It’s been 24 years since Sigourney Weaver last played Ellen Ripley, and in that time the Alien franchise has delivered two Predator crossovers and two prequels without her, and yet she still remains the franchise’s most iconic character by a massive distance.
It’s no surprise, then, that every rumored sequel, reboot and new entry in the series inevitably brings with it rumors that the actress is poised to reprise the role, something that hasn’t happened yet. Admittedly, it came pretty close when Neill Blomkamp’s sequel to James Cameron’s Aliens was on the cards, and Weaver has never completely ruled out a comeback, but it doesn’t sound like she’ll be part of the long-running sci-fi property’s next iteration.
At last year’s Disney Investor Day, it was revealed that Legion and Fargo showrunner Noah Hawley was teaming up with Ridley Scott to develop an episodic Alien series for Hulu. While Hawley had toyed with the project on several occasions in the past, he could never manage to get it off the ground, but the Mouse House’s acquisition of Fox changed all of that.
In a new interview, the filmmaker offered up the first real details we’ve heard regarding Alien since it was first announced, and he was quick to make it clear that he’s not telling a Ripley-centric story.
“It’s not a Ripley story. She’s one of the great characters of all time, and I think the story has been told pretty perfectly, and I don’t want to mess with it. It’s a story that’s set on Earth also. The alien stories are always trapped. Trapped in a prison, trapped in a space ship. I thought it would be interesting to open it up a little bit so that the stakes of ,’What happens if you can’t contain it?’, are more immediate.
On some level it’s also a story about inequality. In mine, you’re also going to see the people who are sending the people who have to do the dirty work. So you will see what happens when the inequality we’re struggling with now isn’t resolved. If we as a society can’t figure out how to prop each other up and spread the wealth, then what’s going to happen to us?”
Outside of Hawley’s comments, all we know for sure about Hulu’s Alien is that it’ll be the first non-AvP entry to take place on Earth, but we’re not going to be getting a time period or any plot details until much further down the line. Still, the team of Hawley and Scott is more than enough to generate excitement among longtime fans.