“Alien” is inarguably one of the best sci-fi horror films of all time. Actually, many would consider it the gold standard of that specific subgenre. But when people started developing sequels and prequels, filmmakers had different ideas about where to go. James Cameron’s “Aliens” decided to take it in a more visceral and aggressive direction. Ridley Scott’s prequels, “Prometheus” and “Alien: Covenant,” decided to add ideas about existence and creationism. Then others just tried to make Xenomorphs fight Predators. You get the idea.
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As discussed recently with Esquire, filmmaker Noah Hawley (“Fargo”) has other ideas about where to take the “Alien” franchise in his new TV series coming to FX. Interestingly enough, he seems to be pulling from not only the classic Alien films that feature corrupt corporations but not abandoning Scott’s ideas about creationism from the “Prometheus” films. It’s almost a big stew of all the most exciting films. In his mind, the most fascinating course of action is to tell a story about technology and how corporations will all try to race towards cracking the code for immortality.
“‘Alien’ is a fascinating story because it’s not just a monster movie; it’s about how we’re trapped between the primordial past and the artificial intelligence of our future, where both trying to kill us,” explained Hawley. “[The ‘Alien’ series is] 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.”
He continued, “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?”
When updating the status of the new series, Hawley admits things are moving slowly, but that’s just the cost of trying to reinvent a franchise.
It’s going great. It’s going slowly, unfortunately, given the scale of it,” he said. “I’ve made a certain business out of reinvention.”
We’ll have to see just how Hawley can bring these big ideas together under the banner of “Alien.” However, if his “Fargo” TV reinvention is any indication, we should be very excited.