Alien: The TV series



a) Pitching an Alien TV series for FX TV

Rumours came about the creation of  an Alien televisions series around the end of 2018 before news soon came about in 2019 that Noah Hawley pitched the series for FX TV

His idea was that on some level, Alien was the complete opposite of Star Trek, near enough about humanity at its worst

He thought about the time that Sigourney Weaver as Ripley says, ‘I don’t know which species is worse. At least they don’t screw each other over for a percentage.’ 

So he thought about how the alien life form tended to be in a story about being trapped:  trapped in a ship, trapped in a prison, etc.

With that the Alien has this life cycle, where it goes from egg, to chestburster, to xenomorph, and there becomes a certain routine to it. 

He thought that it would be interesting if that world could be expanded, especially if it was going to be a ten hour television series.

If there was two hours of action, then there was still going to be eight hours left. At the pitching, he tried to tell them what the show was about.

His idea was to take the alien out of the show, and then find out what was the show about? What are the themes, who are the characters, and what is the human drama? Then the aliens would be dropped back in so that they could say "This is great. Not only is there great human drama, but there’s aliens!’"

What appeared to have happened was that Fox executive Emma Watts was said to have shot down the pitch and it has also been said that Fox head Stacey Snider also was responsible for turning down the idea .

 

  1. Noah Hawley is one of the most interesting and respected filmmakers working today. Sure, he didn’t have the best of luck with his debut feature, “Lucy in the Sky,” but his work on TV is pretty much second-to-none, as “Fargo” continues to impress. But that doesn’t mean he just is able to get every project he wants greenlit by studios. In fact, as discussed in a new Observer interview, he had a pitch for “Alien” that isn’t likely going to get made, as it will join the ranks of his unproduced “Star Trek” feature. And as you might expect, Ridley Scott’s sci-fi/horror franchise is very different than “Star Trek.
    “‘Alien’ is on some level the complete opposite of ‘Stark Trek,’” Hawley explained. “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.
    So, with the “Alien” franchise being so different than “Star Trek,” how did Hawley approach this unique style of sci-fi franchise?
    I thought it would be interesting if you could expand,” he said. “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.”
    Hawley continued, “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!’”
    While an “Alien” series without a xenomorph sounds a bit like “Prometheus” (and we all know how badly most fans responded to that), it’s hard to argue with the guy that not only did an ‘X-Men’ show (“Legion”) without superheroes and was able to make the “Fargo” TV series not only work as a concept but actually become one of the best shows around. So, yes, we should give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to a proposed “Alien” series.
    The only problem is that it doesn’t seem like it’s ever going to happen. Much like “Star Trek” on the big screen, no one really knows what to do with “Alien” right now. Maybe that’s for the best.
    (https://theplaylist.net/noah-hawley-alien-tv-series-20200925/)
  2. Watts has long been known as a very strong executive, and several have said she is about the only one there who has been clued in on the Disney plans. Does she have the clout to prevent Fox film properties from being repurposed as TV projects or as streaming projects on Hulu and Disney+ with low budgets and no back-ends? Sources said that in the recent past she fended off an attempt by [Noah] Hawley and FX to take the Aliens franchise and turn it into a miniseries… She did that before the Disney deal, when it was a whole different ballgame.”(https://bloody-disgusting.com/tv/3552491/legion-creator-noah-hawley-fx-wanted-make-alien-miniseries-fox-shot/)
  3. Collider: Jumping into another thing, I heard and I could be wrong about this thing, you had pitched or had an idea for an Alien series. Um, is that true?

    Noah Hawley:  That I pitched or had an idea for one. Er, you know, a few years ago, FX asked me if that, if that was a thing, would that be a thing for me, erm and we had a conversation about it but it didn't go very far and obviously it doesn't seem to be a thing, Alien for TV , but you know, it's, I mean it's such a great, it's such a great story, those, those, certainly those original two movies, you know, uh, um, are so iconic, but yeah, I don't know,  it's not, it's not on my brain right now(https://youtu.be/oqAqmoLAJTA?t=150 Collider, 11th October 2020)
  4. Deadline: We’ve known for some time that film chief Stacey Snider won’t be part of the Disney future, even though she has been in her office this week. Watts has long been known as a very strong executive, and several have said she is about the only one there who has been clued in on the Disney plans. Does she have the clout to prevent Fox film properties from being repurposed as TV projects or as streaming projects on Hulu and Disney+ with low budgets and no back-ends? Sources said that in the recent past she fended off an attempt by Hawley and FX to take the Aliens franchise and turn it into a miniseries, and when Searchlight once wanted to do something with The Omen, she held fast because who wants to give up your franchises? She did that before the Disney deal, when it was a whole different ballgame.  (https://deadline.com/2019/03/fox-film-disney-paul-feig-universal-fox-layoffs-1202579443/)
  5. Christopher Marc for HN Entertainment:  Last year I revealed a possible live-action series set in the Alien universe in the very early development stages and could be heading towards a streaming service. Well, it’s been a couple of months and I have some exclusive updates to share.

