The Alien franchise is a science fiction horror franchise, consisting primarily of a series of films focusing on the species Xenomorph XX121, commonly referred to simply as "the Alien", a voracious endoparasitoid extraterrestrial species. Unlike the Predator franchise, which mostly consists of stand-alone movies, the Alien films generally form continuing story arcs, the principal of which follows Lieutenant Ellen Ripley as she battles the Aliens in a future time setting. Produced by 20th Century Fox, the franchise began with the 1979 feature film Alien, and continued with three sequels, Aliens (1986), Alien3 (1992) and Alien Resurrection (1997); a potential fifth film has been in development hell since the release of Alien Resurrection. A series of prequel movies has also been produced, including Prometheus (2012) and Alien: Covenant (2017). As well as the feature films, the franchise also includes numerous "expanded universe" comic books, novels and video games.
Related to the Alien franchise is the Alien vs. Predator franchise, including the feature films Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), which pits the titular Aliens against the Predator creatures from the Predator franchise.
- Main article: Alien (film)
The commercial freighter Nostromo investigates a desolate planetoid after receiving an apparent distress signal from a derelict alien spacecraft. Whilst exploring the ship, one of the Nostromo's crew discovers an egg-like object which releases a creature that attaches itself to his face and renders him unconscious. After he is returned to the ship for medical attention, the parasite dies and the crewman wakes up, seemingly fine. However, an alien creature later bursts out of the man's chest and, after rapidly growing into an eight-foot tall creature, begins killing the rest of the crew.
- Main article: Aliens (film)
Lieutenant Ellen Ripley, the sole survivor of the Nostromo incident, awakens 57 years later from hypersleep to discover that the planetoid where they discovered the Alien, now known as LV-426, is now home to a terraforming colony. However, contact with the colony has been lost, and in response a squad of Colonial Marines are sent to investigate aboard the USS Sulaco, accompanied by Ripley. Once back on LV-426, they soon discover that the colonists had discovered the derelict ship and that the Aliens now infest the entire colony.
- Main article: Alien 3
A fire aboard the Sulaco as it returns to Earth causes the surviving crew to be ejected in an escape pod, which then crash-lands close to a prison colony on Fiorina "Fury" 161, killing everyone on board except Ripley. Unbeknownst to her, a Facehugger has accompanied her, and quickly spawns a new Alien in the prison. The creature soon begins a killing spree, while Ripley discovers there is also an Alien Queen growing inside her.
Alien Resurrection (1997)
- Main article: Alien Resurrection
200 years after the events on Fiorina 161, Ellen Ripley is cloned and the Alien Queen inside her is surgically removed from her body. The United Systems Military hopes to breed Aliens to study and research on the USM Auriga, using human hosts kidnapped and delivered to them by a group of mercenaries. The Aliens soon escape their enclosures, and Ripley 8 and the mercenaries resolve to escape and destroy the Auriga before it reaches its destination — Earth.
- Main article: Prometheus (film)
Several decades before the events of the original Alien, archaeologists on Earth discover star maps apparently left by a race of extraterrestrials involved in shaping humanity's ancient past. Securing financial backing from ageing industrialist Sir Peter Weyland, an expedition is launched to investigate the distant system indicated by the messages, where the explorers hope to make contact with the aliens. However, what they find threatens not only their own safety but the future of the entire human race.
Alien: Covenant (2017)
- Main article: Alien: Covenant
When the colony transport ship Covenant detects a transmission seemingly of human origin being broadcast from an uncharted but verdant world, the crew elect to divert their course and investigate. Upon landing, they encounter deadly alien life as well as the android David, the last survivor of the Prometheus expedition, who may be responsible for the very creatures that stalk the Covenant crew.
Attempts at producing a sequel to Alien Resurrection have been trapped in development hell since the release of the film in the late 90s. Such a project almost entered production under director Neill Blomkamp in 2016/2017, although the film was subsequently cancelled, with Ridley Scott, director of Alien, Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, stating that Fox "didn't want to do it".
