Ever since news broke that Legion and Fargo showrunner Noah Hawley was making a TV show set in the Alien universe, we’ve been desperate to learn more. When’s it set, where’s it set, who’s in it, and can we have it in our eyeballs right now thank you very much? Several of those details have been revealed in the subsequent months and now there are even more, including one that’s a tad less than encouraging.
We’ll start with that bad news. Speaking at a recent event, as chronicled by the Hollywood Reporter, FX chief John Landgraf said that Hawley will be finishing a whole other show, the fifth season of Fargo, before making Alien. “We need to shoot Fargo this winter, so we’ll be shooting Fargo before Alien though we have more scripts for Alien than Fargo,” Landgraf said. “Noah is writing both right now.”
The good news is Hawley has made more progress on Alien than Fargo so far (Landgraf has read five Alien scripts and only one for Fargo) so the world of the sci-fi series is already very well-defined. And that world, as we already knew, is ours. Hawley’s Alien, as previously reported, will take place on Earth, and Landgraf revealed a bit more specifically about when in the overall Alien timeline that is.
“Alien takes place before Ripley,” the head of FX said. “It’s the first story in the Alien franchise that takes place on Earth. It takes place on our planet, near the end of this century we’re currently in, 70-odd years from now.” So it’s almost a modern Alien story? That seems both intriguing and confusing. “All I can tell you is Ripley won’t be a part of it, and neither will any other characters—other than the alien itself,” Landgraf added.
Thankfully, Hawley himself has previously explained a bit more about what exactly is going on in his Alien show. “In the movies, we have this Weyland-Yutani Corporation, which is clearly also developing artificial intelligence,” he said back in January. “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?”
However that plays out, and wherever the xenomorph creatures fit in, Landgraf believes it will be pleasing for fans. “I hope [fans] will feel like it’s faithful to the franchise they love but also a brave and original reinvention of that franchise,” he said. “Setting it on Earth is really interesting. We have to think forward about the future of the planet in terms of the environment, governance, technology and create and design a version of the planet in the future … Noah wants to do that in a distinctive and original way.”
Sounds intriguing! Too bad it’s gonna be at least a year, maybe more, until we get to see it.
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