Since the turn of the century, the superhero genre has steadily come to dominate the landscape of blockbuster releases, and more recently it’s begun to take over TV as well. Warner Bros. Television and Marvel Television both have a swathe of comic book-based shows across various networks, and next year will see the debut of Marvel TV and FX’s X-Men spinoff series Legion. Created by Noah Hawley (Fargo) and based on the character from Marvel Comics, Legion will follow a man called David Haller (Dan Stevens) who was diagnosed with a mental illness to explain away his strange visions, but who discovers that he’s actually a powerful mutant.
The big question for Legion has been whether it will connect to a Marvel movie universe and, if so, which one. Marvel and Fox exist in an odd legal tangle, since Fox owns the movie rights to the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, and Marvel owns the rights to almost everything else within the Marvel Comics family. We’ve previously heard that Legion exists in a parallel universe to the X-Men movies, where the existence of mutants is not publicly known. Some have also speculated that it might end up connecting to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
X-Men movie director and Legion executive producer Bryan Singer has now offered further clarification on exactly where the show will fit in with the growing slate of X-Men movies. Speaking at the Edinburgh Television Festival (via THR), Singer explained that Legion is “part of the X-Men universe, but when you watched it, you wouldn’t have to label it, it could exist completely on its own.” More intriguingly, however, Singer also said that the show, along with another upcoming series, “will relate to future X-Men movies.”
The X-Men movie continuity is notoriously convoluted, due in part to the fact that the franchise got started before cinematic universes became all the rage in Hollywood. The idea of alternate timelines was introduced in X-Men: Days of Future Past, with Wolverine travelling back to the 1970s in order to prevent a terrible future for mankind and mutants alike, so it’s conceivable that Legion could take place in another timeline – perhaps one where Mystique never revealed the existence of mutants to the public.
Since Days of Future Past implied that any alternate timeline is erased from existence as soon as something is changed in the past, the claim that Legion will be connected to future X-Men movies is intriguing. Could this mean that the movie timeline is due for another reset? Or might Legion and the X-Men movies simply share a mutual history, up until their point of divergence, that will come into play for both?
Legion is expected to arrive on FX in early 2017.