The oldest live-action superhero universe currently in existence is the ongoing mutant universe, dating all the way back to Bryan Singer's original X-Men film from 2000. After all these years, we honestly started to wonder whether or not it had any tricks left up its sleeves, but with the upcoming release of Legion on FX, it seems that the mutants are about to blow us away with a surprisingly complex and diverse variety of mental powers. Legion's TV creator and producer Noah Hawley explained:
David has psychic abilities --- telepathy and telekinesis among other things. He's an omega mutant, he's very powerful. Syd who's played by Rachel Keller doesn't like to be touched. If she touches your skin she trades places with you, her mind goes into your body and the other way around. We have an actor, Jeremy Harris, who plays a character named Ptonomy. He's a memory artist. He remembers everything, and has the ability to take people back into their own memories, and helps David get into his mind. And there are other characters with other powers, but those are the main ones.
The basic idea behind these characters' powers has been explained before, but this is undoubtedly the clearest explanation we have received so far. Right off the bat, Noah Hawley's words to EW present us with a version of the mutant universe that we definitely have not seen before, at least not in this expanded capacity. While previous adventures set within the world of the X-Men have dealt with the concept of physical abilities (healing factors, laser vision, lightning, etc.) Legion will place its focus on more cerebral powers of the mutant world. In short, it will be an examination of mind over might, which makes sense for a show that's about the son of the similarly cerebral Charles Xavier.
In general, the project seems far less concerned with standard action that one would typically find in a traditional superhero series (Daredevil, Arrow, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., etc.) and more concerned with creating character-driven narratives that explore the deeper ramifications of these powers. We live in an era where superhero fatigue is a constant concern for fans of the comic book genre, so Legion already feels like a compelling and refreshing change of pace, and Hawley also explained that the season isn't necessarily building to a giant fight like most projects in the comic book genre.
However, that doesn't mean that Legion won't share more than a few similarities with the X-Men universe. The series revolves around the aforementioned Omega mutant David who one day discovers that his perceived schizophrenia is a mutant ability to reach into the minds of others. As the reality of his situation becomes clear, David soon meets others like him and realizes that there's something much more complicated at play than a mental illness. At its core, that's still a very X-Men premise, and Noah Hawley says that there could very well be caped characters in this universe. Or they might not be.
CinemaBlend will bring you any and all relevant updates about this new series as more information is made available to us. Legion will debut on Wednesday, February 8 at 10 p.m. EST on FX. If you're looking for more details regarding all of the most highly anticipated spring television debuts, make sure to check out our comprehensive midseason premiere guide and fill out your TV viewing schedules accordingly.
For an even closer look at the upcoming mutant series, check out Legion's San Diego Comic-Con trailer on the next page and prepare to have your mind melted!