Alien TV show | Will take more influence from Alien than Prometheus

1979's Alien
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Fargo TV show creator Noah Hawley on why his Alien TV show will borrow more from 1979’s Alien than its prequel, 2012’s Prometheus.

Like us, you’re probably excited by the prospect of a Fede Alvarez Alien film coming out this year. Also like us, you’re probably excited by the prospect of a Noah Hawley Alien TV series coming out some time next year.

Both projects are being led by creators who seem perfectly suited to tell new stories in the Alien universe and it’s a blessing to have two hugely promising projects on the horizon.

As far as Noah Hawley’s TV series goes, the Fargo creator has opened up a little bit about the influences that will form the foundation for his series.

Given that we’ve got an established mainline Alien film series and two prequel films courtesy of Ridley Scott (2012’s Prometheus and 2017’s Alien: Covenant), there are a couple of ways that Hawley could engineer his own story (which is also set to be a prequel to 1979’s Alien).

Do you lean into the Creationist aspects of the prequel films, hew closer to the universe on display in 1979’s Alien or perhaps somehow try and combine the two?

Hawley seems pretty clear on the approach that he wants, and he’s been chatting to Eric Deggans in a story picked up by The Hollywood Reporter about the direction he’s plumped for:

“Ridley [Scott] and I have talked about this – and many, many elements of the show,” Hawley said.

“For me, and for a lot of people, this ‘perfect life form’ – as it was described in the first film – is the product of millions of years of evolution that created this creature that may have existed for a million years out there in space. The idea that, on some level, it was a bioweapon created half an hour ago, that’s just inherently less useful to me. And in terms of the mythology, what’s scary about this monster, is that when you look at those first two movies, you have this retro-futuristic technology. You have giant computer monitors, these weird keyboards … You have to make a choice. Am I doing that?”

It certainly feels like Hawley is making a choice, given that he describes the two prequel films in a completely different fashion.

He talks about how in those, “Ridley made the technology thousands of years more advanced than the technology of Alien, which is supposed to take place in those movies’ future. There’s something about that that doesn’t really compute for me … And so that’s the choice I’ve made — there’s no holograms. The convenience of that beautiful Apple store technology is not available to me.”

While Alien: Covenant and especially Prometheus have many admirers, we can’t help but think that most people out there will be glad that Hawley both recognises and respects the unique tone and aesthetic that Scott and James Cameron created in those first two Alien films.

A series set in that world is what we want and trying to somehow combine the disparate tones of the two timelines could be a recipe for compromise, something that Scott arguably stumbled over in Alien: Covenant (although that film undoubtedly has its fair share of brilliant moments).

We’re liking the sound of this Alien TV show more and more with everything we hear, including the casting of Timothy Olyphant, Sydney Chandler, Alex Lawther, Samuel Blenkin, Essie Davis and Kit Young. 

We’ll bring you more on either Alien project as things develop. We’re living in exciting times…

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