The Alien franchise TV series that FX is developing with Noah Hawley (Fargo, Legion) will not be another story about Ellen Ripley. Instead, Hawley is interested in exploring a story of class warfare, in which the dreaded xenomorphs finally get to terrorize a new crowd: the wealthy elite and business executives who are always responsible for sending working-class people (engineers, colonists, military servicemen and women, prisoners, etc.) to their doom in one xenomorph calamity or another. That's a nice twist on the Alien franchise we've seen on-screen up until this point, and a great way for Hawley to marry his stylistic and philosophic auteur signature to the sci-fi/horror genre.
"It's not a Ripley story. She's one of the great characters of all time, and I think the story has been told pretty perfectly, and I don't want to mess with it. It's a story that's set on Earth also," Hawley explained.
The Alien films have always been about (ultimately successfully) containing xenomorph outbreaks in remote locations; in the post-pandemic world, however, Hawley is more interested in looking at what unchecked outbreak is all about.
"The alien stories are always trapped… Trapped in a prison, trapped in a spaceship," the filmmaker detailed. "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."
Of course, most of Hawley's TV work has dealt with the theme of the downtrodden rising up against oppressive forces -- often in a violent manner. His Alien TV series will be no different.
"On some level it's also a story about inequality. You know, one of the things that I love about the first movie is how '70s a movie it is, and how it's really this blue collar space-trucker world," Hawley confirmed. "The second movie is such an '80s movie, but it's still about grunts. Paul Reiser is middle management at best. So, it is the story of the people you send to do the dirty work."
He added, "In mine, you're also going to see the people who are sending them. So you will see what happens when the inequality we're struggling with now isn't resolved. If we as a society can't figure out how to prop each other up and spread the wealth, then what's going to happen to us? There's that great Sigourney Weaver line to Paul Reiser where she says, 'I don't know which species is worse. At least they don't fuck each other over for a percentage.'"
There's no premiere date for FX's Alien series.