Marvel Studios opened the door to a shared cinematic universe both on the big screen and on television – at least in the current era of superhero popularity – with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter both existing in the MCU continuity. On the other hand, the various DC Comics television series are separate from the DC Extended Universe, though they may exist within their own multiverse. Now, although FX is teaming with Marvel and 20th Century Fox to develop two series based on X-Men, Hellfire and Legion, they will be separate from the current universe.
FX is currently in the middle of casting the Legion pilot, though at the Television Critics Association 2016 winter press tour network president John Landgraf said he has seen scripts for multiple episodes. Now, a new series regular joins the cast with a production start date in mind.
THR is reporting that Jeremie Harris (The Get Down) has joined the cast of Legion with filming expected to begin in March. He joins the previously cast Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey), Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) as well as Jean Smart and Rachel Keller (Fargo). The show will follow David Haller (Stevens) – who takes on the name of Legion in the comics – a diagnosed schizophrenic who has spent much of his time since his teenage years in and out of mental hospitals. But, “after a strange encounter with a fellow patient, he is confronted with the possibility that the voices he hears and the visions he sees might be real.”
FX tapped Fargo’s Noah Hawley to pen the Legion pilot script. He’ll also serve as executive producer alongside Lauren Shuler Donner (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Bryan Singer (X-Men: Apocalypse), Fox’s X-Men universe architect Simon Kinberg, Jim Chory (Marvel’s Daredevil) and Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb. Hawley’s Fargo collaborator John Cameron is also set to executive produce.
As we’ve seen in recent years, the rise in popularity of comic book properties has caused a boom of superhero stories on not only the big screen, but television as well. But, not all superhero TV series are created equal, with some unable to stand out from the rest. TNT recently cancelled their in-development Teen Titans series because of so many other superhero stories currently on television – and NBC’s Constantine wasn’t able to gain the success the network wanted, getting cancelled after one season.
That being said, Legion is certainly assembling a cast who lend themselves more toward grounded and dramatic series. Additionally, with Kinberg calling Legion the “Breaking Bad of superhero stories,” it seems the X-Men show could take a different path than the other comic book shows on ABC, CBS, Fox, and The CW. Certainly, if Legion takes on the more adult tone of Marvel/Netflix’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones, it could prove to be just as successful and critically well-received as those series while carving out its own corner of the superhero TV landscape.
FX has yet to set an official premiere date for Legion, though it is believed to be on track for a late-2016 release.