Eat the rich? That’s not a bad premise for a new iteration of * Alien— * but for the most part, the hyper-predatory alien series has focused on working-class heroes. Ridley scottThe 1979 original focused on the Cosmic Merchant Marines who discover a wreck with deadly cargo on board, while James cameronthe sequel to 1986 Aliens was about real Marines whose rescue mission turns into a rescue operation to capture demons.
Whether it be David Fincherthe penal colony of in the third film, or the mercenaries in the director’s fourth film of 1997 Jean-Pierre Jeunet, it is always the workers and the lower class in the face of the sour anger of the creatures. There is perhaps a metaphor of capitalism inherent in the series.
Now, a new franchise-based FX TV series is in the works from Fargo showrunner Noah hawley– who says it’s time for facehuggers and xenomorphs to plant their claws in the white-collar executives who have been responsible for sending so many employees to their doom.
In a conversation about the symbolism of season four of Fargo, Hawley also offered an update on the Extraterrestrial series, as well as his new novel Anthem. The show will have to wait a bit, however, as the hustle and bustle of new productions after the pandemic has consumed all of Hollywood’s resources. How appropriate.
Vanity Fair: What’s the next step for you? Is there a season five in the works for Fargo?
Noah Hawley: Yeah I think so. I do not have it yet. I have pieces that will have to survive. They are not connected. I think it would be nice to create an ending, and deliberately come to something, knowing it’s the last and see how we could wrap up this anthology. The next step for me, it looks like, is [an] Extraterrestrial series for FX, covering this franchise and these incredible films by Ridley Scott and James Cameron and David Fincher. They’re great monster movies, but they’re not just monster movies. They talk about humanity stuck between our primordial, parasitic past and our artificial intelligence future – and they’re both trying to kill us. Here you have human beings and they cannot move forward or backward. So I find it really interesting.
Where are you in this process?
I’ve written a few scripts, the first two, and we’re looking to do them next spring. When you come up with something with this level of visual effects, it takes a lot of preparation. What was really enlightening was seeing that the whole film industry had to take a year off and are now trying to scramble two years of production into one year. So it is very difficult to look on planet Earth and see where you could do something in the next six months. Everyone is running to make up for lost time. So I guess the bubble bursts a bit and we’ll do it right.
Is there anything else you can share about this? Is this part of Ripley’s story, or will they be original characters from a different time and place?
This is do not a story of Ripley. He’s one of the great characters of all time, and I think the story was told quite perfectly, and I don’t want to disturb her. It is also a story that takes place on Earth. Alien stories are always trapped… Trapped in a prison, trapped in a spaceship. I thought it would be nice to open it up a bit so that the stakes of “What if you can’t contain it?” Are more immediate.
Deadly things that cannot be contained and the whole world in danger? It seems relevant for the past year.
At one level, it’s also a story of inequality. You know, one of the things I love about the first movie is how much of a 70s movie it is, and how it really is this world of blue collar space truckers that Yaphet Kotto and Harry Dean Stanton are basically Waiting for Godot. They are like characters in Samuel Beckett, who have been ordered to go to a place by an anonymous and anonymous company. The second movie is an ’80s movie, but it’s still about grunts. Paul reiser is middle management at best. So this is the story of the people you send to do the dirty work.
What does this have to do with your series?
In mine, you will also see the people who send them. So you will see what happens when the inequality we are currently grappling with is not resolved. If we as a society cannot figure out how to support each other and distribute the wealth, then what will happen to us? There is that great Sigourney weaver to Paul Reiser where she says, “I don’t know which species is the worst. At least they don’t fuck each other for a percentage.