If it’s on FX, based on an IP, and created by Noah Hawley, it’s bound to be interesting.
“Legion” showrunner Noah Hawley spoke to Entertainment Weekly about his upcoming X-Men spin-off series. So far, the bizarre trailers haven’t revealed much in way of plot. One thing’s for sure: don’t expect it to connect to any cinematic universes anytime soon.
“Obviously, this show is a dramatic departure from their [Marvel’s] other shows,” Hawley said. “[Marvel’s] controlling a roll-out of a series of characters on Netflix that are interconnected. So there’s a game-plan there for all of those pieces. This is a satellite that they didn’t generate and wasn’t trying to fit in and was something the network wanted.”
For those who’ve grown weary with the extensive planning of the MCU, this is wonderful news. For everyone else, take heart. Hawley still spoke with Marvel TV Director Jeph Loeb, who offered him key advice on handling this kind of adaptation. “He told me this is very emotional for the fans. It was a surprisingly emotional experience for myself,” Hawley admitted. “You have a large fan base and a lot of them feel like outsiders. A lot of them feel like these stories are for people like them who don’t fit in and find a purpose and find a home. That’s very powerful for them and we have a responsibility as storytellers to give them that sense. I took that to heart and I think there’s an underlying idea of tolerance and identity baked into X-Men in general.”
“Legion” will be unique from other comic-based series in other ways too. It’ll apparently have one intense case of Unreliable Narrator Syndrome. “When I wrote the script I assumed it was set in present day and in our world, and I think the network assumed that too. Then when it came time to make it I thought about it more as a fable on some level and I realized I wanted to make something subjective. Which is to say this whole show is not the world, it’s David’s experience of the world.”
While “Legion” won’t connect to Fox’s “X-Men” films in a similar fashion to how the Netflix shows connect to Marvel Studios’ movies, there’s still possibility for it in the future. “I’m firm believer the show has to stand on its own two feet. For a crossover to be possible we have to earn that right through the quality of our storytelling and hopefully our popularity.”
We still don’t know how much of Legion’s gonzo comic book arc will be transposed to the small screen, but Hawley confirmed that we can expect certain key elements to stay intact.”David’s origin story hasn’t changed, so we haven’t changed that connection to the X-Men universe.” Hawley also confirmed that David is indeed still a psychic, telekenetic omega mutant. As far as other mutants, we can expect to see Syd (“Fargo”s Rachel Keller) who gives Rogue a run for her money by trading mental places with anyone she touches and Ptonomy (Jeremy Harris) who can not only recall all of his memories, but all of yours too.
Also starring Aubrey Plaza, Katie Aselton, Bill Irwin and Amber Midthunder, season one of “Legion” debuts February 8 on FX.