It seems that Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley won’t be following the Alien franchise to the small screen.

Noah Hawley has been chatting about his planned small screen debut for the Alien franchise, offering up a few details about what we can expect and how the series – still in development at the moment – might mirror its cinematic counterpart. As the showrunner for the acclaimed Fargo, Hawley already has good form at taking beloved films and reimagining them for TV, so we’re more than a bit interested to see what he does with one of the most enduringly popular science fiction franchises from the last forty-odd years.

First up, and very interesting, is the notion that much of the series might be set on Earth, a premise that hasn’t really been explored in the films (although the comics did some good work using this idea): “The alien stories are always trapped,” says Hawley. “Trapped in a prison, trapped in a space ship. I thought it would be interesting to open it up a little bit so that the stakes of ‘what happens if you can’t contain it?’ are more immediate.”

Hawley also indicated that despite being mooted for another appearance since Neil Blomkamp was putting together his aborted Alien sequel a few years back, Sigourney Weaver wouldn’t return as the series’ stalwart, Ellen Ripley, arguing that her tale is perfectly told already.

But he did offer up an chilling paradigm regarding his take on the Alien universe: “Those are great monster movies, but they’re not just monster movies,” Hawley said. “They’re about humanity trapped between our primordial, parasitic past and our artificial intelligence future – and they’re both trying to kill us. Here you have human beings and they can’t go forward and they can’t go back. So I find that really interesting.”

Hawley has the first two episodes scripted but it could be a while before we see this.

If you’re still pining for another Alien outing on the big screen, know that the TV show, as far as we know, hasn’t killed the third prequel film that is said to be in development. Ridley Scott (who is producing the TV show) is just a wee bit busy at the moment, so we may have to wait a while for an update on that one, but rest assured, as we hear news on it, so will you.


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