Your screams in space will be heard if Fede Alvarez has anything to say about it.
The filmmaker behind Don’t Breathe, and 2013’s remake of evil Dead has been tapped to write and direct an original standalone Alien feature for 20th Century Studios.
Ridley Scott, who directed the original sci-fi horror movie released in 1979 and returned for two 21st century installments, will produce via his Scott Free banner. The project is intended to be made for Hulu as part of 20th Century’s ambitions to make more than 10 movies a year for the Disney-owned streaming service.
Alien and its many sequels and prequels focus on the horror of a ferocious race of alien beings called Xenomorphs, who implant eggs inside living bodies via “facehuggers” that violently burst out of chests when they reach a certain stage of maturity.
Dan O’Bannon wrote the first movie, which played out like a contained horror story about the doomed crew of cargo spaceship Nostromo. The survivor, Ripley, and the actress who played her, Sigourney Weaver, became the human face of the Fox franchise when James Cameron directed a sequel, Aliensin 1986, developing it into an action movie that became a massive cultural hit.
Two more movies, with Weaver, followed in the 1990s while a crossover with Fox’s other sci-fi franchise predator, sans Weaver, carried the Xenomorphs into the 2000s. Scott returned to his co-creations with prequels Prometheusan ambitious and theologically-minded film released in 2012, and 2017’s Alien: Covenant; both attempted to tell the origins of the species.
Alvarez’s take is being kept deep inside the studio’s chest, but sources describe it as unconnected to the previous movies.
According to sources, Alvarez is a rabid fan of the franchise and casually pitched a take on Scott many years ago. The idea remained implanted in Scott’s brain until late last year when he called Alvarez out of the blue and asked him if the younger filmmaker was still up for it. Alvarez didn’t have to be asked twice.
20th Century picked up the project “purely off the strength of Fede’s pitch,” said division president Steve Asbell. “It was just a really good story with a bunch of characters you haven’t seen before.”
Asbell, who recently spoke to THR about the future of 20th Century Studios, said by doing the project for Hulu, there wouldn’t be the pressure to whittle down the potential edginess that could come with theatrical considerations. “It’s not a film that has to be all things to all people with those gargantuan budgets. They get to be authentically what they are. And this is closer to its genre roots.”
Alvarez is certainly a filmmaker who loves his genre work. He has gained a following for his unsparing horror projects, including writing and directing a 2013 remake of evil Dead and co-writing and producing Netflix’s remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. He found commercial and critical success with the thriller don’t breathea story he co-wrote and directed. Breathe spawned a sequel that was released in 2021.
Alvarez is repped by WME and Jackoway Austen.