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‘Alien’ TV Miniseries Is More Than a Rumor: Development Talks Continue ‘from Time to Time’

Noah Hawley wants to use his "Legion" playbook to bring an "Alien" miniseries to FX.

ALIEN: COVENANT

“Alien: Covenant”

Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth

The future of the “Alien” franchise has been an uncertainty following the lackluster box office of Ridley Scott’s 2017 “Alien: Covenant,” but rumors of an “Alien” television miniseries are being kicked up a notch thanks to a new Deadline interview with “Fargo” and “Legion” showrunner Noah Hawley.

Deadline first reported in March 2019 that former Fox film chief Stacey Snider “fended off an attempt by Hawley and FX to take the ‘Aliens’ franchise and turn it into a miniseries,” but that was before the Disney-Fox merger. While an “Alien” miniseries hasn’t gained much momentum post-merger, talks about developing one continue “from time to time,” Hawley now says.

“I know that there’s an effort to reshuffle a lot of things post-Disney takeover and it was a conversation that I had a couple years back,” Hawley told Deadline about the miniseries. “I know that like any studio that there’s a great desire to make the most of one’s library so I wouldn’t be surprised to see something like that.”

When asked if he personally is still involved with a potential “Alien” series, Hawley answered, “Ya know, I have conversations from time to time but I’m not committed.” The showrunner also noted there’s no conceit in place about what the miniseries would tackle from a narrative standpoint. In a September interview with Observer, Hawley spoke for the first time in depth about his approach to an “Alien” miniseries.

“’Alien’ is sort of about humanity at its worst,” Hawley said. “There’s this moment in the second film when Sigourney says, ‘I don’t know which species is worse. At least they don’t screw each other over for a percentage.’ If you look at what ‘Alien’ [films] tend to be, it’s usually a trapped story — trapped in a ship, trapped in a prison, etc. And because the Alien has this life cycle to it, where it goes from egg, to chestburster, to xenomorph, there becomes a certain routine to it.”

Hawley continued, “I thought it would be interesting if you could expand. If you’re going to make something for television, you’ve got 10 hours let’s say. Even if you have a lot of action, like two hours, then you’re still going to have eight hours left. So what is the show about? That’s what I tried to talk to them about.”

A Hawley-created “Alien” miniseries, he said, would take a page out of the “Legion” playbook. Hawley developed his FX comic book series by “taking the superhero stuff out of the show and seeing if it’s still a great show,” as he told Observer, suggesting a similar approach to see if an “Alien” miniseries even makes sense.

“Let’s take the ‘Alien’ out of the show,” Hawley told Observer. “What’s the show about? What are the themes, who are the characters and what is the human drama? Then we drop the aliens back in and we go, ‘This is great. Not only is there great human drama, but there’s aliens!’”

Ridley Scott said in September he was working on a new “Alien” movie that would move the franchise away from the world and characters explored in “Prometheus” and “Alien: Covenant.” With Fox now under Disney, the Mouse House has yet to confirm any concrete plan for where the franchise goes next.

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