Earlier this year, director Ridley Scott was fairly adamant that Noomi Rapace wouldn’t be reprising her role as Elizabeth Shaw from Prometheus in his forthcoming Alien: Covenant. Scott’s comments seemed to be confirmed when the official synopsis was released, and only Michael Fassbender’s David was named as returning from the previous movie.

Six months on and Deadline has revealed that Noomi Repace has joined the cast in Australia and will be filming for the next couple of weeks. Given her relatively limited time on set, I think it’s safe to say that Repace is only a supporting player, and her appearance might be restricted to a flashback. The previous synopsis told us that “the crew of the colony ship Covenant discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world — whose sole inhabitant is the “synthetic” David (Michael Fassbender), survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition.” So, either David is no longer the only inhabitant of the planet or we’ll find out Shaw’s fate via a flashback of some description.

Ridley Scott has promised that Covenant will be heavily linked to the events of his seminal 1979 film, but we’ll have to wait until the third entry in the new trilogy before we get all the answers. One intriguing rumour has suggested that Katherine Waterston’s character could be Ellen Ripley’s (Sigourney Weaver) mother, the rumour was based on a single leaked photo of Waterston on set and features her wearing a Ripley type vest with a similar short haircut. There’s nothing more than the photo to substantiate the rumour, but since when has a lack of official information prevented fanboys like me from over analysing every last frame.

Also starring Billy Crudup (Watchmen), Danny McBride (This is the End) and Demian Bichir (The Hateful Eight), Alien: Covenant will arrive in cinemas on August 4, 2017.