When “Legion” debuts on FX next year, audiences will be introduced to David Haller, a man struggling with mental illness who discovers he is a mutant. “Fargo” executive producer developed the series based on the “Legion” comics from Marvel. The series will air on FX and currently stars Dan Stevens, Aubrey Plaza, and Rachel Keller.
In a recent interview with IGN, Hawley shared that while “Legion” is an “X-Men” story, he will not be retelling the same stories from the comics. “What was important to me was to treat the material with the utmost respect, and yet at a certain point as a writer, you have to tell your own story. So my approach to the ‘Legion’ material is similar, which is it’s about a respect for the world, but it’s not about telling stories in that world that the reader is familiar with. It’s about taking that character and really exploring, almost on an existential level, what it’s like. I would be remiss, I feel like, if I didn’t deconstruct this, if I didn’t really try to do something for the genre that feels personal and interesting to me.”
“Legion” will fall outside both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Fox’s “X-Men” universe, but it will be a collaboration between both studios. Hawley has worked closely with Marvel Television president Jeph Loeb and “X-Men” film franchise executive producer and writer Simon Kinberg. When asked if Hawley sensed any tension between the studios on the project Hawley said, “No, you know, it’s all new to me, and everyone has gotten along so well that I’m not really familiar with what the underlying issues were. But I think that what’s been very rewarding for me is that because everyone has come together because they are passionate about the material and so if there is a prior conflict, I don’t know about them.”
Haller’s character was introduced in “New Mutants” #25 as the son of Professor Xavier and Gabrielle Haller. While “Legion’s” Haller is not necessarily the son of Professor X, he will be exhibiting similar powers like telepathy, telekinesis, and pyrokinesis. These powers will open up a whole new world to Haller, says Hawley who, “Would be remiss if [he] didn’t… really explore a character who for his whole life has believed that he’s schizophrenic, and is now starting to think that he may have these powers. That’s the experience the audience should have. But again, there’s the mental illness factor of it. That sense that you can never be completely sure. But because the love story is so tied into this discovery – that he’s not sick, he’s got powers – we the audience really find ourselves hoping that that’s true.”
“Legion” will premiere on FX in 2017.