If you’re anything like me, you love watching movie franchises in chronological order. That is, based on the franchise’s made-up timeline, not based on the movies’ release dates. I began searching through the various streaming apps I happily pay for (sarcasm). I came across the 1979 sci-fi classic Alien. It’s my second all-time favorite movie.
BONUS: Want to see what the cast of Alien (1979) looks like now? Check it out here.
I paused the movie about ten minutes into it. A lightbulb flashed in my brain. It would be fun if I watched every film in the Alien franchise timeline in chronological order. Allow me to share that timeline with you. Enjoy!
Oh, I forgot to mention something. This list covers the entire Alien franchise timeline. It includes more movies than you might expect. I marked those that indirectly tie into the Alien franchise timeline as ‘optional.’ The years shown reflect the Alien franchise timeline, not real-life. Also, I excluded Blade Runner, Soldier, and Blade Runner 2049 from my list. I know some people associate them with the Alien movies because of Ridley Scott, but I don’t!
Alien Franchise Timeline
Alien Timeline Year: 1987
Title: Predator (1987)
Predator is a 1987 American science fiction action horror film directed by John McTiernan. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as the leader of an elite paramilitary rescue team. The team deploys to a guerrilla-held territory in Central America to save hostages. They encounter the deadly Predator while there. This technologically-advanced alien stalks and hunts them down. When Alien v. Predator came out, the Predator franchise became intertwined in the Alien franchise timeline, However, when Ridley Scott’s Prometheus movie came out, the director retconned the alien origin, thus ‘null and voiding’ AVP from the canon timeline. It’s still fun to watch the Predator and AVP movies and include them in the timeline!
After you watch Predator, continue to the next Alien chronological order movie: Predator 2!
Alien Timeline Year: 1997
Title: Predator 2 (1997)
Predator 2 is a 1990 American science fiction action film written by brothers Jim and John Thomas. Directed by Stephen Hopkins, the movie stars Danny Glover as the primary protagonist. The supporting cast includes Ruben Blades, Gary Busey, María Conchita Alonso, Bill Paxton, and Kevin Peter Hall. Predator 2 occurs ten years after the first film taking place in Los Angeles. This time, a disgruntled police officer and his allies go up against the Predator.
Once you watch Predator 2, continue on to the next Alien chronological order movie: Alien v Predator!
Alien Timeline Year: 2004
Title: AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)
Alien vs. Predator (also known as AVP) is a 2004 science fiction action film written and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson, and starring Sanaa Lathan, Raoul Bova, Lance Henriksen, and Ewen Bremner. It is the first film installment of the Alien vs. Predator franchise, adapting a crossover bringing together the eponymous creatures of the Alien and Predator series, a concept which originated in a 1989 comic book. In the film, scientists are caught in the crossfire of an ancient battle between Aliens and Predators as they attempt to escape a bygone pyramid. (Source: Wikipedia)
Once you watch AVP, continue on to the next Alien chronological order movie: AVP: Requiem!
Alien Timeline Year: 2007
Title: Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (also known as AVPR) is a 2007 American science fiction action film directed by the Brothers Strause (Colin and Greg Strause) in their directorial debut and written by Shane Salerno. The film stars Steven Pasquale, Reiko Aylesworth, John Ortiz, Johnny Lewis, and Ariel Gade.
It is a sequel to Alien vs. Predator set immediately after the events of the previous film. The film begins with a Predator ship crashing into a forest outside of Gunnison, Colorado, where an Alien-Predator hybrid known as the Predalien escapes and makes its way to the nearby small town. A skilled veteran Predator is dispatched to kill the Predalien, as the townspeople try to survive the ensuing carnage. (Source: Wikipedia)
Once you watch AVP: Requiem, continue on to the next Alien chronological order movie: The Predator!
Alien Timeline Year: 2018
Title: The Predator (2018)
The Predator is a 2018 American science fiction action film directed by Shane Black and written by Black and Fred Dekker. It is the fourth installment in the Predator franchise. Starring Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen, and Sterling K. Brown, it follows a group of PTSD-afflicted soldiers and a scientist who must team up to fight off an invading pair of Predators and discover their plans for mankind. (Source: Wikipedia)
Once you watch The Predator, continue on to the next Alien chronological order movie: Predators!
Alien Timeline Year: 2019
Title: Predators (2019)
Predators is a 2010 American science fiction action film directed by Nimród Antal and starring Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Walton Goggins, and Laurence Fishburne. It is the third installment of the Predator franchise.
The film follows an ensemble cast of characters including Royce (Adrien Brody), a mercenary who appears in an unidentified jungle among other proficient killers. They find that they have been abducted and placed on a planet that acts as a game reserve for two warring tribes of extraterrestrial killers and actively look for a way to return to Earth. (Source: Wikipedia)
Once you watch Predators, continue on to the next Alien chronological order video: Peter Weyland’s TED Talk!
