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ALIEN Series Highlights AI Aspects and Reveals Timeline

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. They even tapped Fargo’s Noah Hawley to develop it. But since then, we’ve heard very little about this show. But 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?”

20th Century Studios/FX

So 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. 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. So the new series could fall anywhere in the timeline. But now we know a little bit more about that. FX Chief John Landgraf shared an update on the Alien series at the 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?

Originally published on January 5, 2022. 

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