A new episodic spinoff of Alien is heading to TV; here’s everything we know so far. The long-running horror/sci-fi franchise has thus far been relegated exclusively to the big screen, with the titular Xenomorph (and/or similar creatures) having starred in eight motion pictures to date. Beginning in 1979 with Ridley Scott’s Alien and continuing through to Scott’s prequel Alien: Covenant in 2017, the series has a long and rich history — and its next big leap will be to the small screen.
Shortly after acquiring 20th Century Fox in 2019, Disney announced that plans were underway to create a new installment in the Alien franchise. With the property being one of the most gruesome and R-rated IPs in the Fox catalogue, many have wondered how Disney would handle new stories going forward or if any would be produced at all. Thankfully, the company had no intention of abandoning the franchise, and eventually made it known that it intended to bring the Alien mythology to TV for the first time.
The announcement came in 2020, along with news that Fargo‘s Noah Hawley will act as showrunner. While the series has yet to begin filming, there are plenty of interesting teases and details that offer hints as to what audiences can expect from the Alien series. Here’s everything that’s been revealed about the new show thus far.
As of the summer of 2021, no concrete release date for the Alien TV show has been announced. However, the series is currently scheduled to begin shooting sometime in the spring of 2022 after multiple pandemic-fueled delays. FX Networks’ chief John Landgraf recently stated that, based on this target 2022 shooting window, the series “probably will roll out in 2023.”
While few details about the characters of the new Alien show have thus far been revealed, it has already been confirmed that the series will not feature the return of franchise icon Ellen Ripley, who headlined the first four movies. There has been no mention of other familiar characters from the feature films returning, either. In all likelihood, the series (which is said to be set in the distant future) will focus on an entirely new group of characters, or perhaps the descendants of the movie characters that audiences are familiar with.
Little is currently known about the story of the new series, with the only confirmed detail being that it will be set on Earth in the distant future. How exactly this fits into the narrative/universe of Alien is not yet known, but setting the story on future Earth does offer the possibility that the film will take place after the events of Alien: Resurrection, which is a part of the timeline that has yet to be explored on film. This will also make the Alien show one of the few projects in the franchise to feature Earth in any capacity, which will allow the franchise to expand in new ways and discover how the planet will react to the advent of the Xenomorph.