Considering they own one of Marvel's most lucrative properties, it makes sense that Fox is using the X-Men universe to branch out into TV shows. Sometime later this year (apparently) we will get two new series: Hellfire, a villain-based show, and Legion, a psychological thriller. This is very exciting news, as the X-Men have not appeared on TV since the popular X-Men Series, an animated show that aired from 1992-1997.
With a wealth of diverse characters and decades of plot lines to exploit, the X-Men universe is perfect to tap into for TV shows. So here's all you need to know about Legion....
Legion Gets A Plot Synopsis & New Casting
Earlier this month it was announced that Legion's main character, David Haller, would be portrayed by Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens.
David Haller is the son of Charles Xavier, a young telepathic mutant who is plagued with voices in his head. This leads him to be (potentially) misdiagnosed as schizophrenic. The show will deal with this, exploring how David comes to be incarcerated at a psychiatric institution, and how he discovers his mutant abilities. Or so the synopsis says...
"Legion introduces the story of David Haller (Dan Stevens), based on the Marvel comics character Legion, the son of X-Men founder Charles Xavier. Since he was a teenager, David has struggled with mental illness. A haunted man, David is getting tired of finding his way back to sanity and is about to give up when he meets the girl of his dreams, a fellow patient, and is confronted with the possibility that the voices he hears and the visions he sees might be real."
Aubrey Plaza has also been cast as David's best friend Lenny. Despite her drug addiction, Lenny is stubbornly upbeat and optimistic, which Marvel says "gives Lenny the likable energy of the impossible optimist despite her rough demeanor." This sounds like just the kind of off-beat, deadpan character that Plaza plays perfectly.
And Marvel has just announced another addition to the cast: relative newcomer Amber Midthunder, who might just be the elusive love interest David Haller has been waiting for...
"Kerry is a woman of action with a childlike sense of wonder. A true savant, Kerry has lived a sheltered, but never dull life." - via Deadline
None of the characters confirmed for the show are from the pages of Marvel Comics, which has already lead to speculation that Kerry and Lenny could be figments of David's imagination.
There does seem to be a bit of a plot hole already, namely: if David is the son of Professor X, why didn't he grow up in the mutant school? Well, if you're expecting to see Patrick Stewart guest star, prepare to be disappointed, because...
The TV Shows Aren't Connected To The Fox Movies
FX boss John Landgraf has already stopped speculation about crossovers between Bryan Singer's X-Men films and the TV shows — the two universes are definitely not connected.
"It’s not in the continuity of those films in the sense the current X-Men films take place in a universe in which everybody on planet Earth is aware of the existence of mutants. The series Legion takes place in a parallel universe, if you will, in which the US government is in the early days of being aware that something called mutants exist but the public is not. I wouldn’t foresee characters moving back and forth because they really are parallel universes."
This actually makes a lot of sense for this premise to succeed. After all, the X-Men movies have been going on for over 15 years, and their plot continuities are notoriously complex (and, if we're honest, riddled with several holes). By dividing the two fictional universes, the new TV shows can explore the prospect of mutants from a fresh perspective.
Legion's pilot is already filmed, and it's expected to air later in 2016. Stay tuned for more plot information coming soon!