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We’ve been waiting a long time for Fox to announce where they were going with their X-Men TV series , and the network’s recent announcement of development on Hellfire came paired with news that FX was going forward with an adaptation of Legion. Double mutant news! But how much X-men crossover will actually happen with Legion? At this point, probably not a lot. But it’s early!
The show is being put together by Fargo creator Noah Hawley, and it’s still early enough in the process that all the details are falling into place. Hawley, the pilot’s showrunner, told TVInsider the following.
It's conceived more as a standalone. I don't want to say too much more about it on that level, but certainly it's not constructed as a back-door anything. It's more just that there's a story that I want to explore that has to fit into that larger universe, which is exciting.
So it’s entirely possible that there could be some recognizable X-Men: Apocalypse tie-ins by the time it would get to air if it got picked up to series, but for now, Hawley is just interested in telling the very specific story of David Haller, a.k.a. Legion. While bringing in extra characters is on the backburner, the showrunner is interested in telling a story where the quasi-schizophrenic Haller is having trouble dealing with what is reality and what isn’t, and he wants the show to put audiences through the same thing. That sounds like the best possible foundation to build up from, and it might not matter if they don’t immediately talk about him being Professor Xavier’s son.
When asked about how both the Legion and Hellfire press releases failed to mention X-Men outside of producer credits, here’s what Hawley said.
It's interesting; I do think that the show needs to stand on its own two feet. The people who care that it's an X-Men title are going to know it's an X-Men title. You're looking for the largest possible and most diverse audience, so that's not the most important thing. The most important thing is the show itself.
Gotta respect that, too. Something like Bates Motel works even if you’ve never watched Psycho, so it’s good to cast a wide net while keeping things as familiar as possible. Fox has Lucifer coming, which isn’t much like the comic at all. So. Who knows? Fargo gives me all the faith in the world that Hawley can turn this into captivating TV.
Hawley says that the Legion pilot is being shot in either January or early February, and the hope is for there to be something there that’s great enough to make FX ask for an entire season. There’s still no official order for Season 3 of Fargo, so he’ll be able to stay busy in the psychologically fraught comic book world in the meantime. And if this new project is anywhere near as dense and pleasurably uncomfortable, then the network will have another hit on its hands.