If you're like me, you love the Alien franchise. I mean, what's not to like? It brings horror, adventure, action, and science fiction genres all home to roost. It has some of the greatest directors of all time handling its stories, like Ridley Scott, David Fincher, and James Cameron. And over the six films (and several more offshoots) it has delivered some of the most interesting creature and set design ever put on film. 

What gives the franchise staying power is its willingness to reinvent itself for the story at hand?

The movie series started as something contained and has evolved from there. This desire to change with the times is what made the movie series so popular over time. 

Check out this video, and let's talk after the jump. 

How Has the Alien Franchise Changed Over Six Movies? 

Hollywood has changed a lot since 1979, but Xenomorphs have stuck with us the whole time. I think the Alien franchise presents an amazing lesson to every executive working in Hollywood.

Don't be afraid to embrace a new genre. 

The original Alien movie was a contained horror and science fiction movie. It was followed by an action-adventure movie in Aliens. And then a prison movie in Alien 3. And then an action-comedy in Alien: Resurrection. Then a gritty origin story in Prometheus. And finally, a heady science fiction horror in Alien: Covenant.

Oh, and along the way? Some fun splatter-action with the Alien v. Predator series. 

This wildly diverse canvas has allowed the movies and the stories told within them to properly reflect things society wanted, the changing process within Hollywood, and tastes of different directors, while still giving the audience what they wanted. 

I won't pretend that the quality remains the same within each output, but the willingness to be different and to try new things is what made all of these movies feel fresh. You might hate one or several of these entries, but you cannot knock them for being too much like the ones that came before it.  

So many sequels and franchises in Hollywood are just people trying to repackage and reproduce what they did in the first film. That formula cannot sustain a movie series—you might be able to get one sequel, but if you're going to give movies legs, you have to be willing to shake things up. 

This will not always work, but it will allow you to attract the right kind of talent to find success. Alien really messed up the third and fourth installments by messing with the directors and scripts, but they eventually learned to back away and just let storytellers work. This has paid off in recent years, with a TV show coming to FX that Noah Hawley is running. 

The point is, franchises survive because they continue to deliver the audience a repackaged version of what they loved from the first installment. Alien has been inventive in how they send these packages, and more franchises should mirror this approach. 

Let me know what you think in the comments. 

Source: Georg Rockall-Schmidt