The Alien franchise is continuing to expand — the latest addition into the series being a TV show from Fargo and Legion showrunner Noah Hawley. In an interview with Vanity Fair, the acclaimed writer/producer gave an update on current development with the series for FX. The project was announced back in December 2020 with Ridley Scott producing, and will be the seventh entry into the franchise (not including the untitled third prequel currently in the works).
Although there are few confirmed details, Hawley was able to give a little insight into the story of the Alien series. He clearly said the show will not be about Ellen Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver in the film franchise) — which isn’t an indication that he doesn’t like her character. Hawley just felt that the story had been told perfectly and that there was nothing to add. This new series will also be set on Earth, something definitely new to the Alien franchise.
Hawley continued, “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.”
Hawley currently has the first two episodes written, with production looking to start next spring. He notes that the reason for a long pre-production is due to the quality level of special effects, citing that post-pandemic filming has been too rushed. He’s hoping to “let that bubble burst a little bit” before shooting, in order to make sure that the series is made just right. He also clearly seems to have a key understanding of the themes and metaphors behind the Alien world, mentioning the impact of directors like Scott, James Cameron, and David Fincher on the franchise.
“Those are great monster movies, but they’re not just monster movies,” Hawley said. “They’re about humanity trapped between our primordial, parasitic past and our artificial intelligence future—and they’re both trying to kill us. Here you have human beings and they can’t go forward and they can’t go back. So I find that really interesting.”
In the same interview, Hawley also gave an update about Season 5 of Fargo. He stated that there will be a fifth season of the award-winning FX series, but he doesn’t have the pieces there yet. However, he does seem to think that this season will be its last, so he would like to create a deliberate ending, something that maybe ties up the different plotlines of each season.
As avid watchers know, Fargo is an anthology series that is set in different places and times in the midwest, yet there is always at least one or two connections between each season. Tying them up nicely will certainly be a great way to end the series, particularly as Hawley looks towards this new Alien show. While I’m always happy to get another season of Fargo, I’d rather have Hawley continue to give his full attention to one project before going ahead with future ones. However, if the new Alien series has already been partially written and will be filming next spring, we, unfortunately, might have to wait a bit longer for that last season of Fargo.
All four seasons of Fargo are currently available on Hulu, with the Alien movies able to stream on Amazon Prime.
He also shares what it was like studying under acting teachers Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg early in his career.
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