In case you couldn’t tell by how much Ridley Scott’s been talking about it in interviews as of late, Alien: Covenant (aka Prometheus 2) is very much happening. The film begins shooting early next year for a 2017 release, with Michael Fassbender returning to reprise the role of handsome synthetic David. Although Scott was previously eyeing Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation breakout Rebecca Ferguson for a leading role, the director has instead cast another rising mega-star: Katherine Waterston.

Deadline reports that Waterston has joined the cast of Alien: Covenant in what’s described as a lead role opposite Steve Jobs co-star Michael Fassbender. Waterston will play the part of Daniels, said to pilot a new crew of explorers. Scott recently revealed that Noomi Rapace is also returning as Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, though her appearance will be brief — given what we know about the film’s plot so far, it’s fair to assume that David knocks her off.

Scott has spoken at length and somewhat vaguely about the film’s plot, which focuses on the crew of a colony ship (of course) who believe they’ve found a previously undiscovered paradise; instead, they find a dangerous planet where David is the only inhabitant. Did David and Elizabeth find the Engineers’ home planet? Did he kill them all?

The director says that Covenant (briefly titled Alien: Paradise Lost) will begin a new trilogy of Alien prequels that explore the origins of the Engineers and Xenomorphs. Scott has expressed regret over stepping away from the Alien franchise in the first place, though it’s unclear if he plans on directing all three of the new prequels — how will he find the time?

Waterston broke out last year with her supporting role in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, and has since delivered impressive performances in Queen of Earth and Steve Jobs. She also appears opposite Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, hitting theaters next fall.