Subsequent to the release of Alien: Covenant, Scott has also been working on further prequel films. On March 3, 2017, it was reported that the next prequel film had already been written and would be ready to film in 2018, dependant on the success of Alien: Covenant. Later the same month, in an interview with Fandango, Scott appeared to accidentally reveal that the title of the next film would be Alien: Awakening and also seemed to suggest that it would be a prequel set between Prometheus and Covenant. The director went on to state that there would be at least three further prequel films, assuming the two movies were successful. Regarding their content, Scott has suggested that in these subsequent films he intends to replace the Xenomorphs with AI-based antagonists, claiming that the sequels to the original Alien had reduced the creature's ability to scare audiences. Thus the sequels will explore what a world created by AIs (without human interferance) would look like, although the Engineers are also said to be returning in a larger role.
In April 2018, Katherine Waterston, who played heroine Daniels in Alien: Covenant, stated that she hadn't "heard anything in ages" regarding a sequel, but did reveal that she had heard rumors "a long time ago" as to where her character may go next. Following the acquisition of 20th Century Fox by Disney, it was confirmed at the 2019 CinemaCon that future Alien films were still in development, including Scott's third prequel, which is currently being written.
Alien: Isolation - The Digital Series (2019)
- Main article: Alien: Isolation - The Digital Series
15 years after her mother Ellen disappeared along with the Nostromo, Amanda Ripley searches for clues that might reveal her mother's fate. Her search leads her to Sevastopol Station, where she finds herself trapped with terrified survivors and stalked by an Alien that has turned the station into a nightmare. An adaptation of the video game Alien: Isolation.
Dark Horse Comics
- Main article: Aliens (comics line)
The vast majority of the comic books based on the Alien franchise have been published by Dark Horse Comics. These include adaptations of three of the four Alien films, as well as a large number of original stories set in the Alien universe.
- Aliens: Outbreak
- Aliens: Theory of Alien Propagation
- Aliens: Nightmare Asylum
- Aliens: Female War
- Aliens: Advent/Terminus
- Aliens: Countdown
- Aliens: Reapers
- Aliens: The Alien
- Aliens: Genocide
- Aliens: Harvest
- Aliens: Tribes
- Aliens: Renegade
- Aliens: Horror Show
- Aliens: Colonial Marines
- Aliens: Earth Angel
- Aliens: Rogue
- Aliens: Sacrifice
- Alien3: Terminal Addiction
- Aliens: Taste
- Aliens: Crusade
- Aliens: Backsplash
- Aliens: Labyrinth
- Aliens: Salvation
- Aliens: Cargo
- Aliens: Alien
- Aliens: Music of the Spears
- Operation: Aliens
- Aliens: Stronghold
- Aliens: Mondo Pest
- Aliens: Frenzy
- Aliens: Incubation
- Aliens: Mondo Heat
- Aliens: Lucky
- Aliens: Lovesick
- Aliens: Headhunters
- Aliens: Pig
- Aliens: Havoc
- Aliens: Special
- Aliens: Purge
- Aliens: Alchemy
- Aliens: Kidnapped
- Aliens: Tourist Season
- Aliens: Survival
- Aliens: Glass Corridor
- Aliens: Stalker
- Aliens: Wraith
- Aliens: Apocalypse
- Aliens: Once in a Lifetime
- Aliens: Xenogenesis
- Aliens (2009 short story)
- Aliens: More Than Human
- Aliens: Fast Track to Heaven
- Aliens: Inhuman Condition
- Aliens: Colonial Marines - No Man Left Behind
- Alien: Isolation
- Aliens: Field Report
- Aliens: Fire and Stone
- Aliens: Defiance
- Aliens: Defiance - Extravehicular
- Aliens: Life and Death
- Aliens: Dead Orbit
- Aliens: Dust to Dust
- Aliens: Resistance
- Aliens: Rescue
Non-Dark Horse comic books
While Dark Horse are by far and away the most prevalent publisher of Alien comics, a small number of officially licensed comic books based on the franchise have also been released by other publishers, most notably the adaptation of the original 1979 film. These are not considered a part of Dark Horse' continuity, and have never been collected together with Dark Horse stories.
