Everything We Know About The Alien TV Series, FX's Small Screen Adaptation Of The Classic Franchise

Updated: November 27, 2023.

The "Alien" universe created by director Ridley Scott and screenwriter Dan O'Bannon in 1979 is finally making the jump to episodic television in FX's long-awaited series from "Fargo" and "Legion" mastermind Noah Hawley. The project has been gestating since December of 2020 when it was first announced at Disney's Investor Day presentation by FX Chairman John Landgraf. Not to be confused with Fede Alvarez's upcoming "Alien" movie that's set to eventually premiere on Hulu, Hawley's "Alien" series will be set decades before the original voyage of the Nostromo and will mark the first time that the sci-fi horror franchise has been set on Earth. 

For fans who remember the intentionally misleading teaser trailer for "Alien 3" that promised a return to our home planet, the potential of seeing a Xenomorph on our own home turf should be an exciting prospect. FX's "Alien" will officially be the first live-action television series, after two abandoned attempts at an animated series with 1992's "Operation: Aliens" and 2007's "Aliens: War Games." 

Hawley is writing and executive producing the series under his 26 Keys production company. Here's what we know so far about the story, the cast, and more.

What will Noah Hawley's Alien series be about?

It's been confirmed that the new "Alien" series will begin production sometime this year, with Landgraf stating back in January that Hawley has written the scripts and had apparently met with his production designer in Austin, TX. With a production that should incorporate a great deal of VFX and world-building, it's likely that the series won't actually premiere until 2024 at the earliest.

Set roughly 70 years from now, Hawley's "Alien" will explore what a future Earth would look like by the end of the 21st century. Using Scott's original "Alien" and James Cameron's "Aliens" as the framework, the story sounds like it will focus on two warring corporations both working to achieve new advancements in technology that eventually lead us down a dark path. In an interview with Esquire last year, Hawley had this to say about his version of a future Earth: 

"In the movies, we have this Weyland-Yutani Corporation, which is clearly also developing artificial intelligence. But what if there are other companies trying to look at immortality in a different way, with cyborg enhancements or transhuman downloads? Which of those technologies is going to win?"

Landgraf has also confirmed that there will be references to the Weyland-Yutani corporation that appears in every "Alien" movie and that Hawley has invented another corporation that operates in a different territory. While the Xenomorph will absolutely be making an appearance, it sounds like Hawley is using this famous quote from Ripley in "Aliens" as a jumping-off point: "I don't know which species is worse. At least they don't f*** each other over for a percentage."

Who is in the Alien cast?

The official timeline of the TV series may not match up perfectly with the established canon of the "Alien" franchise, making it impossible for Sigourney Weaver to return as Ellen Ripley. With new characters set to populate the show, we finally have some major casting news to report. Per Variety, actress Sydney Chandler has been cast as the lead in Hawley's "Alien." Chandler is returning to FX after being featured as Chrissie Hynde from The Pretenders in Danny Boyle's limited series "Pistol" about the early days of the Sex Pistols. 

Although never confirmed by the major trades, there were early reports of FX searching for two actors to be cast as a brother and sister named Wendy and Hermit. In the description (via AVP Galaxy and Illuminerdi), Wendy is believed dead until Hermit finds out that she's actually stuck in another soldier's body after a secret experiment. A November 2023 casting report by Deadline confirmed that Chandler will be playing Wendy, who is described as "a hybrid, a meta-human who has the brain and consciousness of a child but the body of an adult." Timothy Olyphant has also signed on to play Kirsh, "a synth who acts as a mentor and trainer for Chandler's Wendy." At least Olyphant has some prior experience battling aliens.

Elsewhere, Deadline has reported that the cast of the "Alien" series will also include Alex Lawther as a soldier named CJ, Samuel Blenkin as CEO Boy Kavalier, Essie Davis as Dame Silvia, Adarsh Gourav as Slightly, and Kit Young as Tootles.