FX’s Legion Won’t Be Just Another X-Men Story

Image courtesy of Marvel/FX
Image courtesy of Marvel/FX

Legion is going to be bringing mutants back to 0ur TVs, but make no mistake: This isn’t your ’90s X-Men cartoon series. It’s also not the X-Men franchise of this day and age, either. In fact, the show is going to be like nothing we’ve seen before from 20th Century Fox’s superhero department, according to X-Men producer Simon Kinberg.

“Tonally, it’s very different…. Noah [Hawley] is a genius – he wrote and created and directed the pilot to Legion – and it is a very different sensibility than anything we’ve done with the X-Men movies. Almost, I would say, as radically different as Deadpool was from the mainline X-Men movies.”

More specifically, what we’re going to get is a gritty character-driven drama, which sounds similar in style and tone to Marvel’s Jessica Jones. Kinberg says the series will be “really character-based, really granular in terms of getting inside the details of the characters.”

Intriguing, no? If you aren’t familiar with the story of Legion (the eponymous character), his real name is David Haller, and he’s the illegitimate son of Charles Xavier. The name “Legion”, as with most of his fellow mutants, comes from the nature of his abilities. Haller has an incredible array of mental powers…but each one is wielded by an individual personality in his head – think multiple personality disorder with a superpowered twist. The story takes place in a parallel universe to the one built by Kinberg and director Bryan Singer; it’s a world where “mutant” hasn’t become a household word yet, and only the government’s higher ups know they exist. Consequently, Haller has no idea that he has any special gifts, and believes he is just very mentally ill.

Haller is being played by Downton Abbey and Beauty and the Beast star Dan Stevens. Thus far we’ve been giving one official sneak peek of his portrayal of Haller, but that doesn’t mean nothing has come in through unofficial channels. The show’s creator, director, and producer extraordinaire, Noah Hawley, has blessed us with a second quick peek at what he has in store for us, via his personal Instagram:

Image courtesy of Noah Hawley
Image courtesy of Noah Hawley

This photo shows that Legion‘s crew is hard at work in the sound mixing booth. And based on Haller’s clothing and interview-esque position in the photo, perhaps we can infer that we’ll see him in a mental hospital setting. Legion will debut its ordered 8-episode (so far) first season on FX sometime next year. Until then we can keep an eye out for news on both Legion and 20th Century Fox’s other upcoming X-projects – including Gambit and New Mutants!

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