There are rather fresh rumors that Hulu may be landing a series set within the ALIEN franchise. This series is rumored to be an anthology series. Now, this is a blind rumor at this point. So, have your salt shakers ready. This is the piece of news (rumor) that really surprised me. Not due to the contents of the rumor, but due to my reaction. I saw the word, "anthology," and immediately rejected it.
The basic idea of an anthology set within this franchise is definitely one that has potential and if it were to happen, I would watch the hell out of it. I would be excited to see what new and original, contained stories that could be put forth in this format. Still, I think that soils the potential for a new series of films. An anthology streaming series is a very good arena to explore new ideas in this franchise. There is more real estate here, so it should be a good idea. I should be jumping for joy at new and exciting rumors of something that could actually be really good. I am not though, because I prefer ALIEN on the big screen. I fear that an anthology show may setup the future of the films in the franchise (which, eventually will come, I would bet my life on it) to be just an expensive, blockbuster, reboot of the franchise. Someone encounters an egg or nest and gets it back to their lab or ship and then you know the rest. Honestly? I can enjoy that basic setup over and over again. It works in different mediums well and it can be done in slightly fresh and different way, so I am not afraid of a reboot sort of film or set of films. Bring it on. I'll enjoy it like the sheep I am.
I AM AFRAID of a TV show FORCING that hand. Honestly, I think that the ALIEN movies, shows, books... Need to stop for now. I don't want a permanent end to the franchise, I definitely look forward to movies and stories in the future, but right now there is no clear path forward. I mean, I think that they need to take a break, force Ridley Scott to step back a little bit, and find some different talent to write and direct some new, fresh, and profound horror sci-fi stories in very well-crafted and cared for movies. I mean, ALIEN is still commercially viable. It is fairly obvious. There is a lot of amazing ways that new stories can jump off of previous material, OR there are literally countless ways to start a new story set in that universe. The horror and wonder of Engineers (well, maybe not so much anymore), Xenomorphs, space colonies, mega mega corporations, space military (don't tell Trump though), and SO MUCH MORE are stories BEGGING to be told. Yet, 20th Century Fox continues to make odd decisions. Every once in a while, they put out a really cool book. A slightly compelling, but underwhelming comic. They allowed and fostered the release of Alien: Isolation. An absolute WIN. They have successfully driven it into the ground. They delegated the sequel to a comic book, one I hear that wasn't very good (opinions, as always, do vary though.) It was an attempt to weave two stories of the universe together, which closes off a lot of avenues going forward. Then there was an rather awfully made digital series of the game release don IGN. It consisted of cut scenes from the game, combined with very little newly animated (badly animated and horribly synced) footage. Then they released the novelization of the game. I was very excited for it. In fact, I was DYING to read it. Upon starting, I was disappointed. I remained disappointed as I read through and finished it. I think we got a real break with Isolation, but that possibility of success was confounded by mixed review of the game and awful execution in capitalizing on this possibility of success. Oh, don;t forget the Isolation mobile game. Which I hear is fun, but I won't play because it costs money. The game didn't make enough money for them to pursue any sort of film or official video game sequel to it. The fan reaction was mostly good and it seems that the positive reaction Amanda Ripley was misread. She was turned into a Ripley-lite sort of character with her arc after Isolation. I mean, she was in Isolation, but I don't think there was any attempt at expanding on and crafting the character. My thoughts on Amanda Ripley will be made clear in my review of the novelization (coming soon, an episode of the podcast.)
To really quickly close this meandering, but short, article out, I don't think an ALIEN TV series is wise at this point, especially an anthology series. This franchise needs to be breathe. The fandom will still be here, debating and watching, and whatevering the movies and expanded universe until we die (Hell, our fan productions will keep us mostly happy for now, I think.) The casual audience will come if you make a cool looking film (but please GOD let there be substance behind it!). My message to Disney: Take it easy, kid.