Alien: Noah Hawley Explains His Unique Approach Innovate the Iconic Xenomorph

alien-fx, Alien Romulus

Fargo television series creator Noah Hawley (Legion) has been developing a live-action television series for the Alien franchise for a while, and now it looks closer than ever to getting off the ground. Hawley is serving as showrunner for the upcoming series with Sydney Chandler attached to star in the FX sci-fi/horror drama.

RELATED: Alien: New Character Descriptions For Noah Hawley’s Sci-Fi Horror Series Coming FX: Exclusive

Slash Film reports that Hawley recently took part in a panel at the Austin Film Festival, where he discussed his approach to the project and offered a hint at what viewers might be able to expect. Hawley also discussed the show having a remixing of what fans have typically come to expect from the long-running, iconic franchise.


Based on Hawley’s recent comments, it definitely looks like he wants to try some new things with the iconic Xenomorphs for his planned series and trying to change up the premise, which usually involves humans trapped or isolated with the gestating or growingly vicious and brutal Xenomorphs. Hawley stated the following to Slash Film:

“Look, a two-hour movie, you can set it up and then it’s just about, ‘Are they going to survive?’ But if you’re making a series, ‘Are they going to survive?’, you can’t sustain it. Even if you have 60% of the best action-horror on television, you still have 40% of ‘What are we talking about?'”

– Noah Hawley via Slash Film

Hawley also discussed some of his early talks while developing the idea and said what if the new series wasn’t about being trapped in a spaceship or a prison with the creature? He stated, “I had some conversations early on with Peter Rice, who used to run all of television at Fox and then the first couple of years at Disney, where it was like, ‘The thing with Alien is, it’s always trapped in a spaceship, trapped in a prison. What if it wasn’t that?'”

One new aspect of Hawley’s series is that it will be set on Earth, and it will be bringing Xenomorphs to Earth, not counting the two Alien vs. Predator films, which did have the Xenomorphs attacking and devouring humans while also on Earth and battling it out with the Predators. Hawley continued on his concept, “What is this moment on Earth, technology-wise? And where are we? And the question science-fiction always tends to ask is, does humanity deserve to survive? So that seems like a really interesting question to continue to explore.”

Alien Aliens Noah Hawley

Another major aspect of the franchise has been the presence of the androids, going back to the character of Ash (Ian Holm) in the classic 1979 original film. Sometimes the androids are more benevolent. Ridley Scott’s later films have delved more deeply into the AI/Android issue, specifically through David (Michael Fassbender) in Prometheus and Alien: Covenant.

In fact, in Alien: Covenant, it appears that David himself becomes the creator of the franchise’s Xenomorphs and Facehuggers after experimenting with the black goo accelerant from Prometheus, along with Elizabeth Shaw, who was more than likely an unwilling test subject. After getting off the planet of Origae-6 at the end of Alien: Covenant, it looks like David has a whole new group of human test subjects, along with some face-hugger embryos to play around with.

Alien Egg

However, how much of what took place in Ridley Scott’s controversial Alien prequels remains to be seen. Additionally, Hawley spoke about innovating the typical life cycle of the Xenomorph creature, where it would have a face-hugger hatch from the egg, infest a host, and give birth to a chest-burster, which then grows into the classic Xenomorph. Hawley also spoke about innovating that idea as well, adding:

“And then it always mimics the life cycle of the creature, right? Which is egg, slow, Facehugger, starts to get faster — you know what I mean? And of course, that’s great for a horror movie to build that way. So I found a way to kind of innovate around that structure and play with it.”

– Noah Hawley via Slash Film

RELATED: Alien TV Series: Noah Hawley Reveals His New Approach To The Franchise And Confirms Ripley’s Absence

One way the Alien life cycle has changed in the later films is that they tend to rush the growth of the Xenomorph. Now, it appears the Xenomorph can grow from a chest-burster into a full-grown creature in minutes, it not seconds. In the earlier films, that appeared to be a much longer process. What Hawley means by his comments is not yet clear, but hopefully, he can come up with something fresh but also something that doesn’t ruin what came before.

As noted earlier, Sydney Chandler stars in the upcoming series. There’s no premiere date yet for the upcoming FX show. While production began on the series earlier in July, it was halted due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike. Production will not be able to continue until the SAG-AFTRA strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) has been resolved.

With that in mind, Hawley’s Alien series won’t be hitting the airwaves until 2024 at the earliest. That said it should be interesting to see what he comes up with. The show is currently in the works for FX.

Alien Xenomorph Noah Hawley

Meanwhile, Fede Alvarez is writing and directing a new theatrical Alien film due out later next year from 20th Century Studios. The film stars Cailee Spaeny, Isabela Merced, David Jonsson, Archie Renaux, Spike Fearn, and Aileen Wu. It’s due out on Aug. 16, 2024.

What do you think of the news? Do you think Noah Hawley is the right individual to bring the Alien franchise to television? Do you think he will give the franchise a much-needed shot in the arm it hasn’t had in a long while? What about Fede Alvarez’s upcoming feature? Let us know your thoughts about the news on The Illuminerdi’s social media.

SOURCE: Slash Film

KEEP READING: Alien: Surprising New Character Details Reveal More About Noah Hawley Led FX Horror/Sci-Fi Series: Exclusive


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Jeff Harris

Jeffrey is an entertainment journalist and podcast host based in Los Angeles. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Radio, TV, & Film and a Bachelor of Arts in Theater. Jeffrey is also a Staff Writer at where he writes about movies, TV, games, wrestling, interviews talent, and covers special events such as Anime Expo, Comic-Con, and CinemaCon. When Jeffrey is not binging his favorite seasonal anime or show, he enjoys playing dodge ball, gaming, watching films, and enjoying UT football. You can find him on Twitter @Wheeljack83.