Reel TV: The 'X-Men' Spin-Off Series 'Legion' Moves Forward, Releases First Picture

Reel TV: The 'X-Men' Spin-Off Series 'Legion' Moves Forward, Releases First Picture

May 31, 2016

If the box office numbers for X-Men: Apocalypse are any indication, people aren't exactly clamoring for new X-Men stories like they were just a few years ago. So it may seem a little ill timed that FX has just revealed they've greenlit a season of a show linked to the X-Men cinematic universe, but we reserve our right to be cautiously optimistic. Strangely, though, that optimism really doesn't have anything to do with X-Men. It's all about the person running the show: Noah Hawley. 

Hawley may not be a household name yet, but he's the genius who created FX's brilliant Fargo adaptation that's been blowing minds for two seasons now. Considering it really didn't seem like that great of an idea to adapt Fargo into a show, now that we've seen the result, we're going to trust Hawley knows exactly what he's doing. Apparently the network trusts him, too. FX' co-president of original programming, Nick Grad, issued this statement about the show's pickup:

“We’ve come to expect excellence from Noah Hawley and with Legion he has delivered another major creative achievement, Just as he did in reimagining Fargo, he is bringing an entirely new aesthetic and sensibility to the enormously popular and richly represented X-Men world. The pilot episode is stunning, driven by incredible performances from Dan Stevens, Aubrey Plaza, Jean Smart, Rachel Keller and the rest of the cast. We join our producing partners at Marvel in congratulating the creative team for what they’ve accomplished and are as excited as the fans for the premiere of Legion’s first season.”

So how exactly does Legion link to X-Men? Well, for starters it's all about David Haller (played by Dan Stevens, pictured above), who was the son of Professor X in the comics. The show opens with him under close mental care for a diagnosis of schizophrenia, only to have a chance encounter lead him to finally understand the voices in his head may actually be those of other people.

Where the story goes from there, we do not know, but Bryan Singer recently talked about it with Fandango and his answer certainly backs up FX' talk of finding a new, different way to tell a story about mutants.

"Since it’s television, you can’t do the same level of visual effects [as a big movie], so you have to find other dramatic ways of telling the story. What’s great about these universes and particularly the X-Men universe is it’s very grounded in its characters and its themes, so even if the tone is different or the show is smaller than a movie, it can still have very strong characters and bring in a supernatural element in a very tasteful and fun way. And when the time is right you can cross over and remind people that they’re part of a bigger universe."

Legion won't hit TV screens until sometime in early 2017, so that cross into a bigger universe will likely be tied to future events of X-Men movies we won't see for quite some time. And that's perfectly okay. We'd actually love if Legion didn't really have a whole lot to do with Singer's world, and only brought in a character here or there where needed. That's certainly worked well enough for Daredevil and Jessica Jones.

 

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