarez’s version will return the franchise to its horrifying roots. At the same time, it looks to honor the spirit of the franchise by cashing in on certain unrealized versions and updating elements from earlier movies.

That makes sense: the story of Alien: Romulus is set between the events of Alien and Aliens, so much of the gear, such as Aliens‘ classic plasma rifle weapon, is being resurrected for the new movie. The design of the grown Xenomorph is borrowed from the look it had in Alien and Alien 3 rather than in Aliens. That’s not the only element borrowed from the third Alien film, however.

It’s The First Time Facehuggers Have Been Shown Swimming

The CinemaCon footage had a few of the expected horrifying scenes involving the Xenomorphs, one a gruesome chestburster. The other, however, was even more intriguing as it involved several facehuggers swarming members of the crew. Even more interesting, it showed the facehuggers moving quickly through knee-high water that was filling the room; if they aren’t outright swimming, it’s something awfully close to it. Either way, it’s the first time facehuggers have been shown being able to propel themselves through water, which presents a terrifying new aspect to contemplate.

It’s not the only way that Álvarez has updated the facehuggers to make them more of a threat. In the teaser trailer dropped a few weeks ago, a group of facehuggers were shown leaping through the air. While it’s not the first time in the Alien franchise that facehuggers have been shown jumping, they certainly appear more agile and athletic than in any previous installation. The distance jumping/semi-gliding and the swimming present never-before-seen problems for the new characters of Alien: Romulus. The latter ability, however, was set up more than 20 years ago but never paid off.

It Pays Off A Tease First Set Up In 2003’s Alien 3: Special Edition

A Very Cool Facehugger Concept Is Finally Coming Full Circle

A man holding a Royal Facehugger in Alien 3

That there are several kinds of Xenomorphs is well-documented by now. One of them, however, was only ever shown in 2003’s Alien 3: Special Edition, released as part of a box set. The royal facehugger was originally included in 1992’s Alien 3, but was ultimately cut in the final theatrical version. It didn’t see the light of day until 11 years later when it was included in a single scene in the special edition version.

The royal facehugger is an advanced version of the normal facehugger. For one, it is larger and its armor stronger. It’s also the version of the facehugger that carries the embryo of the Xenomorph queen, making it even more formidable. However, it’s the webbing around its legs that is the point that it diverges most from regular facehuggers. The webbing suggests that the royal facehugger – or perhaps facehuggers in general – is capable of swimming. As it was only in one scene in Alien 3: Special Edition, that was never confirmed. With Alien: Romulus upgrading the facehuggers in significant ways, it looks as though that seed has finally sprouted 21 years later.

Alien Romulus Poster

Alien: Romulus

Alien: Romulus is the seventh film in the Alien franchise. The movie is directed by Fede Álvarez and will focus on a new young group of characters who come face to face with the terrifying Xenomorphs. Alien: Romulus is a stand-alone film and takes place in a time not yet explored in the Alien franchise.

Fede Alvarez

Release Date
August 16, 2024

Cailee Spaeny , David Jonsson , Archie Renaux , Isabela Merced , Aileen Wu , Spike Fearn

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