A new Alien TV series, based on Ridley Scott's original 1979 film, will be the first story of the franchise to be set on Earth, the chairman of FX has revealed.

The action will take place some 70 years from the present day but will not feature any of the film’s characters, including protagonist Ellen Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver.

But FX chairman John Landgraf said there would still be "big surprises in store" for audiences.

Landgraf said the series, which will be executive produced by Scott and written by Fargo creator Noah Hawley, was a "massive undertaking" and physical production would not begin until next year.

"Alien takes place before Ripley, it’s the first story in the Alien franchise that takes place on Earth," he said.

"It takes place on our planet right near the end of this century that we’re currently in right now, so about 70-odd years from now.

"So Ripley won’t be a part of it, neither will any of the other characters from Alien apart from the alien itself.

"But Noah has this incredible ability to both find a way of being faithful and showing fidelity to the original creation… but then also to bring something new to the table that represents both an extension and reinvention of a franchise.

"I think he’s done a masterful job with Alien. There are some big surprises in store for the audience."

The Alien franchise depicts a series of deadly encounters between humans and the aliens, infamous for latching on to the faces and bursting out of the chests of their human hosts.

Weaver starred in several of the films alongside Tom Skerritt and Veronica Cartwright.

The franchise spawned several crossover films including Alien vs Predator, and prequel Prometheus, starring Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron and Idris Elba.

Source: Press Association