Noah Hawley’s “Alien” series for FX is finally starting to come into view after delays in filming. During the ongoing TCA tour — virtual once more, yet again due to the ongoing spread of Covid — FX chairman John Landgraf said that Hawley has turned in all the scripts for the limited series spin on the sci-fi franchise. It’s also confirmed to start shooting next year, and it also is going to mirror the tone of the ones that started it all, Ridley Scott’s 1979 “Alien” and James Cameron’s 1986 “Aliens.”
“I’m a big fan of ‘Alien’ and ‘Aliens’ and I remember watching both of them in the theater and how shockingly original and surprising each of them was in its own way,” Landgraf said. “And so, similar to his approach to ‘Fargo,’ Noah decided to not take Ripley or any character from Alien – except perhaps the xenomorph itself – but go back and figure out what made the franchise so great and so durable in the first place and see if he could find an experience that felt like walking into a theater and seeing one of those first two movies, where you get caught off guard.”
Keeping any specific details on the hush-hush, he concluded, “That’s all I can say at this point though.”
Asked if the Weyland-Yutani corporation of the original films factors into this series, Landgraf said, “The ‘Alien’ cinematic universe is that it’s a world that’s sort of dominated by large corporate entities, and Weyland-Yutani has been an important component of the movies. There are references to that corporation in this show. But it actually takes place in the territory of a different corporation that Noah invented.”
The series will be a prequel to the original “Alien,” taking place before Ripley ever graced the screen. The FX executive said that Hawley’s show will take place on Earth at the end of the 21st century, roughly 70 years from now. No characters from the original movies will be involved.
“Alien” was originally to shoot last year, but Hawley and FX ended up prioritizing the fifth season of their anthology series “Fargo,” which Landgraf said at the TCAas will be more comedic in tone. “It’s always a balance between how dramatic versus comedic it is, and this is the more comedic end of the spectrum. I really love it.” This season stars Juno Temple, Jon Hamm, and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Landgraf has had a big TCA so far: yesterday, he proclaimed that 2022 would be “the peak of peak TV.”