Right now, there seems to be a legitimate amount of anticipation surrounding FX’s Legion – the new take on the comic book genre from Fargo showrunner Noah Hawley – from both diehard fans of the comics themselves, and even those who aren’t particular keen on the genre or superhero adaptations as a whole. A lot of the credit for that can, of course, be attributed to Hawley’s impressive previous work, and also the spot-on cast; which includes Dan Stevens (Beauty and the Beast), Rachel Keller (Fargo), Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation), Katie Aselton (The League), Jean Smart (Fargo), Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords), and more.
One of the biggest questions about the series, from the moment it was announced too, has been how exactly it is or isn’t connected to the live-action X-Men films continuity. That question has always been all the more more intriguing because, in the world of Marvel comics, David Haller (Stevens) isn’t just a powerful schizophrenic, but also happens to be the son of Professor Charles Xavier.
During a recent interview with IGN about the series, though, X-Men film producer and Legion producer, Laura Shuler Donner, seemed to clear up once and for all the series’ non-ties to the X-Men film continuity for fans. Here’s what Donner had to say about the series’ main, thematic questions, and if it’ll ever focus on David’s parentage:
“Probably the driving mystery is, yes, who is David? But not in that sense. It’s more, “Is David schizophrenic? Is he crazy? Or does he have powers?” That is the mystery. “Who is David?” We just don’t want to get into the Xavier world, because that’s not what this show is about.”
When asked if that means, for sure, that the series exists within a different continuity than the main X-Men films then, Donner said:
“We’re making it separate. We’re our own world.”
So what Donner is basically saying here, is that even if the series does confirm that Charles Xavier is the father of David in the show, it wouldn’t be the same Charles Xavier that was played by James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart in the films. But don’t take any of this as confirmation that Xavier will even play a role in the series either since, when asked about Xavier’s inclusion in the story, all Donner told IGN was “We touch on it.” That likely means that the answer will not be as straightforward as it was in the comics, but that’s not exactly surprising – considering Legion is a show about a schizophrenic mutant trying to discern for himself what’s real and not real.
This was all apparently done in service to Hawley as a writer, so he didn’t feel obligated to the history or stories of the prior films, and was able to a create his own, wholly original and unique show. But for the fans out there who might be worried about the series’ large ambitions or strange visuals, Donner also promises that the series, in the end, has the same core values and themes as the X-Men films do – ones of tolerance and learning to accept yourself for who you are, no matter what. Similar to how Deadpool was wildly different from anything fans had seen before, while still existing within the same world, it seems like Legion will be both a zany, confusing, cerebral, superpowered love story and a fitting new addition to the X-Men canon. Hopefully, anyway.
Legion premieres on Wednesday, February 8 on FX.