Noah Hawley’s ALIEN TV Series Reveals Plot and Cast

We’ve known since Disney’s Investor Day presentation in December 2020 that the House of Mouse has big plans for the Alien franchise as a streaming series for FX. The studio even tapped Fargo’s Noah Hawley to develop it. Though it took a while to learn more about the show, the latest developments have been big ones. According to Deadline, the Alien series has cast Timothy Olyphant in a major role. The site reports he players Kirsh, a synth. Additionally, Hawley recently shared a bit of insight about what we can expect from the series, including when we might see it finally release.

When Will Noah Hawley’s Alien TV Series Release?

Logo for the upcoming Alien series on FX.
20th Century Studios/FX

There’s no firm date yet for Noah Hawley’s Alien TV series to arrive on FX and our screens. However, speaking to The Wrap, Hawley offered a little bit more of a timeline for the release of this anticipated show.

He offered, “We’re all just waiting for the strike, and it will end… The plan right now is to go back in January and be shooting in February, and looks like shoot until July or so, which puts the air date somewhere in the in the first half of ’25.” Hawley further noted to Deadline, “We’re getting back into production as quickly as possible.”

There you have it, the Alien series will most likely release somewhere in early 2025. That’s not too long to wait.

We Can Expect More Than One Season of this Alien Series

Though we don’t know when season one will arrive, we can expect the series to have more than one outing. Hawley recently revealed that he and FX built the series to recur and have multiple seasons and did not envision it as a limited series.

The Cast of FX’s Alien TV Series

Sydney Chandler from Don't Worry Darling set as lead in Aliens series
Warner Bros.

As mentioned, Sydney Chandler will play one of the leads in Noah Hawley’s Alien TV series, reportedly named Wendy. Chandler is joined by The End of the F*cking World‘s Alex Lawther who will play the male lead, a soldier named CJ, and Samuel Blenkin, who is named as another main character, a mysterious CEO called Boy Kavalier. Essie Davis and Adarsh Gourav also join the series as Dame Silvia and Slightly.

Wylan looks at Jesper in Shadow and Bone season two
Netflix

According to Deadline, Shadow and Bone‘s Kit Young has also come aboard the FX Alien series and will play a character named Tootles. And, as mentioned, Timothy Olyphant will reportedly play “Kirsh, a synth who acts as a mentor and trainer for Chandler’s Wendy, who is a hybrid, a meta-human who has the brain and consciousness of a child but the body of an adult.” Fargo‘s David Rysdahl has also joined the cast in an unknown role. Additionally,  The Peripheral‘s Moe Bar-El will play a “a major recurring role” in season one of the Alien series.

Finally, Babou Ceesay, Jonathan Ajayi, Erana James, Lily Newmark, Diêm Camille, and Adrian Edmondson will all play a role on the series.

The Setting, Plot, and Timeline of Noah Hawley’s Alien TV Series

While speaking to Esquire about his novel Anthem, Hawley spilled a little more tea about the series. And he gave fans of the Xenomorph some things to ponder. Here’s what Hawley had to say about his Alien TV series:

“It’s set on Earth of the future. At this moment, I describe that as Edison versus Westinghouse versus Tesla. Someone’s going to monopolize electricity. We just don’t know which one it is. In the movies, we have this Weyland-Yutani Corporation, which is clearly also developing artificial intelligence. But what if there are other companies trying to look at immortality in a different way? With cyborg enhancements or transhuman downloads? Which of those technologies is going to win? It’s ultimately a classic science fiction question: does humanity deserve to survive?”

Additionally, according to Slash Film, Hawley offered that the show was inspired by a specific moment from Alien. He noted, “There’s that moment you realize Ian Holm [who plays Ash] is an android where you go, ‘Oh, this is really interesting now, because this is humanity trapped between the primordial past and the AI future, and they’re both trying to kill us.'”

Alien Ripley
20th Century-Fox

As we guessed before, the Weyland-Yutani Corp., otherwise known simply as “the Company,” are likely the new Alien series’ “Big Bads.” But we’re still unclear about a lot of things. For starters, how will all this tie into the ongoing Xenomorph saga? After all, they call this show Alien, not “Android.” So we’re going to have to see the acid-blooded bad boys at some point. Otherwise, it will disappoint a great deal of very disappointed fans out there.

The Series’ Plot

Speaking to this, Hawley recently commented on the presence of the aliens in the new series. He offered that the movies “always [mimic] the life cycle of the creature, right? Which is egg, slow, Facehugger, starts to get faster — you know what I mean? And, of course, that’s great for a horror movie to build that way. So I found a way to kind of innovate around that structure and play with it.” He didn’t add more detail about how the structure of the Facehuggers’ life would come into play or be updated, but it’s good to know the Xenomorphs are on Hawley’s mind.

Additionally, Hawley noted more about the difference between the new Alien FX series and the movies that originated it, offering, “Look, a two-hour movie, you can set it up, and then it’s just about, ‘Are they going to survive?’ But if you’re making a series, ‘Are they going to survive?’, you can’t sustain it. Even if you have 60% of the best action-horror on television, you still have 40% of ‘What are we talking about?'”

Finally, Hawley recently shared that his intention was to ignore some of the lore put forth by the later Alien movies. It will be interesting to see how this series comes together.

The Series’ Timeline

The fully grown Xenomorph from the Alien series.
20th Century Studios

Another big question is when does the Alien TV series happen with respect to the movies? Prometheus takes place in 2089, while Alien: Covenant takes place in 2104. The original Alien takes place exactly 100 years from now, in 2122. The events of Aliens occur some 57 years later in 2179, with Alien Resurrection finishing things a whopping two hundred years later. And Weyland-Yutani exists in all these eras.

But happily, we now know a little bit more about where the show will land in the timeline. FX Chief John Landgraf shared an update on the Alien series at a TCA winter panel for the network.

He said, “Alien takes place before Ripley. It’s the first story that takes place in the Alien franchise on Earth. So, it takes place on our planet. Right near the end of this century, we’re in — so 70-odd years from now. Ripley won’t be a part of it or any of the other characters of Alien other than the alien itself.” That’s right folks, no Sigourney Weaver. We’re sad, on the one hand, but excited for more specificity on the other.

Really though, all we want is one good chestburster scene. Is that too much to ask? The Alien series does not yet have a release date.

Originally published on January 5, 2022. 

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