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The world of Marvel's X-Men has always been large and ripe enough for serialized storytelling on the small screen, but it's been all animated series so far. Thankfully, FX will psychologically thrill us with the upcoming series Legion, while Fox is gearing up for its own mutant-fronted show, and though rumors of them being tied to the X-Men film franchise were previously shot down, it sounds like a change in tune is happening. Here's how filmmaker Bryan Singer puts it.
[Legion is] part of the X-Men universe, but when you watched it, you wouldn't have to label it, it could exist completely on its own. . . . [Both shows] will relate to future X-Men movies.
That's pretty huge, guys. Legion has at its center David Haller, the son of Professor Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Haller, a once-schizophrenic man who discovers he's one of the most powerful mutants to ever exist. To hope that this show would work in elements from the six-film-strong big screen side is mildly reductive thinking in terms of how much story can still be told within the X-Men world and timeline, regardless of who is or isn't still playing the biggest characters. Instead of looking back, the best idea here is to plan on intertwining things in the future, if such connections are indeed meant to happen.
Assuming David, played by Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens, is indeed the son of Patrick Stewart/James McAvoy's telepathic leader, perhaps he will be a part of the next generation of mutants that will drive these stories forward in the years to come, after the story was taken backwards in the movies. The need wouldn't exist to shoehorn any cameos from costumed badasses into Legion, which doesn't seem like it'll be going for that aesthetic anyway, and David wouldn't necessarily need to enter the movies at all, thus keeping it a standalone project.
Bryan Singer also told audiences at the Edinburgh Television Festival (via THR) that Legion has an ambitious and unique storyline that doesn't skimp on the fun. Which sounds totally like creator Noah Hawley, who immediately made a name for himself in imbuing FX's Fargo with a fantastic mixture of densely crafted situations, dark humor and offbeat earnestness. If this is the guy that can potentially have an influence on where X-Men movies go in the future, that would be pretty incredible, even if it factored into the offshoot films like New Mutants and others.
Check out the trailer for Legion below, and try to tell me this tone wouldn't be awesome for a feature.
Really, if there's some big incident in the Legion season finale that gets an offhanded reference in the long-delayed Gambit post-credits sequence, that'd still be something. (And more than Fox's shelved Hellfire series is gonna get.) Based on the character created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Bill Sienkiewicz, Legion has yet to get an exact premiere date, but with production getting underway this summer, it will be hitting FX at some point in early 2017. To see what's coming out in the months before then, check out our fall premiere schedule.