Alien Timeline Year: 2023
For the full TED Talk, you’ll have to pick up a copy of the movie from Amazon here. Once you watch Peter Weyland’s TED Talk, continue on to the next Alien chronological order video: Introducing the David 8!
Although I couldn’t find a specific date in the Alien universe for this video, it’s safe to assume it takes place around the same time as Weyland’s TED Talk. Once you watch Peter Weyland’s TED Talk, continue on to the next Alien chronological order movie: Prometheus!
Alien Timeline Year: 2093
Title: Prometheus (2012)
2012’s Prometheus marked the return of Ridley Scott to the directing helm of the Alien franchise. Prometheus retconned the alien origin away from the Predator franchise and kept it firmly in the Alien universe. Prometheus’s cast was jam-packed with A-list Hollywood stars. Other cast members include Charlize Theron as Meredith Vickers, Sean Harris as Fifield, Rafe Spall as Millburn, Emum Elliot as Chance, Benedict Wong as Ravel, and Katie Dickie as Ford.
It is set in the late 21st century and centers on the crew of the spaceship Prometheus, captained by Idris Elba’s Captain Janek. Noomi Rapace’s character Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, and her partner/love interest Charlie Holloway played by Logan Marshall-Green, discovered a star map among the artifacts of several ancient Earth cultures. Seeking the origins of humanity, the crew arrives on a distant world and discovers a threat that could cause the extinction of the human species. Michael Fassbender’s David plays a key role in the plot as he manages to learn the language of the Engineers and communicate with them.
Once you watch Prometheus, continue on to the next Alien chronological order video: Alien Covenant Prologues!
Alien Timeline Years: 2094-2104
The prologue videos were released as teaser trailers for the then-upcoming premiere of Alien Covenant. They bridge the gap between Prometheus and Covenant. The video above is a compilation of every prologue video. The cast includes Noomi Rapace as Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, Michael Fassbender as David, plus Alien Covenant cast members Katherine Waterston as Daniels, Billy Crudup as Oram, Danny McBride as Tennessee, and James Franco as Captain Branson.
Once you watch the Prologue video, continue on to the next Alien chronological order movie: Alien: Covenant!
Alien Timeline Year: 2104
Title: Alien: Covenant (2017)
Alien: Covenant is a 2017 science fiction horror film and the third Alien movie directed and produced by Ridley Scott. The film is a sequel to Prometheus (2012) and is the second installment in the Alien prequel series and the sixth installment in the Alien franchise. The film features returning star Michael Fassbender as David and Walter.
The movie opens with a younger Peter Weyland, played by Guy Pearce, activating his latest invention – an android named David played by Michael Fassbender. Eleven years after the Prometheus expedition, Covenant, a colony ship, embarks on a voyage to the planet Origae-6. Covenant’s cargo includes 2000 colonists in stasis and 1140 human embryos in cold storage. Michael Fassbender’s character Walter monitors the ship. A neutrino burst damages the ship and Walter reanimates the ship’s crew of 14 people.
During repairs, the crew picks up a transmission of a human voice singing a John Denver song. Shocked at this finding, they decide to investigate.
Covenant cast includes Katherine Waterston as Daniels, Billy Crudup as Oram, Danny McBride as Tennessee, Demian Bichir as Lope, Carmen Ejogo as Karine, Jussie Smollet as Ricks, Callie Hernandez as Upworth, Amy Seimetz as Faris, and many others.
Once you watch Alien: Covenant, continue on to the next Alien chronological order movie: Alien!
Alien Timeline Year: 2122
Title: Alien (1979)
Alien is the original movie in the franchise. The 1979 science fiction horror film was the first Alien film directed by Ridley Scott. It follows the crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo, who encounters the eponymous Alien, a deadly and aggressive extraterrestrial set loose on the ship. The film stars Tom Skerritt as Captain Dallas, Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley (the primary protagonist of the Alien franchise), Veronica Cartwright as Lambert, Harry Dean Stanton as Brett, John Hurt as Kane, Ian Holm as Ash, and Yaphet Kotto as Parker.
Want to see what the Alien cast looks like now? Click here!
Once you watch Alien, continue on to the next Alien chronological order game: Alien: Isolation!
Alien Timeline Year: 2137
Title: Alien: Isolation (2014)
The Alien: Isolation video game came out in 2014. It’s a first-person survival horror video game developed by Creative Assembly and published by SEGA for all consoles at the time. A Nintendo Switch version released on December 5th, 2019. Set 15 years after the events of Alien, the game follows Ellen Ripley’s daughter Amanda Ripley as she investigates her mother’s (and Nostromo’s) disappearance. Samuels, a Weyland-Yutani Corporation representative, approaches Amanda and informs her that the company located the Nostromo’s flight recorder. She heads out to retrieve it at Sevastopol, a decommissioned space station in a remote region of the universe. There, she encounters a deadly Alien that has massacred the station’s inhabitants.
Once you play Alien: Isolation, continue on to the next Alien chronological order book: Alien: Out of the Shadows!
