The X-Men franchise has had a rocky couple of years in cinemas. After debuting with two strong entries at the beginning of the aughts, the series has had a hard time getting back to its former glory. While certain entries like X-Men: First Class and Deadpool have offered hope, other movies like X-Men: Apocalypse have left many underwhelmed. Logan looks like it may finally turn things around next month, and the recently announced X-Men: Supernova could prove a boon as well. For now, however, it looks like TV is the future of the X-Men franchise.

Legion debuted on FX yesterday to stellar reviews praising the cast, creators, and the audacious design and direction of the series. By focusing on more personal stakes and more intimate abilities, while also throwing of the shackles of the X-Men themselves, Noah Hawley’s new series looks to be the best thing Marvel has ever put on the small screen. Fans are now hoping FOX can pull off a similar feat when they launch their own mutant-centric series. Given a series order just a few weeks ago, the Untitled X-Men Series will focus on an underground network of mutants hiding from the government and a family attempting to protect their children whose powers have recently manifested.

Now, thanks to EW, we know who the show’s first cast member will be. Blair Redford will be playing “the strong-headed Native American leader of the underground network.” Listed only as Sam, his name could be a cover for a well-known mutant. Either way, his casting as one of TV’s few Native American characters is a strong choice given that the X-Men series has long served as a commentary on representation and civil rights.

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While the series will supposedly not reference the X-Men movies, showrunner Matt Nix has said some characters from the team may appear on the show. For Nix, the move is a smart one that lets the show operate on its own terms:

“It’s sort of designed to side-step questions like, ‘Where is Wolverine?’ There is a certain amount of those characters that I can use and I’m using some of those. Other characters I’m inventing but everything is invented with a nod to the existing mythology.”

Still, it won’t be completely unconnected. We already know that Sentinels will appear. Plus, the series is being exectuive producer by Bryan Singer, who will also direct the pilot. Singer’s involvement means that there will at least be a meta connection to the X-Men films, even if it doesn’t become explicit. The director is already opening up about the show and how different it will be to have the X-Men and mutants on TV.

Filming for the series is set to start on March 13, so the next few weeks should bring with them a flurry of casting announcements. Hopefully, we’ll learn who some of the comic book characters on the show will be and get a better idea of the plot. Maybe, just maybe, the show will even get a name.

For now, we’ll bring you all the news there is on the Untitled X-Men Series as it arrives.

Source: EW

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