Last week’s episode of “Legion” rooted the frequently surreal FX drama within the larger X-Men universe by confirming Charles Xavier as the father of protagonist David Haller, and the Marvel Comics villain the Shadow King as the psychic parasite that’s fed off, and tormented, him since childhood. Although those revelations were welcomed by many comic book fans, executive producer Noah Hawley cautions they shouldn’t be interpreted as a sign of an abrupt shift in the approach to the series, which has otherwise eschewed X-Men continuity.
“I think as we do with ‘Fargo,’ I think fans who are really familiar with the at world, they really appreciate certain connections and a sense of being rewarded for knowing the stories so well,” he said in a conference call this afternoon with media outlets, including CBR, ahead of “Legion’s” season finale. “But at the same time, my goal was always to sort of use this character as a way to have a conversation and tell a story that was my story, that was interesting to me, and to try to get at the heart of what this character is and [what] this journey is for him, not literally sort of reenacting issues of the comic book, or storylines from the comic book.
“So, I don’t think you’ll see the show suddenly look to the comics for storylines,” Hawley added, “but you may see ideas or characters or images that are familiar to you.”
Still, David, the powerful mutant played by Dan Stevens (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Downton Abbey”), clearly has questions about his biological father, whom he deduced sought to protect him from the Shadow King. It’s a logical path to purse in “Legion’s” 10-episode second season, but one Hawley concedes is accompanied by behind-the-scenes complications.
“I think that’s something we’re definitely going to approach,” he told reporters. “It’s a creative conversation, but it’s also a sort of corporate conversation, you know, on some level, in terms of the movie studio and their relationship to the X-Men and the characters they want in the movies and want to protect potentially. And were we to want to have Professor X on the show, or even Patrick Stewart on the show, James McAvoy or one of those actors, is a conversation both with the actor and with the studio. So, I don’t know, I haven’t really dived into that quandary yet, but certainly I need to start thinking about it.”
The Season One finale of “Legion” airs Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.