‘Alien’ TV Series: Everything We Know so Far

On television, no one can hear you scream except the people living in your house. FX is bringing Alien to television, and they announced in December 2020 that Fargo and Legion creator Noah Hawley was spearheading it. FX presented to the Television Critics Association on Feb. 17, so here’s what we know about the Alien TV Series so far.

'Alien' xenomorph reaches its hand at Harry Dean Stanton
Harry Dean Stanton | Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

The ‘Alien’ TV series has to wait for ‘Fargo’ Season 5

On Feb. 17, FX also announced Hawley was doing another season of Fargo. That is going to come first, so it pushes the Alien TV series. Fargo Season 5 will go into production later in 2022, but Hawley has already been writing Alien.

“We need to shoot Fargo in the winter, and we intend to shoot Fargo this winter,” FX CEO John Landraf said. “So, we will actually be shooting Fargo before Alien even though we have more scripts for Alien at the moment than we do with Fargo. Noah is writing both right now. So, I’ve got scripts for both shows coming in, but I’ve only got one for Fargo. I’ve seen five for Alien.  

The ‘Alien’ TV series takes place on Earth this century

The Alien movies teased the possibility of aliens arriving on Earth for Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection. Those movies ended up remaining on other planets or in space. The Alien vs. Predator movies took place on Earth, but it sounds like those don’t count.

“It’s the first story in the Alien franchise that takes place on Earth,” Landgraf said. “So, it takes place on our planet right near the end of this century that we are currently in right now, so about 70odd years from now.”

Setting the Alien TV series at the end of this century makes it a prequel to the movies. However, it is still far enough ahead to be science-fiction. The Weyland-Yutani company was already well established in the first movie, and existed in the AVP movies for what it’s worth.

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“Setting it on Earth is really, really interesting because that means we also have to think forward about the future of the planet in terms of its environment, its governance, its technology,” Landgraf said. “A lot of things and create and design and version of the planet in the future, which, of course, a lot of people have done, but I think Noah wants to do it in a distinctive and original way.”

Sigourney Weaver won’t be on the show

Setting the Alien TV series before the movies rules out a Sigourney Weaver cameo. Death didn’t stop Ripley, but maybe she can play one of Ripley’s ancestors in season 2.

Alien takes place before Ripley,” Landgraf said. “So Ripley won’t be a part of it. Neither will any of the other characters from Alien other than the alien itself. But Noah has this incredible ability  and I think you’ve seen it with Fargo to both find a way of being faithful, of showing fidelity to an original creation like the Coen brothers movie or in this case Ridley Scott’s movie and James Cameron’s followup. But then also to bring something new to the table that represents both a, kind of, extension and reinvention of a franchise at the same time, and I think he’s done a masterful job with Alien just as he did with Fargo.”

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