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Noah Hawley's Alien TV Series Sounds Vaguely Awesome

The creator of Legion has revealed his extremely interesting—but broad—take on the franchise.

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A curly-haired kid bikes down a futuristic hall while his family watches.
A kid rides a Weyland-Yutani-branded Big Wheel in this deleted scene from Aliens.
Screenshot: 20th Century

Alien director Ridley Scott may have slammed the idea, but we’re very interested in what Legion and Fargo TV show creator Noah Hawley is going to do with the Alien franchise. (Certainly more than any additional Alien movies Scott makes.) And while we’re not going to see new Xenomorph shenanigans on our TV sets for quite some time, we have a bit more detail about the fiscally minded show.

Here’s what Hawley told Esquire about the show after a sprawling (and quite interesting!) interview about his latest book, Anthem: “It’s set on Earth of the future. At this moment, I describe that as Edison versus Westinghouse versus Tesla. Someone’s going to monopolize electricity. We just don’t know which one it is.

“In the movies, we have this Weyland-Yutani Corporation, which is clearly also developing artificial intelligence—but what if there are other companies trying to look at immortality in a different way, with cyborg enhancements or transhuman downloads? Which of those technologies is going to win? It’s ultimately a classic science fiction question: does humanity deserve to survive? As Sigourney Weaver said in that second movie, ‘I don’t know which species is worse. At least they don’t fuck each other over for a percentage.’ Even if the show was 60% of the best horror action on the planet, there’s still 40% where we have to ask, ‘What are we talking about it, beneath it all?’ Thematically, it has to be interesting.”


I would say this is very interesting, especially because I have little idea how the Xenomorphs of Alien are going to fit into a corporate battle over the immortality business. Of course, the Alien franchise has been entwined with themes of greed and commerce from the very beginning; in the first movie, the Nostromo was a space hauler that had to investigate the distress call on planet LV-426 per company policy. In Aliens, the slimy Weyland-Yutani corporation representative Carter Burke (Paul Reiser) gets many people killed in an attempt to capture a Xenomorph for its bioweapons industry, just like Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) does in the prequel Prometheus.

But that still doesn’t explain how you can get immortality out of a Xenomorph. At least we know two other things about the show: 1) if Hawley is involved, the Alien TV series is going to be interesting, and 2) the Earth is absolutely fucked.


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