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.”
To date, there have been six “Alien” feature films, with the most recent being the prequel “Alien: Covenant” in 2017. There have also been two “Alien vs. Predator” films, which were both set on Earth and saw the two iconic sci-fi creatures square off against each other.
Hawley is an institution at FX, having created and served as showrunner on the Emmy-winning FX series “Fargo.” That show recently wrapped up its fourth season, which starred Chris Rock. He also previously developed the series “Legion” for the cabler, which was based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name.
Hawley’s “Alien” series has been rumored for some time, with reports surfacing in 2019 that Fox film executives had rejected Hawley and FX’s pitch to develop a series within the sci-fi world established by the films.
But the 21st Century Fox-Disney merger has been completed since then and the media landscape has changed substantially. More and more, massive media companies like Disney are focusing their efforts on building out their streaming offerings, in particular by offering subscribers shows built around well known IP like “Aliens.”
Disney Plus, for example, scored a massive early win when they offered “The Mandalorian” at launch last year, with that show being set in the “Star Wars” universe. The show quickly became a cultural phenomenon, with Season 2 currently airing and Season 3 already in the works.
Disney Plus is also preparing to release multiple shows set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with “WandaVision” due for release in January and “Falcon and Winter Soldier,” “Loki,” and “Hawkeye” on deck for later in 2021. Other Disney-owned properties getting the series treatment include “The Mighty Ducks,” “Turner and Hooch,” and “Willow.”
To that end, FX shows began airing on Hulu, with some premiering directly on Hulu rather than the cable network while others launched on FX with episodes becoming available on Hulu the next day.