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Noah Hawley Has Written Two ‘Alien’ Episodes for Spring 2022 Filming: ‘It’s Not a Ripley Story’

Hawley's "Alien" television series will be the franchise's first entry set on Earth.


“Alien: Covenant”

Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth

Disney made it official last December that “Fargo” and “Legion” showrunner Noah Hawley is developing an FX television series based on the “Alien” film franchise. Details about the series have been scarce. Hawley previously teased this iteration of “Alien” would be set on Earth, whereas each installment of the film franchise took place in space or on a distant planet. Now the showrunner has pulled back the curtain even further on his “Alien” series in a new interview with Vanity Fair.

“I’ve written a couple of scripts, the first two scripts, and we’re looking to make them next spring,” Hawley said. “When you get to something with this level of visual effects, there’s a lot of preparation that has to go into it. What’s been really illuminating is to see that the entire film industry had to take a year off and they are now trying to jam two years of production into one year. So it’s very hard to look on the planet Earth and see where you might make something in the next six months. Everyone is racing to make up for lost time. So, I figure let that bubble burst a little bit and we’ll do it right.”

Hawley confirmed the “Alien” series is what’s next on his radar, which means a potential fifth season of the “Fargo” anthology series will have to wait. While the showrunner isn’t giving away any plot details just yet, he confirmed the series will have nothing to do with the “Alien” franchise’s most recognizable character, Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley.

“It’s not a Ripley story. She’s one of the great characters of all time, and I think the story has been told pretty perfectly, and I don’t want to mess with it,” 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?’ are more immediate.”

If the “Alien” movies are about “the people you send to do the dirty work,” then Hawley said in his show “you’re also going to see the people who are sending them.”

“You will see what happens when the inequality we’re struggling with now isn’t resolved,” Hawley said. “If we as a society can’t figure out how to prop each other up and spread the wealth, then what’s going to happen to us? There’s that great Sigourney Weaver line to Paul Reiser where she says, ‘I don’t know which species is worse. At least they don’t fuck each other over for a percentage.'”

Head over to Vanity Fair’s website to read more “Alien” television series teases from Hawley.

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