Ridley Scott is really committed to this whole Alien sequel thing. Although he once said that Prometheus was more of a spiritual prequel, the director’s sequel to that film has evolved — much like the Xenomorphs — into an actual prequel to the Alien series. As such, Scott says Alien: Covenant will feature all the different stages of Xenomorphs, from the eggs to the chest-bursters to the full-blown Queen Aliens. So basically, yeah, this is an Alien movie.

Scott’s plans seem to have put an indefinite hold on whatever Neill Blomkamp was planning for his Alien sequel, which might be for the best, since Blomkamp wanted to essentially ignore the films that came after Aliens. But Scott’s plan isn’t too different — the director recently expressed regret in not remaining involved with the series, so he’s righting his perceived wrong with not just one new Alien prequel, but a couple of them. Maybe. We’ll see.

In an interview with The Wrap, Scott talked a bit more about his plans for Alien: Covenant, reiterating that this is indeed an Alien movie and not merely a sequel to Prometheus:

Yeah. Well, really it’s “Alien.” They’re going to go to the planet where the engineers came from, and come across the evolving creature that they had made. Why did they make it? Why would they make such a terrifying beast? It felt bio-mechanoid, it felt like a weapon. And so the movie will explain that, and reintroduce the alien back into it.

There was always this discussion: Is Alien, the character, the beast, played out or not? We’ll have them all: egg, face-hugger, chest-burster, then the big boy. I think maybe we can go another round or two.

When asked if he thought there would be “more to explore” with the Xenomorph when he made the first Alien film, Scott said he did and spoke a bit about the late artist H.R. Giger, who provided many of the original designs:

Yeah, definitely. I knew we had done something special. I mean, I knew it as soon as I met with [painter, illustrator and creature designer] H.R. Giger. He was an artist in every sense of the word, but very businesslike. There was no rock ‘n’ roll — well, there was quietly, but he never brought it to the set. And I knew I had something special with this creature that he designed. Without that creature, the film wouldn’t have been the same.

The Alien series has been surprising in its endurance, and it’s kind of amazing that Scott’s classic inspired an entire franchise and an eventual, ill-conceived crossover with the Predator series. Although Prometheus was a flawed quasi-addition to the franchise, it did offer some compelling ideas and visuals, and perhaps now that Scott is no longer coyly skirting the connection to the original Alien franchise, we’ll get something even more interesting.

Michael Fassbender has been confirmed to reprise his role as David, with Noomi Rapace putting in a brief appearance as Dr. Elizabeth Shaw. It was also recently reported that Scott was eyeing Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation star Rebecca Ferguson for a role. The film begins shooting early next year, with Alien: Covenant arriving sometime in 2017.