When it was announced that not one but two shows based on the X-Men universe were coming to television, fans got excited. The shows, Hellfire and Legion, seemed like somewhat odd choices, but they promised to show off parts of the X-universe that hadn’t been touched on in the movies yet.
Speaking to critics at the Television Critics Association’s 2016 winter press tour, FX president John Landgraf provided an update on Legion, which is set to air on FX. He not only touched on when we can expect to see the show debut, but also revealed some news that might disappoint some fans.
According to Landgraf, the show is anticipated to debut before the end of 2016. Discussing progress on the show, Landgraf said, “We’re quite well along. We’ve had a writing staff working. We’ve seen not only the pilot but several episodes and we’re well in process of casting.” Fargo actress Rachel Keller recently joined the cast in an unknown role, and a casting announcement for the main role of David Haller, a.k.a. Legion is expected soon.
Unfortunately, Landgraf also revealed that the series will not be connected to the X-Men film universe. The reason for this is that mutants are too well known in the X-Men films; for Legion, the story takes place in a world where mutants are just being discovered. Describing this to the critics, Landgraf said:
“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.”
While the reason for the separation makes sense, there will likely be fans who are disappointed that Legion won’t share a cinematic universe with the X-films in the way that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Marvel’s Netflix show do with the MCU.
All in all, this is still exciting news. While it’s a bit disappointing that there won’t be a crossover potential between the films and the show, Legion would have to be set in the 1960s if it were going to take place at a time when the public wasn’t aware of mutants. This setting suggests that part of the series will deal with David struggling to keep his growing powers a secret, something that isn’t always easy when you’ve got multiple personalities and each one has its own unique power.
It remains to be seen if other members of the X-universe will appear in the show in one form or another. In the comics, David interacted with most of the X-Men as well as a number of villains at various times. It’s unlikely that major mutants such as Cyclops or Wolverine will make an appearance, but lesser-known members of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters might show up at various points.
Legion is a co-production between Fox, FX and Marvel Television. Though no release date has been set, it is anticipated to debut in late 2016. As more information becomes available, Screen Rant will keep you up to date.