Noah Hawley, creator of the Marvel-inspired television series Legion and the Coen Brothers-inspired series Fargo, is now developing an "FX on Hulu" show that's set in the world of the Alien franchise. During a recent conversation with Vanity Fair, Hawley shared some of his ideas for the show, confirmed that it does not involve the Ripley character, and revealed that he's hoping to get it into production "next spring".
Hawley said the Alien films are "great monster movies, but they're not just monster movies":
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."
He went on to say that the Ripley story "has been told perfectly", which is why he doesn't want to mess with it. His story is set on Earth, because
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. … 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 in which Yaphet Kotto and Harry Dean Stanton are basically Waiting for Godot. They're like Samuel Beckett characters, ordered to go to a place by a faceless nameless corporation. 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. 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 f*ck each other over for a percentage."
Hawley has written the scripts for the first two episodes, but doesn't think filming will begin until next year due to the current state of the film and television business. The
industry had to take a year off and they are now trying to jam two years of production into one year. So it's very hard to look on the planet Earth and see where you might make something in the next six months. Everyone is racing to make up for lost time. So, I figure let that bubble burst a little bit and we'll do it right."
So it's still going to be a while before we have a chance to see what Hawley is doing with Alien, but it sounds like it's going to be an interesting show once it finally reaches Hulu. We'll keep you updated as development continues.