Alien franchise novels have included both novelizations (of films, comic books and video games) and original stories.
- Alien by Alan Dean Foster
- Aliens by Alan Dean Foster
- Alien3 by Alan Dean Foster
- Alien Resurrection by A. C. Crispin and Kathleen O'Malley
- Alien: Covenant by Alan Dean Foster
- Aliens: Earth Hive by Steve Perry
- Aliens: Nightmare Asylum by Steve Perry
- Aliens: The Female War by Steve Perry and Stephani Perry
- Aliens: Genocide by David Bischoff
- Aliens: Alien Harvest by Robert Sheckley
- Aliens: Rogue by Sandy Schofield
- Aliens: Labyrinth by S. D. Perry
- Aliens: Music of the Spears by Yvonne Navarro
- Aliens: Berserker by S. D. Perry
Video game novelizations
- Aliens: Original Sin by Michael Jan Friedman
- Aliens: DNA War by Diane Carey
- Aliens: Cauldron by Diane Carey
- Aliens: Steel Egg by John Shirley
- Aliens: Criminal Enterprise by S. D. Perry
- Aliens: No Exit by B. K. Evenson
- Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon
- Alien: Sea of Sorrows by James A. Moore
- Alien: River of Pain by Christopher Golden
- Alien: Invasion by Tim Lebbon
- Aliens: Bug Hunt (anthology)
- Alien: Covenant - Origins by Alan Dean Foster
- Alien: The Cold Forge by Alex White
- Alien: Echo by Mira Grant
- Alien: Prototype by Tim Waggoner
- Alien: Phalanx by Scott Sigler
There have also been numerous video games based on the series, some of which have been (sometimes loose) adaptations of the films.
- Alien (1982)
- Alien (1984)
- Aliens: The Computer Game
- Aliens: Alien 2
- Alien3 (1992)
- Alien3 (1993 Game Boy)
- Alien3 (1993 NES)
- Alien3 (1993 SNES)
- Alien3: The Gun
- Aliens: A Comic Book Adventure
- Alien Trilogy
- Aliens Online
- Alien Resurrection
- Aliens: Thanatos Encounter
- Aliens: Unleashed
- Aliens: Extermination
- Aliens: Infestation
- Aliens: Colonial Marines/Stasis Interrupted
- Aliens: Armageddon
- Alien: Isolation
- ↑ "The Guardian - Ridley Scott: Neill Blomkamp’s Alien 5 is never going to happen". Retrieved on 2017-05-30.
- ↑ "The Sydney Herald - Ridley Scott promises a return to Alien-style horror in Alien: Covenant". Retrieved on 2017-03-05.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 "Fandango - HOW NOOMI RAPACE WILL RETURN FOR 'ALIEN: COVENANT,' PLUS: AT LEAST FOUR MORE 'ALIEN' MOVIES IN THE WORKS". Retrieved on 2017-03-20.
- ↑ "Alien: Covenant Star Hasn’t Heard About a Sequel ‘In Ages’". Retrieved on 2018-04-25.
- ↑ "Ridley Scott Teases Alien: Covenant Sequel Storyline". Retrieved on 2018-04-25.
- ↑ "YouTube - Bravo! Sir Ridley Scott hints at sequels to Alien Covenant!". Retrieved on 2017-06-24.
- ↑ "New 'Avengers: Endgame' Footage Hits CinemaCon". Retrieved on 2019-04-28.
- ↑ Webber, Tim. "REPORT: Ridley Scott Developing A New Alien Prequel". Retrieved on 2019-05-27.
- ↑ Schaefer, Sandy. "Alien: Covenant Sequel Reportedly Being Written, Ridley Scott to Direct". Retrieved on 2019-05-27.