Last year it was revealed that Legion and Fargo showrunner/creator Noah Hawley had attempted to pitch FX and 20th Century Fox a miniseries that takes place within the Alien universe before the merger with Disney. Unfortunately the executives didn’t bite and it never came together.
We now have some idea of what it would have looked like thanks to some interesting new comments from Noah. While speaking with the Observer, Noah seemingly was interested in exploring the themes and characters within the universe rather than simply the action and xenomorphs.
HAWLEY: “Alien is on some level the complete opposite of Stark Trek. It’s sort of about humanity at its worst. There’s this moment in the second film when Sigourney says, ‘I don’t know which species is worse. At least they don’t screw each other over for a percentage.’ If you look at what Aliens tends to be, it’s usually a trapped story – trapped in a ship, trapped in a prison, etc. And because the Alien has this life cycle to it, where it goes from egg, to chestburster, to xenomorph, there becomes a certain routine to it.”
“I thought it would be interesting if you could expand. If you’re going to make something for television, you’ve got 10 hours let’s say. Even if you have a lot of action, like two hours, then you’re still going to have eight hours left. So what is the show about? That’s what I tried to talk to them about. As I did with Legion, the exercise is: Let’s take the superhero stuff out of the show and see if it’s still a great show. What’s the show about? Let’s take the Alien out of the show. What’s the show about? What are the themes, who are the characters and what is the human drama? Then we drop the aliens back in and we go, ‘This is great. Not only is there great human drama, but there’s aliens!’”
As it stands there doesn’t seem to be any official movement on the Alien franchise. Ridley Scott keeps talking up a third Alien prequel that may distance itself from the last two installments and there has been a new Alien 5 aka Alien V script making the rounds from Walter Hill and David Giler. The pair of screenwriters previously worked on the first three Alien films.
I would have loved to have seen something new within the Alien universe and a series allows creative people a little more wiggle-room as you’re not completely focused on box office returns. Maybe down the line, Disney will revisit the idea of a series and push for it to land at Hulu/FX allowing to keep its mature tone.