FX Gives New Details on ‘Alien’ TV Series, Teases “Big Surprises”

The "extension and reinvention of the franchise" won't feature any familiar characters, says FX chief John Landgraf, but will "think forward about the future of the planet in terms of the environment."

adminFebruary 22, 2022

FX gave new details about its highly anticipated Alien TV series from Fargo showrunner Noah Hawley.

FX chief John Landgraf told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour on Thursday that Hawley would shoot a new season of Fargo — which was just renewed for season five — before 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.”

He added that he’s received one script for Fargo and seen five for Alien.

As for the Alien storyline, Landgraf expressed a mix of previously revealed and new thoughts about the project and confirmed the story will not feature any characters from the franchise’s movie, including Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver).

Alien takes place before Ripley,” he 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.

“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,” he added. “Noah has an incredible ability to both find a way of being faithful and showing fidelity to an original creation, like to the Coen brothers [with Fargo] or to Ridley Scott’s movie and James Cameron’s follow-up Aliens, but also to bring something new that represents both an extension and reinvention of a franchise at the same time. He’s done a masterful job with Alien as he did with Fargo. There are some big surprises in store for the audience.

“I hope they will feel like it’s faithful to the franchise they love but also a brave and original reinvention of that franchise,” he continued. “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.”

Alien launched with Scott’s iconic 1979 film, set largely about a cargo-hauling space ship menaced by a lethal stowaway. In recent years, Scott attempted to revive the franchise with mixed results with the 2012 film Prometheus and its 2017 sequel Alien: Covenant.

Earlier Thursday, Landgraf announced that Fargo will return for season five, saying only that the season will take place in a contemporary time period, return to the Upper Midwest and tackle the following questions: “When is a kidnapping not a kidnapping, and what if your wife isn’t yours?”