The Disney/20th Century Fox merger is a merge for the ages and with it, Disney is on its way to full entertainment world domination. If you’ve been living under a rock recently, Disney now owns Lucasfilm, all of Fox, basically, including FX and NatGeo, Marvel (except Spider-Man which is still on loan from Sony), and Pixar and a slew of other companies.
With the new merge, many of Fox’s original movies and programming are ending or are being canceled by Disney so Disney can make a profit. (Looking at Mouse Guard which was shelved weeks before filming.) Legion belongs to both FX and Marvel Studios and was absorbed by Disney in the merger. In exactly one month, the trippy X-Men spin-off will air its final season and fans are eager to see just where Noah Hawley is taking David Haller (Dan Stevens).
At the end of last season, David went full-on “villain” and escaped from the Summerland crew after his ex-girlfriend Syd (Rachel Keller) accused him of rape. In an act of self-preservation, David demonstrated just how powerful he really is as he took Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) and struck out on his own. The only problem is, the true monster and manipulator Amahl Farouk (Navid Negahban) is still at large and is contorting truths and poisoning the Summerland crew.
In the new trailer for the third season, David has come into his powers and looks to be leading a cult, a sex cult at that, while the Summerland crew seeks to kill David because David supposedly destroys the world. He is Legion for he is many but Hawley and Stevens have always been careful to present David as a mentally ill man in a mentally ill world who has never been properly taught how to function in society. Not only that, David is a grey character, fully fledged out with flaws and redeeming qualities which many fans were quick to gloss over after the season 2 finale.
Yes, Legion is the villain in the X-Men comics but the truth is, we don’t know if he’s the villain of his own TV show. Time will tell.
What we do know is Legion is ending with its third season, and Marvel is looking to entirely reboot the X-Men contingent. While we don’t know if Phase 4 will feature the X-Men in any capacity, I’d like to make an argument for Dan Steven’s inclusion in the MCU proper as David Haller and Legion.
Marvel Phase 4, and all the other phases, is lacking a villain. It’ll be hard to top Thanos but if anyone can do it it’s Marvel. While Fox’s X-Men films are introducing Dark Phoenix in Dark Phoenix in July, the actors in the film are no longer contracted to Fox and, as I’ve said, Marvel and Disney are looking to reboot and integrate the X-Men characters into already established lore.
Besides, everyone expects Dark Phoenix to be a villain. She is, but it’s too easy for a film series that has begun to dig into more obscure lore and probably still will as the phases progress. Stevens is right there and poised to be a megastar plus, if we’re being technical, Legion is now a part of the MCU, and audiences who watch the show have now been treated to his origin story, but if David were to be rebooted, as all the other X-Men characters might be, Stevens should remain as David and should be allowed to portray an evil Legion.
Honestly, no one can play David Haller as Stevens does. There is something about Stevens that manages to capture the manic intensity that David has bubbling inside of him. He can be sweet, soft, and in control one moment then the next he can be scary, intimidating, and out of control. Stevens understands David and his arc better than anyone, and while his story would be rebooted, I would love to see Stevens delve into a truly maniacal David and fully transform into Legion.
I also think that it’s high time that Stevens gets the recognition he deserves. He’s been killing it in indie films since he left Downton Abbey and, to be fair, he’s been the most successful of the cast. Despite that, though, you might mention Dan Stevens in a conversation, and the person you’re talking to might not know who he is. Which is a shame. Stevens is an incredibly nuanced character actor and he kills every character he portrays, especially David, and David is such a grey character, I have no doubt that, if given the right script for David/Legion, Stevens would electrify the screen and present the new Avengers and X-Men with a fantastical and mind-bending challenge that would translate to the screen rather well.
Basically, even though Legion is ending this season on FX and even though the X-Men are possibly being rebooted to integrate into the MCU proper, Dan Stevens should remain to play Legion if Disney decides to bring that character in. No one else could truly do the character justice.