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FX Reveals How Noah Hawley's Alien Series Fits Into The Franchise

Back in December of 2020, during its annual Investor Day presentation, Disney revealed that — in the wake of its acquisition of 20th Century Fox, who produced the original film series — a TV show based on the "Alien" franchise was in the works for FX on Hulu. At the helm of the project is Noah Hawley, whose prior work includes experimental comic book superhero show "Legion" and crime anthology series "Fargo," both of which likewise aired on FX.

Upon its announcement, the series was descried as chronicling the arrival of the series' iconic Xenomorph aliens on Earth. Beyond that base premise, however, the extent to which its storyline may or may not fit into the larger "Alien" continuity had yet to be outlined in any significant way.

Finally, on February 17, 2022, an FX executive revealed exactly when the upcoming "Alien" TV series takes, establishing its canonical relationship to past series entries.

The Alien TV show will take place before the events of the first film

John Landgraf, who works as an executive at FX, recently provided some new insight into the "Alien" TV series during a panel hosted by the Television Critics Association. First, responding to a question fielded from Deadline, Landgraf stated explicitly that Ripley — the character portrayed by Sigourney Weaver in the original "Alien" trilogy — will not be a part of the show.

This is because, as Landgraf explained, "'Alien' takes place before Ripley." He then went on to outline how "it's the first story that takes place in the Alien franchise on Earth. So, it takes place on our planet. Right near the end of this century we're in — so 70-odd years from now."

Neither Ripley, nor any other character recognizable to existing fans of "Alien" will appear in the series, he confirmed, due to the time period in which it takes place. Nevertheless, he expressed full faith in Hawley to deliver an authentic "Alien" experience in spite of its brand new setting.

"Noah has this incredible ability, and I think you've seen it with 'Fargo,' to both find a way of being faithful, showing fidelity to an original creation like a Coen brothers' movie, or in this case, Ridley Scott's and James Cameron's follow-up, 'Aliens,' but also to bring something new to the table that represents extension and reinvention of a franchise at the same time," he concluded.