    There isn’t just one live-action Alien series in the works, but two of them.

    According to a source, one of them is said to have Ridley Scott as an executive producer and is going to be for Hulu. I would imagine that his production company Scott Free Productions would be involved as they’ve had previous interests in television projects including Ridley’s current project, an android series titled Raised By Wolves for TNT (which is not Alien related and it’s another thing entirely) that is filming in Cape Town, South Africa.

    Details are scarce at the moment but there might be multiple seasons that could tackle different corners/eras of the franchise, not unlike Noah Hawley’s series Fargo.

    In theory, I could see them possibly filling gaps in the franchise or crafting brand new stories to tell within the Alien universe. It still seems to be the very early days with these projects and I can’t exactly speak to what they’ll be about at the moment.

    The Disney-Fox merger is a couple of months away but that wouldn’t stop from Fox developing their own in-house projects. Disney CEO Bob Iger has also suggested in an earnings call recently that they’re open to Fox continuing mature programming/franchises and we’ve already seen Marvel Television launch four mature animated shows on Hulu with M.O.D.O.K., Hit-Monkey, Tigra & Dazzler, and Howard The Duck. There is a very good chance that we could see more mature projects from the Fox side of things take root at Hulu, like this Alien series from Ridley Scott.

    After the less than successful box office run of Alien: Covenant it could be enough reason to pivot to television/streaming for the next little while.

    When we have more information to share we will certainly update. (https://hnentertainment.co/exclusive-two-live-action-alien-series-are-in-the-works-and-ridley-scott-is-producing-one-at-hulu/ February 13, 2019)

 


 

 

b) Further Discussions

By  the 29th of November, 2020, Noah made it known to the Deadline website that the Alien series wasn't something that he had been having a conversation about in the last few weeks, but he was having conversations from time to time and he wasn't committed, but then again he claimed that wasn't going to be someone surprised to see something like this series make its way onto the screen

  1. 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. (https://www.denofgeek.com/tv/alien-tv-series-xenomorph-to-earth/)


c) A sudden announcement

Disney Investor Day came on Thursday , 10th December 2020

An announcement was made by FX chief John Landgraf as part of the Disney Investor Day presentation

He uttered the words "FX is moving quickly to bring audiences the first television series based on one of the greatest science- fiction horror classics ever made: ‘Alien,' Alien’ will be helmed by ‘Fargo’ and ‘Legion’s’ Noah Hawley stepping into the creator/executive producer chair, and FX is in advanced negotiations with Academy Award winner, Sir Ridley Scott—director of the first ‘Alien’ film and the sequel, ‘Alien: Covenant’—to join the project as an Executive Producer. Set not too far into our future, it’s the first ‘Alien’ story set on Earth—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."

Breaking that down, it meant that Hawley would be set to write and executive produce the series under his 26 Keys banner, with “Alien” mastermind Ridley Scott in advanced talks to executive produce via Scott Free. 

FX Productions would produce. 

John Landgraf said that FX was moving quickly to bring audiences the first television series based on one of the greatest science-fiction horror classics ever made: 'Alien', and that the series would be helmed by Noah Hawley well known for the 'Fargo' and 'Legion’ series, stepping into the creator/executive producer chair, 

Also it was mentioned that FX was in advanced negotiations with Sir Ridley Scott to join the project as an Executive Producer. 

It was to be set not too far into our future, it was to be the first ‘Alien’ story set on Earth and by blending both the timeless horror of the first ‘Alien’ film with the non-stop action of the second.

It was going to be a scary thrill ride that will blow people back in their seats.

  1. Variety: The announcement was made Thursday by FX chief John Landgraf as part of the Disney Investor Day presentation. Hawley will write and executive produce the series under his 26 Keys banner, with “Alien” mastermind Ridley Scott in advanced talks to executive produce via Scott Free. FX Productions will produce. Per Landgraf, the show is “Set not too far into our future, it’s the first ‘Alien’ story set on Earth.

    FX is moving quickly to bring audiences the first television series based on one of the greatest science- fiction horror classics ever made: ‘Alien,'” Landgraf said. “‘Alien’ will be helmed by ‘Fargo’ and ‘Legion’s’ Noah Hawley stepping into the creator/executive producer chair, and FX is in advanced negotiations with Academy Award winner, Sir Ridley Scott—director of the first ‘Alien’ film and the sequel, ‘Alien: Covenant’—to join the project as an Executive Producer. Set not too far into our future, it’s the first ‘Alien’ story set on Earth—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.” (https://variety.com/2020/tv/news/alien-series-noah-hawley-ridley-scott-fx-1234850109/)

1 comment:

  1. "Alien: The TV series" was first posted 25th September 2020,and then was updated significantly on 10th December 2020 when news came that the series was confirmed. I've come back to edit the text again to make it more coherent

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