More than five decades after their debut, Marvel’s X-Men still retain their relevance. In fact, says Marvel Head of Television Jeph Loeb, the mutants and what they symbolize may be even more pertinent today than they were in 1963.
“I think everyone here that’s an X-Men fan knows that at the core of every X-Men story, it’s about being different,” he said this afternoon at FX’s “Legion” panel at New York Comic Con. “We live in a world now where diversity and uniqueness is something that’s on our mind 24 hours a day. The X-Men have never been more relevant than they are right now.”
Developed by Noah Hawley (“Fargo”), the upcoming drama stars Dan Stevens as David Haller, introduced in 1985 in Marvel’s “New Mutants” #25 as a young man with dissociative identity disorder whose personas each control one of his mutant abilities. In the TV series, he’s confronted with the possibility that the voices he hears and the visions he sees may be real.
“To have a voice like Noah’s, and this extraordinary cast,” Loeb continued, “you’re in for the most wonderful surprise ride that will make you laugh, make you cry, and also, at the same time, make you hope that we’re entering at a time when people will not turn you away because you’re different, but embrace you. That’s really the hope of the show.”
During the Q&A portion of the panel, Loeb was asked whether “Legion” will contain any connection to other Marvel projects. “X-Men characters live in the Fox world, and we live in a different world,” he said. “The fact that I’m sitting here is an indication of bridges that are being made, and people like Lauren [Shuler Donner, producer of Fox’s X-Men franchise] who are facilitating that and making that happen.”
“Marvel characters, at their core, are people who are damaged, and trying to figure out where they are in life,” Loeb added. “That’s where it starts. We’re much more interested in the person that’s inside the mask as opposed to the mask and the cape and all the other things that go along with it. If you start at a place that’s as strong as David Haller’s character, then that’s Marvel. I’d say in that way, it is all connected. We just want something that has truth to it. If what you just watched feels like Marvel, then it is all connected, and that’s what matters.”
Debuting in early 2017 on FX, “Legion” also stars Rachel Keller, Jean Smart, Aubrey Plaza, Amber Midthunder, Katie Aselton and Bill Irwin.
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