How the TV show “Alien” draws inspiration from the first two original films


The head of the FX Network, John Landgraf, explains that the upcoming TV show “Alien” will draw inspiration from the first two films of the franchise — “Alien” and “Strangers”. First released in 1979, Ridley Scott’s original Alien is widely regarded as one of the most important films of all time, introducing viewers to Ellen Ripley Sigourney Weaver and the terrifying Xenomorph. The film marked the beginning of a franchise that continues to this day and includes such films as “Aliens”, “Alien 3”, “Resurrection of Aliens”, “Prometheus” and “Alien: Covenant”.

While more recent work in the franchise has caused controversy among fans, including the most recent 2017 Alien: Covenant, in 2020 it was announced that the Alien series was in development with Fargo and Legion creator Noah Hawley. At the moment, little is known about the series, but it was previously confirmed that the series will be a prequel to Alien and that the franchise will take place on Earth. In the upcoming TV show “Alien” Scott will also act as a producer, and filming is expected to begin next year.

According to a new IndieWire report, Landgraff reveals more details about the upcoming Alien series, explaining that it will have more in common with the first two films of the franchise than just Scott’s involvement. Landgraf discusses how, after its release, both “Alien” and “Strangers” were shocking in their own way, and says that the TV show will be just as amazing, and the audience will be “caught off guard.” The head of the FX Network also reports that Hawley was particularly interested in the elements of the first two films that made them so wonderful, and used them to create his own show. Check out Landgraf’s full comment below:

I’m a big fan of Alien and Alien, and I remember watching them both in the cinema and seeing how shockingly original and amazing each of them was in their own way. And so, like his approach to “Fargo,” Noah decided not to take Ripley or any other character from “Alien”—with the possible exception of the xenomorph himself—but to go back and find out what made the franchise so wonderful and so solid, and see if he could find an experience that was similar to going to the theater and watching one of those first two movies where you’re caught off guard.

Although the specific plot details of the series are still unknown, Hawley wisely chose a source of inspiration, since the first two films of the Alien franchise are widely considered the best. The first film is, in fact, a horror film set in space, and in the sequel “Aliens” James Cameron becomes a director and is gaining momentum. In many ways, the two films are very different, but as Landgraf suggests, there are a number of surprises in both of them that Hawley seems keen to use in his work.

While the other Alien sequels had some unexpected elements, they all largely fell short of the expectations set by the first two, suggesting that it takes more than just shocking viewers to create a good Alien story. However, if Hawley can capture the essence of the first two films, both horror and action elements, then the Alien TV show can certainly be an exciting addition to the franchise. It remains to be seen how The Alien series will compare to your favorite original films, but longtime fans will surely be pleased that Hawley draws inspiration from the two best parts of the franchise.


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