‘Alien’ — Noah Hawley Has Plans for Multiple Seasons

The Big Picture

  • Noah Hawley’s Alien series is back in production, and filming will take place in Thailand.
  • Hawley values having a clear ending in mind for a story, believing it gives it meaning. FX supports his vision for a recurring series rather than a limited one.
  • The trust Hawley has earned from FX allows him to prioritize quality over quantity. He plans to determine his involvement in directing based on the aftermath of the strikes.


Noah Hawley‘s Alien series, which is being produced by FX, is in the very early stages of production after work on the show had ground to a halt in late August due to the effects of the SAG-AFTRA strike. However, now that 2024 is here, the series is about to be in full flow in Thailand, when shooting will take place, the exciting news for Alien fans is that it will take place over multiple seasons. It will star Timothy Olyphant, Essie Davis, Alex Lawther and Sydney Chandler, among others.

Speaking with Collider’s Steve Weintraub for Fargo Season 5, Hawley explained that he went into the show with a clear structure and picture of how it would begin and, indeed, how he foresaw it ending when asked what his outline for the series involved. Referring back to his previous project, Legion, which was known for its unconventional brand of storytelling, Hawley explained that a project could only have “meaning” if it had a clear ending. Without a goal to reach, the purpose becomes more abstract.

As a result, he was pleased when FX disclosed to him that it was their desire to have the series be a recurring one, with multiple seasons, rather than a limited series which would give him time to build the story gradually and allow it to breathe. “I think that endings are what gives a story meaning, and so you should never start a story without some sense of where it’s going because then you can really build that meaning into it,” said Hawley, adding:

With Legion, I had what felt like a three-act structure to it that I didn’t know if that would be three seasons or five seasons, or whatever it was, but I sort of knew what a beginning, middle, and end was. And here, similarly, I knew that their desire was for a recurring series, not a limited series, and I had an idea that I was excited about, that I could see the escalation of it from one year to another. That’s where we ended up not pitching them having a bible or pitching them blow-by-blow, but saying, “Big picture: this is the first movement, this is the second movement, and we’re ultimately going here.”


FX Trusts Noah Hawley to Provide Quality Over Quantity

Following his highly successful work on Fargo, for which the interview with Weintraub was based around, Hawley noted that he had earned the trust of FX and so they were happy for him to perfect the story and not milk it or stretch it out for more than it was worth.

“Obviously, they trust me after all these years, and the writing was on the page for the first year. So, in success, you tell the story and tell the story until the story is done. They’re very good at that at FX, of not wanting you to milk something that feels like it’s over. Legion, for me, I thought ended quite elegantly in that last season with a sort of perfect circle, literally back to the opening image. If they’d said we want one more season, now you’ve got a detour and you’ve gotta sort of add a thing that’s not organic to the full story. It’s just better if the story itself can drive how long it is. We want quality, not quantity.”

Lastly, when asked if he planned to step behind the camera for multiple episodes of the show, or if he planned to let others take the lead, Hawley admitted it was too early to tell, coming off the back end of the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes, but that he was thrilled at the prospect of getting behind the camera on such an ambitious project.

“I think that’s a hard one just because we had the strike, so we’re figuring that out. But it’s thrilling to get behind the camera again, and to get behind the camera on this and to do something that’s much bigger and in the science fiction genre, playing with the elements that we all know from Alien. It’s really thrilling.”

There are multiple Alien-themed projects underway at 20th Century Studios. Currently, director Fede Alvarez is developing a movie within the Alien universe, scheduled for a theatrical release on August 14 next year. The film features actors Cailee Spaeny, Isabela Merced, Archie Renaux, David Jonsson, Aileen Wu, and Spike Fearn. And as one might expect, they may well have to face the terror of a Xenomorph.

Alien FX Series Poster

Alien

Series based on the ‘Alien’ film franchise.

Release Date
2025-00-00

Cast
Essie Davis , Alex Lawther , Sydney Chandler , Samuel Blenkin

Main Genre
Sci-Fi

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