Fox currently has two live-action X-Men-based series in development for its channels, as announced Wednesday in a joint press release from Fox and FX.
“Legion,” featuring Charles Xavier’s son David Haller from Marvel Comics lore, is in development at cable network FX, with “Fargo” showrunner Noah Hawley on board as a producer. Here’s the official description of the premise: “Since he was a teenager, David has struggled with mental illness. Diagnosed as schizophrenic, David has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years. But after a strange encounter with a fellow patient, he’s confronted with the possibility that the voices he hears and the visions he sees might be real.”
Created by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz, Legion first appeared in 1985’s “New Mutants” #25. The character famously played a key role as the catalyst of the “Age of Apocalypse” storyline, and starred in the recent “X-Men: Legacy” series, written by Simon Spurrier and illustrated by multiple artists including Tan Eng Huat.
“Hellfire,” based on longtime X-antagonists The Hellfire Club, is in the works at the Fox broadcast network, developed for TV by Evan Katz & Manny Coto (“24”) and Patrick McKay & John D. Payne (who worked on an earlier version of the “Star Trek Beyond” screenplay). Set in the ’60s, the show is said to “follow a young special agent who learns that a power-hungry woman with extraordinary abilities is working with a clandestine society of millionaires — known as ‘The Hellfire Club’ — to take over the world.”
The Hellfire Club were introduced by Claremont and John Byrne in 1980’s “Uncanny X-Men” #129, headlined by famous charactes including Emma Frost/The White Queen, Sebastian Shaw and Donald Pierce. Both Shaw and Frost were previously depicted in live-action in 2011’s “X-Men: First Class,” as played by Kevin Bacon and January Jones, respectively.
“We are thrilled to partner with Marvel to bring this world to television and build upon the vibrant mythology that has captivated fans for years,” Fox Broadcasting Co. President David Madden is quoted as saying in the THR article. “These powerful and dynamic characters are complicated and larger-than-life, the pace and visual imagination are unrelenting, and the story takes place during one of the most explosive eras in recent history. We are so looking forward to working with this incredibly talented team.”
Bryan Singer, the director of multiple X-Men films, is named as a producer on both series. Notably, Jeph Loeb, Head of Marvel Television, is also listed as a producer on both shows, as Fox’s live-action film projects are separate from in-house Marvel Studios films. What level of involvement Loeb will have on either show remains to be seen.
These TV projects are an extension of 20th Century Fox‘s X-Men film franchise, which started in 2000 with the original “X-Men” movie and continues through next year’s “X-Men: Apocalypse” and beyond. It’s been reported for months that Fox had been working on live-action TV series set in the X-Men world, but these are the first official details that have been released.
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