Alien Timeline Year: 2159
Title: Alien: Out of the Shadows (2014)
From author Tim Lebbon, Alien: Out of the Shadows takes place in 2159, DSMO Marion is in orbit above LV-178 while its crews mine for trimonite beneath the planet’s surface. Two days after Marion loses contact with the mine complex, the ship’s transport shuttles, Samson and Delilah, launch from the planet and head for Marion at full speed; contact with their crews reveal alien creatures that are slaughtering the shuttles’ occupants. Delilah plows into Marion, severely damaging the ship and killing its captain and security officer. Samson docks successfully, but the survivors aboard Marion, now led by Chief Engineer Chris “Hoop” Hooper, seal it off to contain the four Aliens on board. The impact has knocked Marion out of orbit, meaning the ship will soon burn up when it hits LV-178’s atmosphere. Worse still, the long-range antenna has been destroyed, forcing the survivors to transmit a localized distress call.
Want to learn more about this awesome book? Read more here!
Once you read Alien: Out of the Shadows, continue on to the next Alien chronological order movie: Aliens!
Alien Timeline Year: 2179
Title: Aliens (1986)
Aliens is a 1986 American science fiction action film written and directed by James Cameron and starring Sigourney Weaver returning to play Ellen Ripley. The second installment in the Alien franchise, it follows Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) as she returns to LV-426, the moon where her crew encountered the hostile Alien creature, this time accompanied by a unit of space marines. Aliens cast also includes Carrie Henn as the child Newt, Michael Biehn as Corporal Dwane Hicks, Paul Reiser as Weyland-Yukatami Corporation representative Burke, Lance Henriksen as the android Bishop, Jenette Goldstein as the tough Private Vasquez, William Hope as Lieutenant Gorman, Al Matthews as Marine Sergeant Apone, and Bill Paxton as Private Hudson.
Once you watch Aliens, continue on to the next Alien chronological order movie: Alien3!
Title: Alien3 (1992)
Alien3 is a 1992 American science fiction horror film directed by David Fincher. It stars Sigourney Weaver, reprising her role as Ellen Ripley once again. Set right after the events of Aliens (1986), Ripley and an Alien organism are the only survivors of the Colonial Marine spaceship Sulaco following an escape pod’s crash on a planet housing a penal colony populated by violent male inmates. Cast also includes Charles S. Dutton as Dillon, Charles Dance as Clemens, Paul McGann as Golic, Brian Glover as Andrews, Ralph Brown as Aaron, and many more.
Once you watch Alien3, continue on to the next Alien chronological order movie: Alien Resurrection!
Alien Timeline Year: 2379
Title: Alien Resurrection (1997)
Alien Resurrection is a 1997 American science fiction horror film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, written by Joss Whedon, and starring Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley and Winona Ryder as Call. Ellen Ripley is cloned and an Alien Queen is surgically removed from her body. The United Systems Military hopes to breed Aliens to study and research on the spaceship USM Auriga, using human hosts kidnapped and delivered to them by a group of mercenaries. The Aliens escape their enclosures, while Ripley and the mercenaries attempt to escape and destroy the Auriga before it reaches its destination: Earth.
Cast also includes Dominique Pinon as Vriess, Ron Perlman as Johner, Gary Dourdan as Christie, Michael Wincott as Elgyn, Kim Flowers as Hillard, Dan Hedaya as General Perez, and many others.
Once you watch Alien Resurrection, continue on to the next Alien chronological order series: Firefly!
Alien Timeline Year: 2517
Title: Firefly (2002)
Firefly is a space Western series created by writer and director Joss Whedon. The show explores the lives of a group of people, some of whom fought on the losing side of a civil war, who make a living on the fringes of society as part of the pioneer culture of their star system. In this future, the only two surviving superpowers, the United States and China, fused to form the central federal government, called the Alliance, resulting in the fusion of the two cultures. (Source: Wikipedia)
Unless you’ve seen Firefly and have sharp eyes, you’re probably thinking, “Huh? What the heck does Firefly have to do with Alien?” Watch the first episode of this cult-classic series for a sign indicating the show is part of the Alien Universe. On the spaceship Serenity, the heads-up-display on one of the weapons has a Weyland-Yutani corporation logo from Alien. It’s a stretch but it still counts!
Recent News: Disney may reboot Firefly! Read more here!
Once you watch Firefly, continue on to the next Alien chronological order movie: Serenity!
Title: Serenity (2005)
Serenity is a 2005 American space Western film written and directed by Joss Whedon. The film is a continuation of Whedon’s short-lived 2002 Fox television series Firefly and stars the same cast, taking place after the events of the final episode. Set in 2517, Serenity is the story of the crew of Serenity, a “Firefly-class” spaceship. The captain and first mate are veterans of the Unification War, having fought on the losing Independent side against the Alliance. Their lives of smuggling and cargo-running are interrupted by a psychic passenger who harbors a dangerous secret. (Source: Wikipedia)
Once you watch Serenity, congratulations! You made it to the end of the Alien franchise timeline and watched them in chronological order!