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What's Actually Stopping Patrick Stewart's Professor X From Appearing On FX's Legion

Professor Charles Xavier X-Men Marvel

FX's trippy mutant series Legion has been teasing its fans with the possibility of Professor X for quite a while, and everyone is more than ready to see Patrick Stewart reprise the role and possibly come face to face with his son David Haller. Unfortunately, it appears any chances of that happening are currently in limbo, as the creator of Legion Noah Hawley said Stewart's appearance is somewhat wrapped up in corporate politics:

It's not a rights issue or a legal issue, it's more about corporate synergy. There are a lot of people with opinions and strategies for franchise development. But I think we'll be victorious in the end because our hearts are pure.

Noah Hawley's quote may sound a bit catty in regards to the shade he threw at some nameless executives at Fox, but at least he confirmed there is nothing legal tying up the appearance of Charles Xavier on Legion. Hawley ended by saying he thought the show would win out in the end and get Professor X on the show, which is great news as actor Patrick Stewart very publicly confirmed he'd want to return to play the character for the series. Since then though its been radio silence, and Hawley's statement to THR may confirm that Legion wasn't able to sneak Stewart on set for a quick scene for Season 2.

The news that someone at Fox may be stonewalling Legion from bringing on Professor X is disappointing, as so much of the show's current story is rooted in the character. Beyond the fact that Charles Xavier is the father of David Haller, he's also semi-responsible for why the series' villain, The Shadow King, is causing so many problems. Legion has already confirmed the Shadow King's origin story matched up with that of the comics, and that the villain's consciousness was expelled from his body by Xavier and abandoned on the astral plane. Even bringing on Patrick Stewart to just show that one scene would be fantastic, although no one would complain if Stewart stuck around to play Xavier beyond that.

Noah Hawley is desperate to have Professor X on Legion to the point that he even admitted he'd be fine if it wasn't Patrick Stewart in the role. With the series' unique timeline, it's always possible it could be more fitting to see James McAvoy's Xavier, or perhaps a new face to bridge the gap between young and old Professor X. It would be a bold move considering it could be seen as a subtle snub to Stewart since he already agreed to appear, although one would think he'd understand considering the series' timeline.

Legion airs on FX Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET. For a list of other superhero features, be sure to check out our superhero premiere guide. For a look at what's happening with television in general, head on over to our midseason premiere guide and summer premiere guide.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.