Dan Stevens, Aubrey Plaza, And Jean Smart Join Cast Of FX’s X-Men Drama Legion

Credit: Marvel Comics
Credit: Marvel Comics

FX continues making strides with its X-Men project, Legion.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show has casted three major roles.

Previously, Rachel Keller (Fargo) was announced as the female lead, Syd. Syd is described as “a self-sufficient and street smart woman who uses her sharp and prickly demeanor to protect her soft core because even though it makes her a sucker and puts her at risk, she still believes in happily ever after.” 

Joining Keller in the cast will be Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey), Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation), and Jean Smart (Fargo).

Stevens will be playing David Haller, the titular Legion. In comics, Haller is the son of X-Men founder Charles Xavier and Israeli Holocaust survivor Gabrielle Haller. Haller struggles with schizophrenia. He also has multiple personalities, which each control a different power.

For the show, David is described as “a haunted man trying to find his way back to sanity; he’s getting tired and is about to give up when he meets the girl of his dreams.” 

I’m really hoping the show will give a thoughtful depiction on mental illness. It would definitely be interesting to see that explored in a superhero show.

This role marks Stevens return to television after leaving the role of Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey. In 2017, we will see him on the big screen as Beast in the live action Beauty and the Beast. 

Plaza makes her return to television in her first post-Parks role. She has filmed several movies including Dirty Grandpa and Joshy. She will be playing David’s friend, Lenny.

The Reporter describes Lenny: “despite a life of drugs and alcohol abuse, knows that any day now her life is going to turn around — which gives Lenny the likeable energy of the impossible optimist despite her rough demeanor.”

Rounding out the cast is Jean Smart as Melanie. Smart is a three-time Emmy winner, and recently won a Critic’s Choice Award for her work in Fargo. 

Melanie is described as “a nurturing, demanding therapist with a sharp mind and unconventional methods.”

The series pilot will be written by Noah Hawley, who co-developed FX’s Fargo. He will serve as executive producer on the show along with collaborate John Cameron. Also producing the show will be some big X-Men/Marvel names such as Lauren Shuler Donner, Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, Jim Chory, and Jeph Loeb.

With all this talent handling things, I think Legion will definitely be a show to watch out for.

Legion will start filming in March. Currently, there is no word on a premiere date.

Bec Heim