Fox has been widening its X-Men franchise through television. When the surprising announcement of the universe's expansion first came out, two series were in development: Legion and Hellfire Club.
The latter (which was expected to deal with the evil team of mutants we met in X-Men: First Class), was eventually scrapped in favor of a show with a simpler storyline focusing on a family, written and produced by Matt Nix and directed by Bryan Singer: #Gifted.
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The synopsis we've had so far is this one:
"The action-adventure project focuses on two ordinary parents who discover their children possess mutant powers. Forced to go on the run from a hostile government, the family joins up with an underground network of mutants and must fight to survive."
As you can see, it's a very straight-up plot. Yes, it teases larger connections to the mutant universe but it feels like a very contained storyline. Ultimately, it's a family drama with superpowers.
But a recent piece of information has come out, hinting at a bigger and more ambitious scale for the show. In Production Weekly's latest publication, #BryanSinger's X-Men TV series is listed, and a very intriguing synopsis is provided:
"Set in the late 1960s, Hellfire follows a young special agent who learns that a power-hungry woman with extraordinary abilities is working with a clandestine society of millionaires - known as "The Hellfire Club" - to take over the world. Redford will play Sam, a Native American leader of an underground network of mutants. [Jamie] Chung will play the sarcastic and lively Clarice Fong, a.k.a. Blink, with the power of teleportation. Clarice's naturally strong exuberance has taken a hit after a sudden and traumatic upheaval of her life. As she adjusts to the new people and places that are suddenly "home", Clarice is slowly becoming herself again."
This new description teases a storyline with various elements that we previously didn't know about for the project. And that begs the question.
Is Fox Including The Hellfire Storyline In 'Gifted'?
At first, I thought the description could have belonged to a newly-revived Hellfire project, but then I noticed the mentions of Blink and Sam, who are major players in Gifted, as well as Bryan Singer being listed as director. It makes little sense that those characters would appear in two shows, and there's been no mention of Singer doing two separate #XMen series. So this is his show. That makes me wonder: Could Fox have merged the Hellfire storyline with it in order to deliver a much more intricate plot? It's possible and it would make sense.
As you read in the series' original synopsis, the family enters an underground network of mutants. The presence of the Hellfire Club in such an uncertain environment would feel natural.
Earlier in the month, it was announced that Magneto's daughter, Lorna, had been cast in the series, so there's a precedent for different sides of the mutant community taking part in the storyline. Fox could be adding layers to Bryan Singer's show by introducing various factions and points of view on the subject of mutants and their place in the world (including one from a team of psychotic super villains hell-(heh, pun)bent on world domination.
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Still, keep in mind we shouldn't take Fox merging concepts for one show as a fact. There are a few inconsistencies that could indicate that's not in the cards. First, the synopsis doesn't mention the newly-discovered mutant family at all. Recently, several casting announcements came out for the family, meaning the concept is still very much the center of the series.
Second, the fact it's set in the '60s. Overall, the setting we've been promised so far for the series has sounded like a modern one. So it would feel strange for Fox to have kept the show taking place 50 years in the past a secret.
Third: Sentinels. We know Sentinels will be part of the show, and they feel like a very advanced piece of technology to have existed in that decade. Even in the film universe, the machines weren't created until the '70s.
Therefore, it's unlikely it will be a period piece. However, that doesn't take away the fact that it's entirely possible Hellfire will be integrated into the storyline in some capacity. Like I said above, it offers a great deal of potential and layers to an already promising TV series.
Do you think Bryan Singer's Gifted will include the Hellfire Club? Would you like that to happen? Let me know in the comments!
[Sources: Production Weekly, Variety]