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FX’s Alien TV Show: 6 Things We Know About The Noah Hawley Series

The alien queen in Aliens
(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

The Alien movie franchise is one of the most prominent to ever grace the silver screen, with elite filmmakers like Ridley Scott, James Cameron, and David Fincher helming various series installments over the years. And even though it looks like we’ll never get to see Neil Blomkamp’s big screen idea come to fruition, another promising project, this time on the small screen, is alive and well as a baby Xenomorph bursting through a person's chest.

At some point in the near future, Fargo creator Noah Hawley will unleash upon the world the first ever Alien TV show on FX, and from what we know so far, it sounds like it’s going to right up there with the best projects the property has delivered audiences in the past. And although we still have plenty of questions about the show, there are several things of note that are just too good to not talk about.

Michael Fassbender in Prometheus

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

FX’s Alien TV Show Will Be Set On Earth Near The End Of The 21st Century

The original Alien movie was set in 2122, with all subsequent sequels (this does not include the two prequels) taking place anywhere between 50 and 250 years later – with all of the action taking place in space or various planets and moons. When the Alien TV Show on FX premieres at some point in the near future, it will instead be set on Earth at some point near the end of the 21st century, which would have it taking place around the same time as Prometheus (2089 - 2093) on the Alien timeline.

The Earth setting was first confirmed in a December 2020 tease by the official Disney Twitter account that also revealed that the show would take place “not too far in the future.” FX Chairman John Landgraf gave further confirmation and clarification at a Television Critics Association event in February 2022 (via The Hollywood Reporter), where he stated the series would be set “70-odd years” from now, which would be around 2093 (same as Prometheus).

With the show taking place on Earth, it will focus on the corporations that were always in the background of the movies. In a January 2022 interview with Esquire, Noah Hawley explained that the Weyland-Yutani Corporation is developing AI... but what about other corporations? What are they working on?

Sigourney Weaver in Aliens

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

Series Protagonist Ellen Ripley Won’t Be A Part Of The Alien TV Show

The first four movies in the Alien franchise centered on the heroes journey of series protagonist Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), but fans should know that this won’t be the case with the upcoming FX series. When speaking at the TCA’s February 2022 event (via IndieWire), FX Chief John Landgraf made a point to stress that no characters from the Alien movies will be appearing in the show, stating,

All I can tell you is [Ellen] Ripley won’t be a part of it, and neither will any other characters — other than the alien itself. Noah [Hawley] has an incredible ability to both find a way of being faithful and showing fidelity to an original creation, like to the Coen brothers 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.

And if there is anyone who is capable of taking a pre-existing franchise and creating new characters within its universe, it is Noah Hawley. Since Fargo debuted on FX in 2014, Hawley has won a Primetime Emmy, a Golden Globe, and a number of other accolades for his writing, directing, and producing.

Sigourney Weaver in Alien

(Image credit: Twentieth Century Fox)

Alien Director Ridley Scott Is Serving As One Of The Show’s Producers

No word on if James Cameron, David Fincher, or Jean-Pierre Jeunet will have any role behind the scenes of the FX Alien TV show, but Ridley Scott – the man who helped launch the franchise over 40 years ago – is serving as one of the show’s producers. Scott’s involvement was revealed by Variety in December 2020, and since then, it sounds like he’s been instrumental in the development process alongside showrunner Noah Hawley. 

In a November 2021 interview with the BBC, Scott explained that they were in the process of writing a pilot for the upcoming series but didn’t say what it entailed. During the same interview, the Academy Award winner also talked about the announced Blade Runner series. Expect to hear more on both shows in the very near future.

Carrie Henn and Sigourney Weaver in Aliens

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

FX Chairman John Landgraf Has Said The Upcoming FX Show Will Feel Like It’s Part Of The Alien Cinematic Universe

Again, not a whole lot has been revealed about the story that will be told over the course of the Alien TV show, but according to John Landgraf, the series will very much feel like it’s part of the  larger Alien cinematic universe. During a presentation at a TCA event (via Deadline) in August 2021, the network chief explained that the show will stay in line with the classic movies, although he noted Noah Hawley has added “some inventiveness and originality” to the project. 

Exactly what this means remains to be seen, but if Hawley is able to find that balance and create his next great FX series, this could be the beginning of something great.

The Queen Mother in Alien.

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox.)

As Of February 2022 Noah Hawley Is In The Process Of Writing Alien

By the sounds of it, production on the Alien TV show won't get started for quite some time, and there are a couple of good reasons for that. First, during the February 2022 TCA event mentioned earlier, John Landgraf revealed that Noah Hawley was still in the process of writing not only the Alien scripts, but also those that will be used for Fargo Season 5. At the time, Landgraf had seen one of the Fargo scripts and five from Alien.

This would make it sound like we would be getting Alien before Fargo, right? Well, that doesn’t appear to be the case. In the same presentation, the FX chief revealed that the plan was to shoot the crime anthology series in winter 2022 and that the sci-fi horror series would enter production at some point after that.

Bill Paxton in Aliens

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

Alien Isn’t Expected To Debut On FX Until 2023 At The Earliest

With no official date for the start of production and the series still being written, we shouldn’t expect to see Alien air on FX until 2023 at the earliest. In August 2021, John Landgraf spoke with the TCA and expressed his cautious optimism that the show would roll out at some point in 2023 – but that he and the other producers wanted to “get it right.” And with things in limbo until Fargo Season 5 starts production (we should have a better understanding at that point), the 2023 premiere date is very optimistic, to say the least.

Whenever the Alien TV show finally does premiere, it will join a long list of great FX original series that have come before. And even though we don't have a list of shows coming out in 2023, you can check out CinemaBlend's 2022 TV schedule for all the latest on everything premiering before then.

Philip Sledge
Philip Sledge

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.