Any science fiction and/or fantasy fan of the ’70s or ’80s had to know Ridley Scott’s name. The filmmaker not only made memorable films like 1985’s Legend starring Tom Cruise and Tim Curry, but with 1982’s Blade Runner and 1979’s Alien, Scott created not only two of the most beloved science fiction movies of the twentieth century, but two successful sci-fi franchises that continue to thrive decades later. Now the director is speaking out about an upcoming addition to the Alien franchise, and he doesn’t sound particularly happy about it.
Last December, Deadline announced an Alien TV series set in the narrative Ridley Scott created was in the works for FX with Noah Hawley as showrunner and creator. At the time, Scott was said to be in advance talks to act as executive producer on the series, but considering what he had to say in a new interview, it certainly would be strange if it turns out he accepts the job. Talking to the Independent, Scott’s words about the new Alien show were brief but to the point. The filmmaker said that no matter happens with the show “It’ll never be as good as the first one. That’s what I’ll say.”
Those aren’t only strong words about Noah Hawley’s upcoming series, they’re brave ones as well. With an incredible filmmaking career that — with this year’s The Last Duel and the upcoming House of Gucci along with future films like Gladiator 2 — doesn’t show any sign of slowing down, Ridley Scott has plenty of reasons to be proud of his career. But Hawley is no slouch, either. The writer/director has already been able to spin critically acclaimed gold out of a relatively obscure Marvel character with Legion, and from the Coen brothers’ work with the incredible crime anthology series Fargo. The latter series has attracted Emmy wins as well as top tier Hollywood talent including Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton, Ewan McGregor, and Chris Rock.
Regardless of whether or not Ridley Scott approves, Hawley’s Alien series will make its home in a place familiar to us, but strange for an Alien story — Earth. Speaking to Vanity Fair in July, Hawley said the setting will differ from the movies in that most of them feature the heroes trapped somewhere like on a spaceship in the first Alien, or the prison of 1992’s Alien 3. Hawley said he thought it would be interesting to “open it up a little bit.” He added that one of the show’s themes will be inequality, pointing out that most of the doomed heroes of the films are blue-collar folks, and that the white collars who keep treating the various marines, prisoners, and space truckers as fodder will take a more central role in his story.
Hawley also told Vanity Fair to not expect to see Sigourney Weaver reprise her role as Ripley in his Alien series. He called the hero “one of the great characters of all time,” but that — paying tribute to other creators like Ridley Scott and James Cameron — “[Ripley’s] story has been told pretty perfectly, and I don’t want to mess with it.”