Although Fox's The Gifted shares with the X-Men films certain characters, elements and themes -- from Blink to Sentinel to anti-mutant sentiments -- the upcoming television drama exists in a separate universe. Or, in the words of showrunner Matt Nix, a different stream.
“One of the great favors that Days of Future Past did for all of us is establish that there are many streams,” he said this afternoon at the Gifted panel at Comic-Con International. "One answer is that we exist in one of those streams. This is its own universe, we don’t exist in the same timeline as any specific movie or comics. But there are shared characters. We’re doing our own thing, and, as I say, there are many streams.”
That's more definitive than comments made early this year by X-Men franchise producer Lauren Shuler Donner, who contrasted FX's Legion with what was later titled The Gifted.
“Matt’s [X-Men-based show] is much more a part of just the world in terms of there are mutants, mutants are hated and there are Sentinels — though very different from what we’ve seen before,” she said in January. “You feel like you’re here in the X-Men world. With Legion, we’re our own universe."
Star Stephen Moyer (True Blood) suggested just last month that although The Gifted doesn't immediately sync with the timeline of the film franchise, it eventually could. "[W]e definitely slot into a timeline, but as of yet, we’re not allied," he said. "I think they have given themselves a lot of leeway in order to be able to go places, but we’ve enough story within our universe to propel us forward without having to do that.”
As we've seen from the first trailer and subsequent marketing, The Gifted is certainly grounded in the larger world of the X-Men, with plenty of elements that will be familiar to fans of the comics and the films. The series follows a family whose life is turned upside down when they learned their teenage children possess extraordinary abilities. Forced to go on the run from a hostile government, they turn to an underground network of mutants for help and must fight to survive.
Airing Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Fox, The Gifted stars Stephen Moyer as Reed Strucker, Amy Acker as Caitlin Strucker, Sean Teale as Marcos Diaz/Eclipse, Coby Bell as Jace Turner, Emma Dumont cast as Lorna Dane/Polaris, Jamie Chung as Blink/Clarice Fong and Blair Redford as John Proudstar/Thunderbird, Natalie Alyn Lind as Lauren Strucker and Percy Hynes White as Andy Strucker.