Fans have been waiting for a new installment in the Alien franchise since 2017's Alien: Covenant, with the next chapter set to be an all-new TV series from Noah Hawley. While it's unknown exactly when that series is expected to debut, a new report from Alien vs. Predator Galaxy claims that Weta has come on board the project to deliver the visual effects for the iconic xenomorph. The site notes that, while they are confident that Weta is involved in the endeavor, the effects house is comprised of both Weta Digital and Weta Workshop, with one branch handling visual effects and the other branch handling practical effects. In other words, it's currently unknown what the blend of practical and visual effects fans can expect.
Back in the early 2000s, Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy put Weta on the map, as they crafted the astonishing mix of both practical and digital effects for that trilogy. Following their successful work on that project, Weta would go on to develop effects for King Kong, District 9, Avatar, and Marvel's The Avengers. Weta also contributed effects to the Alien prequel film Prometheus.
Understandably, the Alien franchise is known for its inclusion of the xenomorph, though the most recent entries saw themes of artificial intelligence and corporate greed earn a heavier influence than merely games of cat and mouse between the otherworldly threats and human protagonists. Knowing that Weta is involved in this new series will likely excite fans, as Hawley surely wouldn't have enlisted their talents for a series that would focus solely on human characters.
Earlier this month, Hawley teased what he hoped to explore with the new series.
"It's set on Earth of the future. At this moment, I describe that as Edison versus Westinghouse versus Tesla," Hawley explained to Esquire. "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?"
He added, "Alien is a fascinating story because it's not just a monster movie; it's about how we're trapped between the primordial past and the artificial intelligence of our future, where both trying to kill us ... As Sigourney Weaver said in that second movie, 'I don't know which species is worse. At least they don't f-ck 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. It's humbling to get to play with the iconography of this world."
Stay tuned for details on the Alien TV series.
Are you looking forward to the project? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars.