FX's X-Men-Based "Legion" Will Be a 'Whimsical' 'Existential Exploration,' Says Hawley

The X-Men are headed to television -- or, at least, Charles Xavier's son David will be. Producer Noah Hawley, who will helm the X-Men-based "Legion," discussed his approach to the show, what separates it from previous superhero media and more during an interview with Vanity Fair.

"I always feel like the structure of a story should reflect the content of the story. If the story, as in this case, is about a guy who is either schizophrenic or he has these abilities, i.e., he doesn't know what's real and what's not real, then the audience should have the same experience," he explained, adding that he hopes to make "Legion" a "more existential exploration" with "surreal or dreamlike quality where it's not just about running and kicking."

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"There's, whatever, 9,000 superhero stories right now. They've got all the running and kicking covered. I think my goal with this is to do something whimsical and imaginative and unexpected. Not just because I want to do something different, but because it feels like the right way to tell this story," he added.

"Film and TV have traded places where, you know, where you are now in a case-of-the-week movie world," he said. "One week, the Avengers fight this guy; the next week, they fight that guy. You can't take the story too far in any one direction."

However, according to Hawley, the show has not yet been ordered to series. "To be determined, I suppose. We shot a pilot and I'm cutting it together now and we're going to talk about it," he revealed.

The pilot comes from Hawley and will star "Downton Abbey's" Dan Stevens as David Haller, the son of Charles Xavier and a man with mental illness and haunted by voices in his head. "Legion" will also star Aubrey Plaza, Jean Smart, Jeremie Harris, Amber Midthunder, Rachel Keller and Katie Aselton.

"Legion" is in development at cable network FX, with Hawley on board as a producer. According to the official description, "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." Production on the "Legion" pilot began in March.

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