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The Gifted: Matt Nix Explains the Show’s Approach to Mutant Mayhem

by  in CBR Exclusives, TV News Comment
The Gifted: Matt Nix Explains the Show’s Approach to Mutant Mayhem

Polaris/Lorna Dane carries plenty of baggage. In the comic books, she’s been Magneto’s daughter, Havok’s girlfriend, and Malice’s psychic punching bag. What is your take on the character?

Our version of Lorna rolls back the clock to when she didn’t know everything. Definitely, the mental illness is an issue. She’s unstable. The thing that is going to play out very gradually over the course of the series is an exploration of her past. As you know from the comics, it’s a little murky. It’s not like she’s living at home with Magneto and eating cereal. I will say, from a comic perspective, her relationship with Havok is something we haven’t nailed down when that would be or how that would happen. He’s in the movies. He’s not part of the show. It either needs to be far in the future or far in the past, because there’s certain things we can’t do. But, to all the comic fans, it’s absolutely something we think about. How do we navigate this? We care about this history and how do we figure out our version of this history? When we think of it, the baggage of mental illness – and there is some awareness she is Magneto’s daughter – I mean, her powers certainly are like Magneto’s. That’s something we will be exploring as time goes on, but more towards the end of the season, when some of these ideas and suspicions come to the fore. She has to confront, “Okay, if that’s the case, what does it mean?” The idea is there are challenges and opportunities with that. In some ways, it might divide her from her friends. In other ways, does she accept the mantle of her birthright? Is it her job to be Magneto in his absence?

the gifted polaris

Eclipse was created for the television series. Where does he fit into the Mutant Underground, and what path is he on?

Eclipse was born in South America. He basically made his way north working with the drug cartels. That was his only opportunity as a kid. His parents kicked him out and the only way he could survive was initially, he was a street rat and he ended up working for the drug cartel. The idea is he came to the attention of the Mutant Underground and they ended up bringing him in as someone who had connections and know how. They are smuggling mutants into Mexico. A lot of times, Eclipse has experience smuggling drugs out of Mexico. The Mutant Underground recognized a hunger in him to do something other than move drugs.

What was important to us with him, and when I was thinking about creating the character, was this idea of exploring somebody who was forced to be an outlaw and that relationship to society, where he was rejected by his human parents. He was struggling to survive. He did things that he’s not proud of in order to survive. At the same time, he cannot really deny that he enjoyed it. The reason that he’s Eclipse is he’s sunshine covered by darkness. There’s a battle within him. He has these dark impulses. That’s what makes him useful to the Mutant Underground. He’s a guy who knows how to kick ass if necessary. He’s a guy who understands how to get things done on the dark side, but he’s trying to help the Mutant Underground. Over the course of the season, he has to reconnect with his past. Everybody struggles with, “Is that a legitimate thing to do?” He hates it. He doesn’t want to do it, but there are circumstances. He could lose friends. Under those circumstances, he is willing to re-engage with a past he left behind.

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