"Alien" creator Ridley Scott says he's convinced that there are aliens out there -- and one day they could come for us.
The veteran director said on Thursday he believed in higher beings as he prepared to release the sixth episode of the sci-fi horror series, "Alien: Covenant", next month.
"I believe in superior beings. I think it is certainly likely. An expert I was talking to at NASA said to me, 'Have you ever looked in the sky at night? You mean to tell me we are it?' That's ridiculous.
"The experts have now put a number on it having assessed what is out there. They say that there are between 100 and 200 entities that could be having a similar evolution to us right now.
"So when you see a big thing in the sky, run for it," he joked.
"Because they are a lot smarter than we are, and if you are stupid enough to challenge them you will be taken out in three seconds."
"Alien: Covenant", the second of the prequel films, is set in 2104 on board a spaceship carrying 2,000 cryogenically frozen colonists to a distant planet when they chance upon an uncharted paradise.
But their voyage soon turns into a gory nightmare that makes "Alien'"s original "chestbuster" scene seem tame in comparison.
- 'Hideous beyond belief' -
The "neomorph" aliens in the new film are based on the goblin shark "which has a jaw which hinges in two ways. It's scary, hideous beyond belief actually," Scott said.
The 79-year-old British-born director -- who was also the brains behind "Blade Runner" -- said he never tired of scaring people out of their skins.
"When I did the first 'Alien' I had to get a sense of responsibility because the reaction to the kitchen ("chestbuster") scene with John Hurt was beyond anything I expected -- and it was not good," he told AFP.
"But the film was very successful because people are perverse."
He said he could not believe the terror he had created when he went to see people watching the film.
"Everybody was half underneath the seat watching by the time you get to the kitchen scene. There was a woman underneath the seat with her husband holding her. I said this is not healthy."
Scott, however, claimed that he was unshockable.
"Nothing scares me. I have a 9mm (pistol)," he said.
"If there is a problem I tend to close down into calm. When you walk in in the morning on a film and 600 people turn and all look at you, that is scary," he said.
"Alien: Covenant" has a religious subtext, the director insisted.
He said he was "agnostic", but this did not stop him making a film about Moses, "Exodus: Gods and Kings", in 2014.
"Either religion is the greatest trick played on mankind. Or it is not, and that poses some great questions, and this film is a great context for those," he said.
The film sees Irish actor Michael Fassbender return to his role as the cerebral android David which he played in the last prequel "Prometheus" in 2012.
But this time with a twist. Scott uses him to pose questions about the nature of humans.
"There is an artist in there somewhere," Fassbender said in an earlier interview. "There's definitely an ego in there... So again these are very human things.
"We all want to leave something behind after we go. There's a legacy of some sort that we've left behind," he added.
Scott, who was knighted in 2003, is about to make a film about the Battle of Britain during World War II, when the Royal Air Force fought off the German Luftwaffe.
"Alien: Covenant" opens across the world from May 10.