Esquire: FX's John Landgraf described your upcoming Alien spin-off as “a beast,” and “a really big world-building exercise” for you. What can you tell us about how the world-building exercise is going?
Noah Hamley: It's going great. It's going slowly, unfortunately, given the scale of it. I've made a certain business out of reinvention. Alien is a fascinating story because it's not just a monster movie; it’s about how we're trapped between the primordial past and the artificial intelligence of our future, where both trying to kill us. It’s set on Earth of the future. At this moment, I describe that as Edison versus Westinghouse versus Tesla. Someone’s going to monopolize electricity. We just don't know which one it is.
In the movies, we have this Weyland-Yutani Corporation, which is clearly also developing artificial intelligence—but what if there are other companies trying to look at immortality in a different way, with cyborg enhancements or transhuman downloads? Which of those technologies is going to win? It’s ultimately a classic science fiction question: does humanity deserve to survive? As Sigourney Weaver said in that second movie, “I don't know which species is worse. At least they don't fuck each other over for a percentage.” Even if the show was 60% of the best horror action on the planet, there's still 40% where we have to ask, “What are we talking about it, beneath it all?” Thematically, it has to be interesting. It’s humbling to get to play with the iconography of this world.
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