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Noah Hawley’s ‘Alien’ Series Sounds Bananas

Profile shot of a Xenomorph in 'Alien'

We’ll probably never see another new Alien film from Ridley Scott, but the franchise is entering a potentially exciting period for fans. Two new prequels are competing for our attention over the next couple of years: Alien: Romulus, from Don’t Breathe director Fede Álvarez; and an as yet untitled Alien series from Fargo creator Noah Hawley, which (unsurprisingly) sounds pretty wild.

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Per Deadline, Timothy Olyphant has joined the cast of Hawley’s Alien series, which is set up at FX. But don’t get distracted by the idea of Olyphant as a charismatic space cowboy. This is very much not that. Olyphant is reportedly playing “Kirsh, a synth who acts as a mentor and trainer for [Sydney] Chandler’s Wendy who is a hybrid, a meta-human who has the brain and consciousness of a child but the body of an adult.” I’m sorry—WHAT.

There’s a lot to unpack here, starting with Olyphant as a synth, a customary role in the Alien franchise that began with Ian Holm playing Ash in Scott’s 1979 classic and continued most recently with Michael Fassbender as David (and Walter) in Prometheus and Covenant. A synth in an Alien series isn’t exactly major news, but what is interesting is the description of the Wendy character, a hybrid human-AI with an adult body and a child brain. Synths have a history of being sociopathic, deviantly curious, murderous little a-holes (and we love them for it) in a franchise rife with psychosexual themes—what could possibly go wrong!

Somehow, this character description is not the most cuckoo bananas thing about Hawley’s Alien series, which co-stars Sydney Chandler (Don’t Worry Darling) along with “Alex Lawther as a soldier named CJ, Samuel Blenkin as Boy Kavalier, a CEO, as well as Essie Davis as Dame Silvia, Adarsh Gourav as Slightly, and Kit Young as Tootles.”

TOOTLES?! Is this an Alien prequel or a stealth sequel to Hook? I gotta know more about this Tootles character. Also very down for The Babadook‘s Essie Davis and all these Dune-ass character names. Dame Silvia! Boy Kavalier, a CEO!

Ridley Scott is executive producing both the upcoming Alien: Romulus, which is slated for a 2023 theatrical release, and Hawley’s Alien series, which does not yet have a release date. The series, which began filming in July during the SAG-AFTRA strike without the participation of SAG actors, is a full prequel set before the events of the 1979 Alien and before Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley enters the picture. (Romulus is more of an inbetween-quel, set between the first and second Alien movies.) In another departure from the franchise, this will be the first Alien story set on Earth—specifically about 70 years in the future.

Speaking with The Wrap, Hawley said they’re aiming for an early 2025 premiere for the series.

(featured image: 20th Century Studios)

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Britt Hayes
Britt Hayes (she/her) is an editor, writer, and recovering film critic with over a decade of experience. She has written for The A.V. Club, Birth.Movies.Death, and The Austin Chronicle, and is the former associate editor for ScreenCrush. Britt's work has also been published in Fangoria, TV Guide, and SXSWorld Magazine. She loves film, horror, exhaustively analyzing a theme, and casually dissociating. Her brain is a cursed tomb of pop culture knowledge.

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