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Noah Hawley Teases "Alien" Series


Noah Hawley has an interesting ability to expand on old properties with new creative gusto. He first came to prominence creating an anthology series based on the popular Coen Brothers film Fargo. He then created the acclaimed, cerebral (and visually dazzling) X-Men spin-off series Legion that ran for three seasons. And while since then Fox (and the FX channel) have been bought by Disney, some things haven't changed with Hawley now set to serve as the creative drive for a new FX series based in the Alien franchise. In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Hawley confirmed that his drive for approaching old material in a new way is no different here and that he hopes to expand fans’ understanding of Alien, namely by emphasizing the franchise's disturbing themes and not just the titular creatures that like to stalk tough women on spaceships and planets:

“Those are great monster movies, but they’re not just monster movies,” he explained. “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.”

He expanded on this quote further but pointing out the real monsters of the franchise...namely the corporate stooges of the series who put the lives of the blue collar leads in danger for their own benefit:

“In mine, you’re also going to see the people who are sending them. So you will see what happens when the inequality we’re struggling with now isn’t resolved. If we as a society can’t figure out how to prop each other up and spread the wealth, then what’s going to happen to us? There’s that great Sigourney Weaver line to Paul Reiser where she says, ‘I don’t know which species is worse. At least they don’t fuck each other over for a percentage.’”

Hawley made sure to point out beforehand that this is not a new idea in the series, but rather an underpinning theme that the franchise has always had:

On some level, it’s also a story about inequality. You know, one of the things that I love about the first movie is how ’70s a movie it is, and how it’s really this blue-collar space-trucker world in which Yaphet Kotto and Harry Dean Stanton are basically Waiting for Godot. They’re like Samuel Beckett characters, ordered to go to a place by a faceless nameless corporation. The second movie is such an ‘80s movie, but it’s still about grunts. Paul Reiser is middle management at best. So, it is the story of the people you send to do the dirty work.”

However, despite keeping consistent in that idea, like his previous works, Hawley is working from the ground-up, including in the character department with the new series NOT being about the franchise's stable heroine Ripley:

“It’s not a Ripley story,. She’s one of the great characters of all time, and I think the story has been told pretty perfectly, and I don’t want to mess with it. It’s a story that’s set on Earth also. The alien stories are always trapped… Trapped in a prison, trapped in a spaceship. 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 has confirmed he already has two of the scripts written, but that the series is still in early preproduction with principal photography likely to not begin until next spring. Still, if the series has the same kind of contemplation and conciseness that Hawley has brought in his other shows, it will be worth the wait. Stay tuned!

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