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The new X-Men TV project from Matt Nix, which has Bryan Singer attached as director, has cast the first mutant in its ensemble. The unnamed drama, which was announced a couple months ago, is currently a pilot at Fox and takes place within the same universe as the films. The TV angle will be a departure from typical Marvel media like the X-Men films, as it will focus on humans who are trying to protect their mutant children, and we can expect to see Satisfaction's Blair Redford as a star of the new show.
Blair Redford will be playing the Native American mutant Sam, and the description for the character describes Sam as the "strong headed Native American leader for the underground network" of X-Folks. Going through the list of Native Americans in the X-Men comics, there are around three males who could potentially fit the role, so if the project follows the source material, then Sam may be either Forge, Warpath, or Thunderbird.
Considering the height of Blair Redford, it's doubtful that the character is secretly Warpath, who is over 7 feet tall. This brings us to Warpath's brother Thunderbird, who possesses similar super-strength abilities, as well as super speed. Thunderbird's history is a bit more ambiguous and could have some flexibility compared to other mutants, as the character didn't last too long. Writers of the comics decided to kill him off after realizing his character was very similar in personality to Wolverine.
The more likely option is the mutant Forge, an X-Men teammate that possesses great intelligence and is mechanically gifted. That sounds like something that would be very useful for someone running an underground network for escaping mutants, especially since Forge creates a device that masks mutant abilities in the X-Men comics. Abilities like that also keep the series grounded somewhat, as opposed to guys hulking about onscreen, which may be the angle Matt Nix and his creative team are aiming for. After all, as EW points out, the project is planning a title that does not draw focus to the X-Men franchise.
And so, Marvel has cast an actor of Native American descent to play a Native American mutant, but none of these guys are named "Sam." In fact, the only Marvel mutant with that same name is Cannonball, who worked in coal mines in Kentucky. That could be a good way to usher mutants around the country! Maybe we could be seeing an old mutant reinvented. Singer also mentions that he plans on inventing new mutants, so Sam could be someone entirely new.
Blair Redford has appeared in other television series in his career, with his most recent stint coming from the USA series Satisfaction. One may also remember Redford from Switched At Birth, the 90210 reboot, or where he got his start on The Young And The Restless. Redford has also had some work in film with a couple lesser known projects such as SiREN and A Girl Like Grace. Redford is currently not working on any other projects other than the upcoming X-Men pilot, but then this is probably big enough.
It seems this casting, while technically offering up more information, has somehow made the mystery of this mutant drama even more mysterious! Even my best guesses towards Blair Redford's identity could prove false and Sam could be a new character entirely. I'm hoping we learn more information about the project soon, but I'm content with enjoying Legion while I wait. The FX series premiered this week, which you would know if you are following our midseason premiere guide!