The Alien franchise has had many films in its stable since the original film hit theatres in 1979. There were the sequels; Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1992) and Alien: Resurrection (1997). Then there were the prequels of Prometheus (2012) and Alien: Covenant (2017). Now though, FX is producing an Alien TV series being helmed by Fargo showrunner Noah Hawley. For fans wondering where this sits among the Alien timeline, they need wonder no more. According to The Hollywood Reporter, FX chief John Landgraff confirmed the position of the series while speaking at the Television Critics Association press tour. Landgraff said, “Alien takes place before Ripley… It’s the first story in the Alien franchise that takes place on Earth. It takes place on our planet, near the end of this century we’re currently in — 70-odd years from now.”
So, another prequel then. This comment reaffirms that the Alien series will be set on mother Earth. For fans of the original heroine Ripley, (Sigourney Weaver), there was some news on the character — fans won’t be seeing more of Ripley. “All I can tell you is Ripley won’t be a part of it, and neither will any other characters — other than the alien itself,” said FX chief John Landgraff. A whole new world of characters are set to be introduced to the Alien franchise and since the series was announced it is well known that the series will see characters evading the famous Xenomorph on earth.
Further details on this new Alien series can be heard from the showrunner himself, Noah Hawley. Hawley is a prolific showrunner with shows Legion and Fargo under his belt. Speaking to Vanity Fair about the show, Hawley said, “It’s a story that’s set on Earth also. The alien stories are always trapped… Trapped in a prison, trapped in a space ship. I thought it would be interesting to open it up a little bit so that the stakes of ‘What happens if you can’t contain it?'”
The prospect of the Alien Xenomorph roaming wild on Earth is a tantalising one. However, there is one onlooker who seems to be downplaying the series’ potential — Ridley Scott, director of Alien, Prometheus & Alien Covenant. Speaking to The Independent, the director said “It’ll never be as good as the first one. That’s what I’ll say.” This dismissive take is interesting, considering the iconic director was being touted as an executive producer on the Alien series.
For fans waiting to see if Noah Hawley and FX can make Ridley Scott eat his words in regards to the new Alien series, time will have to tell. Landgraff says that Noah Hawley will have to finish Fargo Season Five before work on Alien can well and truly get underway. “We need to shoot Fargo this winter, so we’ll be shooting Fargo before Alien, though we have more scripts for Alien than Fargo,” Landgraf said.
Fans eagerly awaiting new Alien content will obviously find this frustrating. Not only does this highlight a possible delay, but there is no cemented release date. However, the prospect of a good amount of written material for the new Alien series is promising. For now, this latest revelation on the setting of the series and information on its premise should be enough to keep fans interested.