Since the dawn of FX’s Legion, fans already knew they’d be seeing a different side of the X-Men. Producer and showrunner Noah Hawley stated from the get-go the first Fox-Marvel TV co-venture would deal more with the psychological than the superpowered side of David Charles Haller. For the most part, though, Hawley has dispelled the notion that the TV show would tie directly into the film world.
During FX and Marvel’s Legion panel at New York Comic-Con, the showrunner hinted that we’ll be seeing more of Charles Xavier (via CBR). Consisting of Legion cast members Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Aubrey Plaza, Jeremie Harris, Amber Midthunder, Katie Aselton, as well as Marvel TV Head Jeph Loeb, executive producer Lauren Shuler Donner, and Hawley, the panelists discussed what fans can expect from the show. Of particular interest to fans is Hawley’s admission of connectivity:
“I think there’s a certain degree to where that’s to be determined. We’re in the subjective reality of David. We also begin to realize, we’re seeing this world through multiple layers of the confusion and signals that Dan’s character is getting. I think it would be a spoiler in a true sense to say. I really like the idea of making things that are unexpected and yet feel inevitable. I will say we are true to the origins of this character, and leave it at that.”
While the show is mostly interested in developing Haller and his subjective substrate, in addition its own cast, it’s entirely feasible that other links to the broader Marvel X-Men world could emerge. When asked for further clarification about patronage, Hawley did admit that Charles Xavier is still an integral part of who Haller is and where he came from – indicating that Professor X may even appear at some point:
“I don’t think you can tell that story without that element to it, so I will say you probably will [see that referenced in some way].”
Stevens, who plays the titular character, also noted that “there’s a wheelchair in the first scene.” Marvel TV boss Loeb also fielded a question dealing specifically with the overall continuity of the Marvel television and cinematic universes:
“X-Men characters live in the Fox world, and we live in a different world. The fact that I’m sitting here is an indication of bridges that are being made, and people like Lauren who are facilitating that and making that happen.”
His response certainly gives fans a glimmer of hope that, one day, a conjoined Marvel Studios and 20th Century Fox universe could exist. It’s also exciting to hear that a major character like Charles Xavier could make an appearance on the show. His presence, even if just in wheelchair or namedrop format, could mean that the X-universe is slowly expanding and other players could theoretically swing by Legion. Despite Hawley’s general (and understandable) hesitance to acknowledge a deeper shared universe, even he admits that there could be surprises in store for viewers.
However, producer Donner noted that the likelihood of a shared feature and TV continuity is low at present. Since she represents the X-Men film universe, she is one of the few execs who can truly comment on the dynamics of the FOX TV and movie world. Still, her statements could mean that things aren’t yet ironed out between the two companies. Or, they could also mean that FX may choose to cast a different Professor X (aside from James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart) for Legion – much like the DC’s television and film worlds (e.g. The Flash‘s Grant Gustin vs. Ezra Miller).
Legion is expected to debut in early 2017 on FX.