FX’s upcoming TV series, based on the Alien movies, is set on Earth 70 years ahead of Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley character in the franchise’s timeline, FX chairman John Landgraf tells The Hollywood Reporter†
The show is directed by Noah Hawley, who was previously acclaimed for his Fargo TV series, inspired by the Coen brothers’ movie of the same name. Filming for the Alien TV show will take place after season five of Fargo, which will be filmed “this winter.”
Landgraf previously confirmed that the Alien TV show would take place on Earth when the project was announced in late 2020. But knowing the time period of the show, we can have some fun speculating about how it might tie in with the rest of the franchise.
Being set in the 2090s, that show may overlap with the events of 2012’s Prometheus, which served as a prequel to the original Alien. The events of Prometheus begin in 2089 when protagonists Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway discover a star map in Scotland of an ancient civilization. The rest of the film then takes place on a distant moon in 2093, as humanity tries to connect with its predecessors.
“I describe that as Edison versus Westinghouse versus Tesla”
But Landgraf also says the Alien TV show will not feature returning characters from the existing films. “Ripley won’t be a part of it, nor any other characters — except the alien himself,” Landgraf says. So Ellen Ripley of Sigourney Weaver will not appear (Xenopedia informs me the character was born in 2092), but does this also rule out a return of Michael Fassbender, who already appeared in the Alien prequels as two different Android characters? Who will say.
Hawley also teased more details for the series in a recent interview with Esquire† “In the [Alien] movies, we have this Weyland-Yutani Corporation, which obviously also develops artificial intelligence – but what if there are other companies trying to view immortality in a different way, with cyborg enhancements or transhuman downloads? Which of those technologies will win?” he says. “I describe that as Edison versus Westinghouse versus Tesla. Someone is going to monopolize electricity. We just don’t know which one it is.”
It all sounds promising, and I let myself be cautiously optimistic given Hawley’s work on Fargo and the good work FX has done with its What we do in the Shadow TV adaptation. The Alien TV series currently has no official air date.