Ahead of the May theatrical release of Alien: Covenant (directed by Ridley Scott, starring Michael Fassbender and Katherine Waterston), Audible today debuts Alien: River Of Pain an audio-exclusive adaptation of Christopher Golden’s 2014 novel for 20th Century Fox by the same name. Taking place between Alien and Aliens, the drama tells the story of the destruction of Hadley’s Hope, a research and mining colony established on LV-426 in 2157. Central to the narrative is the birth and backstory of Newt, one of the lead characters in the 1986 film Aliens (starring Sigourney Weaver and Carrie Henn).

Directed by the multi-award winning Dirk Maggs, best-known for his adaptations of Douglas Adams’ Hitchiker’s Guide To The Galaxy and Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere for the BBC, this audio-exclusive drama brings together a powerhouse of sci-fi and fantasy talent. Lead performers include Anna Friel (Golden Globe nominated, Limitless, Pushing Daisies), Alexander Siddig (Game Of Thrones, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), William Hope (Aliens), Colin Salmon (Alien VS Predator, Resident Evil, Arrow), Philip Glenister (Outcast, Life On Mars), Marc Warren (Hustle, Green Street Hooligans) and Michelle Ryan (Bionic Woman, Dr Who, EastEnders).

With rich and detailed sound-design, this new production immerses listeners in a dark and dangerous world that’s as thrilling as it is desolate.

Alien: River Of Pain is the second collaboration between Audible and 20th Century Fox Consumer Products on the Alien franchise. In April 2016, Audible debuted Alien: Out Of The Shadows starring Rutger Hauer, Matthew Lewis and Corey Johnson, directed by Dirk Maggs. Based on Tim Lebbon’s 2014 novel of the same name. Alien: Out Of The Shadows has been nominated for Best Audio Drama of 2017 at this year’s Audies.

Anna Friel, who plays Anne Jorden, said: “I’ve been a huge fan of the Alien films ever since I first watched Sigourney Weaver battle her way to safety in Alien.  I think she must have been one of the first strong female leads that proved to writers that women could hold a film on their own. It was that, that helped pave the way for other Ripley-like roles, i.e. strong, forceful, relentless and heroic women.  It’s an incredible saga to be a part of, and I think this audio production will give new and old fans alike a gripping backstory to dig their teeth into.”

Tracey Markham, UK Country Manager at Audible, said: “Audio offers enormous potential for creators, performers and listeners alike to explore the expanded universe of their favourite sagas. We’re always looking for ways to support original audio storytelling and have relished the opportunity to work with 20th Century Fox on a second narrative set in the Alien world. Our director, producers and actors have created a rich and atmospheric world which completely immerses the listener in the dark and dangerous environs of Hadley’s Hope.”

Alien: River Of Pain is available to pre-order now at www.audible.co.uk/RiverOfPain (one credit for Audible members, £19.79 for non-members or free with Audible’s 30-day trial).

By Michael Dickinson

Michael is the VultureHound Film Editor.