It’s been over 30 years since Ridley Scott introduced the world to Ellen Ripley, the crew of the Nostromo, and the alien that terrorised them in deep space. Now, Disney and FX have announced that the xenomorph will be bringing its acid-filled veins to a new TV series.
Here’s all we know so far about the upcoming Alien TV series.
When is the release date for the new Alien series?
The new TV show was announced as part of the Disney Investor Day which took place on 10 December 2021, but other than the concept and some of the people who will be creating the project, there has yet to be any confirmation about when it might hit our screens - though 2023 now looks likely.
That's according to FX chairman John Landgraf, speaking at the Television Critics Association’s summer sessions, as reported by Rotten Tomatoes.
“We’re well into it. We’re actually moving apace. I have optimism, for example, that that show may well roll out in 2023; probably will roll out in 2023,” Landgraf said.
“But we want to get it right … you’re being given access to a really precious resource when you’re granted access to such an important piece of IP. And it’s not something FX does a lot of ... all I can tell you is that, Noah feels this way, I feel this way, Ridley and his people feel this way: We’ve got to get this one right, and we’re going to take whatever time it takes to do that.”
What is the plot of new Alien series?
News is still pretty thin on the ground regarding the story of the new show, but one thing we do know is that the action will take place on Earth, meaning the alien finally gets to reach the planet, which was the primary concern of the four main films (Alien, Aliens, Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection).
Alien is currently in development at @FXNetworks. The first TV series based on the classic film series is helmed by Fargo and Legion's @noahhawley. Expect a scary thrill ride set not too far in the future here on Earth. pic.twitter.com/jZe1CRFAZD— Disney (@Disney) December 10, 2020
True, the Paul W.S. Anderson-directed Alien Vs Predator movies, which took their inspiration from the comics of the same name and were written in collaboration with Alien creators Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett, did bring both creatures to humanity’s homeworld, but most fans don't regard these as canon.
We do know that this is a culmination of an age-old plan though, as the Alien-prequel movie Prometheus had the crew of the titular spacecraft discover ‘The Engineers’, a race that share DNA with humans and appeared to have developed a bioweapon that would destroy humanity by infecting them with a ‘dark liquid’ that then grows alien creatures inside them. Nice.
The tagline given by FX to accompany the new series is, ‘Expect a scary thrill ride set not too far in the future here on Earth’, which rings true to the statements from FX Chairman John Landgraf which were reported in Variety.
"…it’s the first Alien story set on Earth," said Landgraf, "and by blending both the timeless horror of the first Alien film with the non-stop action of the second, it’s going to be a scary thrill ride that will blow people back in their seats."
Speaking more recently, in summer 2021, Landgraf emphasised that the TV show will feel of a piece with the existing films.
“I think Noah’s very conscious of the fact that there’s a cinematic universe, if you will, and that while it has some flexibility that the aesthetic that was established by Ridley Scott and I think continued by James Cameron is a part of that universe. By the way, Scott Free and Ridley are involved in this, very involved in this as producers,” Landgraf said. “So while I think you’ll see some inventiveness and some originality that is uniquely Noah, I also think that this show will feel like a part of the cinematic universe that you’re familiar with in terms of Alien.”
“What I can say is that — maybe pun intended — it’s a beast, Alien. It’s a really big world-building exercise,” Landgraf added.
Who are the cast and crew of the new Alien series?
As with the plot and release date, little is known about who will star in this new Alien adventure. We do know who will be at the helm though, as it’s been confirmed that Noah Hawley will write and produce the project. He previously took charge of Fargo and Legion, so it looks like a good move for FX.
As mentioned by Landgraf above, Ridley Scott himself, director of the original movie as well as Prometheus and Alien Covenant, is "very involved" as a producer, together with his production company Scott Free.
Where can I watch the new Alien series?
In the UK, it looks very likely that the Alien TV show will be added to the Disney+ catalogue when it’s released. In the US it’s more likely to appear on Hulu, which carries FX shows. Hopefully, things will become more defined as we get closer to the arrival of the Aliens on Earth.