It’s hard to get away from superhero shows on TV these days, whether it’s the steadily growing lineup of DC-based shows on The CW and CBS or the equally impressive lineup of Marvel-based shows on ABC and Netflix. So far Fox has stayed out of the game, despite owning the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four, but that’s about to change with the introduction of a pair of new shows: Legion (on FX) and Hellfire (on Fox).
Both shows are based on the X-Men, with Legion being about the son of Charles Xavier and Hellfire being about the villainous Hellfire Club that made its way to the big screen in X-Men: First Class. While the Hellfire Club of the TV series will be different from that of the film (pictured above), it will still presumably be chock-full of mutant villains. The big question is: who will run the show?
Previously the show was to be headed up by 24 alums Evan Katz and Manny Coto, but with Fox’s ordering of 24: Legacy to series, Deadline is reporting that Katz and Coto have exited Hellfire for that project. According to the article, the new showrunners will have their pick of writers as well, so that is an additional shakeup that might be coming. While there is an existing outline for the show’s story, the new showrunners and writers may opt to toss that outline and start again from scratch.
So far what is known about the show is that it will take place during the 1960s and follow the efforts of a “special agent” to uncover the secretive Hellfire Club and thwart its plans for world domination. Whether any of that changes when the new showrunners and potential new writers are brought in is unknown at this point, but it is likely they wouldn’t want to stray too far from that formula.
While the loss of its showrunners is a setback for Hellfire, the show is early enough in its development that hopefully it will not cause any significant delay in its production. With superhero-based TV shows being as popular as they are right now, Fox no doubt wants to strike while the iron is hot. Being able to use the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse as a lead-in to the two shows would be particularly advantageous for Fox, as it would allow them to capitalize on the brand recognition the movie would bring (just as the Avengers movies have done for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.).
The other question regarding the series, of course, is whether or not it will be any good. Fox has had mixed success in the film arena, with the recent X-Men films generally being pretty good but the studio’s attempts at Fantastic Four being… well, not so good. With Legion and Hellfire falling under the X-Men umbrella, though, hopefully that bodes well for what’s to come.
Dates have not yet been set for the FX’s Legion and Fox’s Hellfire (working title) pilots.