For the past year or so, Fox has been talking about getting an X-Men series going, and it looks like the parent studio also thought it would be a good idea to expand the comic influence over more of its networks. FX has put in an order for a pilot based on the Marvel character Legion, real name David Heller and better known as the son of Professor X.
It probably comes as a surprise to no one that the project will be called Legion. It’ll center on Haller, who has been dealing with a strange mental illness ever since his teenage years. Because no one can quite figure it out, he was diagnosed as a schizophrenic and was shopped around from one psych hospital to the next. But following a bizarre event involving a fellow patient, Haller realizes that he might not be crazy at all, and that the voices and visions he’s been dealing with might be all too real. Dun-dun-DUN!
Intriguingly, the pilot is being written and executive produced by Noah Hawley, the Bones writer who turned FX’s Fargo from an oddball adaptation into television gold. He’s got an interesting way of telling stories, so I’m definitely on board with him taking over this project. And of course, he’ll be backed by the Marvel/X-Men all-star team of Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, Jeph Loeb and others.
The press release gives exactly zero mention of Professor X, which makes me wonder if the show will indeed keep that part of the story intact. Or maybe those details are still being worked out. A Fox show wouldn’t be able to use Marvel characters that are owned entirely by Marvel Studios, but the studio has had the X-Men franchise for a while now, so it’s assumedly able to use them.
David Haller first appeared in the comics in 1985, and his basic story involves his younger years spent manifesting mutant powers that allow him to become the identities of his seemingly endless multiple personalities, which also gives him access to each personality’s unique superpowers. Because he’s Professor X’s son, his powers are usually of the mental variety, as he’s capable of telekinesis and pyrokinesis, but he’s also able to warp time and shoot electricity. He’s kind of like the Swiss army knife of superheroes, although he is a far more tortured person than someone like Peter Parker.
FX is also in the running to turn Y: The Last Man into a TV show, so they’re obviously invested in telling some of the comic world’s more ambitious stories. Here’s hoping Hawley’s approach to the material wows FX execs enough to get this thing ordered to series so that we may one day Hypnobloke make his TV debut.