A while back it was reported that Fargo and Legion series creator Noah Hawley had attempted to pitch 20th Century Fox to develop a series at FX set within the Alien universe which was ultimately rejected before the merger with Disney.
An Alien series wouldn’t be the first new project that was purposed.
District 9’s Neill Blomkamp had tried to finally get an Alien 5 movie (Ridley Scott and James Cameron pitched a version before AVP years ago) off the ground with Sigourney Weaver attached to star and Ridley Scott producing but that never materialized. As Scott has been talking up a third installment of his Alien prequel, a follow-up to Alien: Covenant that had been once called Alien: Awakening and more recently has been indicating that it’s in development stages. Franchise screenwriters/producers Walter Hill and David Giler seemingly inspired by Blomkamp’s concept of erasing the two sequels had written a couple of drafts for Alien V with Weaver reading an early draft of it.
It was announced that Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Land, Black Mirror) would be directing Predator 5 aka Skulls, that according to him had been in the works for almost four years. An old synopsis for the project suggested it could be taking a period western setting with the main human character being “a female Comanche warrior”.
There had been some hints that Disney might want to circle back to Noah’s Alien series idea and Deadline asked him about it in their interview for Season 4 of Fargo. Admitting he’s since had talks about the show since the merger which sounds like new interest in making it as Deadline suggests a deal for a show is incoming.
DEADLINE: Are you still involved with the Alien reboot TV series? I understand deals are trying to be done.
HAWLEY: “I know that there’s an effort to reshuffle a lot of things post-Disney takeover and it was a conversation that I had a couple years back. And I have not in the last few weeks been having those conversations about it. But I know that like any studio that there’s a great desire to make the most of one’s library so I wouldn’t be surprised to see something like that.”
DEADLINE: But you’re involved in it?
HAWLEY: “Ya know, I have conversations from time to time but I’m not committed.”
DEADLINE: And there isn’t a hard conceit to it yet?
HAWLEY: “No, I haven’t — nothing is at that stage.”
Back in September, Noah gave some insight to Observer what he wanted to do and hinted that he would like to explore a character-driven series set in the universe that may have focused on the humans behind the Weyland-Yutani company and those underneath them. An interesting proposal given that filmmakers have really only scratched the surface of what that futuristic universe looks like.
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!’”
We had heard a while back there had been some interest in Ridley Scott getting involved with a Hulu series, the streamer now has a strong relationship with FX’s programming post-merger and would be a perfect home for an Alien series if/when it come together. If there were to be any Alien series Scott is most likely landing an automatic executive producer credit given his current status on the franchise and previous involvement with Alien 5 as a producer.
It’s also worth noting that Ridley Scott’s sci-fi series Raised By Wolves (formerly at TNT) had been touted by HBO Max as their most successful original series and that could help influence folks at Disney, 20th Century Studios, FX, and Hulu to give Noah’s series a second look as it sounds like they might already have.