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The X-Men have maintained a consistent presence in the world of movies since 2000, and now they’re finally making the jump to television in the near future, starting with FX’s Legion. Although David Haller will remain its primary protagonist, we’ve heard before how Legion probably won’t have any direct ties to the X-Men movies. Now showrunner Noah Hawley has confirmed that the series won’t have any connections to the big screen world whatsoever. He explained:
No, it's not. It's a little more of a fable in my mind. If you were to say, ‘Where is it, and when is it?,’ it's not exactly clear, I think. And a lot of it is because he's not exactly clear. It's the world as perceived subjectively on some level. The recent X-Men movies, starting with First Class, are rooted in a time period and a world and playing with history in interesting ways. This isn't doing that… It’s a standalone kind of thing.
Hawley laid out how he plans to adapt Legion in an interview with Hitfix, reaffirming how the show is intended to be “standalone.” If you’re a hardcore comic book fan, you’re welcome to think of Legion as taking place in a separate universe, but the main takeaway from this is that there won’t be any relationship between what happens on the TV show and the movies, unlike what the Marvel Cinematic Universe does with its projects. That means there won’t be newspaper headlines or TV reports talking about mutants. It’s doubtful that David Haller won’t be the only powered/enhanced person in Legion, but their existence isn’t going to be known to the general public. As far as Professor Charles Xavier being his father, Hawley said that despite this being a different continuity, he hasn't ruled out that parentage completely. So there’s a slight chance we may see an alternate version of Professor X at some point.
In the Legion TV series, David Haller will start off believing he’s a schizophrenic, but he’ll soon realize that the voices and visions in his head might be real. As the show progresses, presumably David will develop the full mental powers he has in the comics. Either way, it sounds like Legion is taking elements from the X-Men lore and manipulating them to craft their own mythology separate from the movies. Fortunately, the big screen entries have their bases covered across many time periods. The latest main entry, X-Men: Apocalypse, is set in 1983, while spinoffs Deadpool and next year’s Wolverine 3 are set in the present and future, respectively. They’re jumping all over the place, so moviegoers can track how progress is going in the main mutant world in many ways.
Legion will debut its eight-episode first season sometime early next year on FX.