Over almost two decades, the X-Men franchise has grown from the spark that began the superhero movie revolution to a behemoth franchise standing alongside the MCU and DCEU. Though it’s had some ups and downs, Fox, producer Simon Kinberg, and director Bryan Singer have all helped to bring some of Marvel’s most popular heroes and villains to life while examining the unique struggle mutants face. Recent efforts like Deadpool and Logan have also proven the ever-expanding series can still wow audiences and surprise critics, all while making Fox plenty of money.
Even more exciting is the franchise's recent move to live-action television. Though the continuity of Legion is suspect by nature, the FX series has given Marvel and Fox a critically acclaimed and audacious series following the reality-bending mutant. Now, Fox and Singer are hoping to replicate that success with a new Untitled X-Men Series on the flagship network. It was just announced that Emma Dumont will be playing Lorna Dane, aka Polaris, on the mutant-focused show, but just who is this magnetic mutant—and how does she factor into the X-Men universe?
Before diving into the character of Polaris, it might be worth detailing exactly what this as-yet-untitled X-Men series is all about. While Fox has long owned the movie rights to many of the X-Men and virtually every mutant (as well as the word itself), Marvel still retains the remainder of creative control over the characters. This includes TV, meaning for Fox to create an X-Men show, they’d need to make a deal with Marvel. Luckily, Jeph Loeb and Marvel TV were able to come to an agreement with Fox over two new series involving mutants.
The first was Legion, and despite David Haller being the son of Professor Charles Xavier, no one is quite sure how connected the show is to the continuity of the films. Then again, the X-Men film timeline is notoriously confusing, so it might not really matter. There were always plans for a second series, however, that looked to be about a group of mutants and had more potential to connect with the movies. That series will be run by Matt Nix of USA’s Burn Notice, with Loeb, X-Men producer (and Feige’s former boss) Laura Shuler Donner, and Singer serving as producers.
Even more exciting is the fact that Bryan Singer will be directing the pilot, further boosting the show’s chances of connecting to the films. The announcement of Dumont playing Polaris also announced Amy Acker (Firefly) would serve as the female lead of the series. Along with Stephen Moyer, she’ll play a protective parent to two mutant children. Natalie Alyn Lind (Gotham) was just announced yesterday to be one of the children, and together they’ll all be on the run from a government who fears them.
They’ll join in with an underground resistance of mutants, led by Blair Underwood as Sam and Sam Teale as Marcos Diaz, aka Eclipse. Along with Polaris, Blink will be one of the main mutants brought in from the comics, played by Jamie Chung. Lorna Dane is being described as “a strong-willed, brave and loyal mutant who has the ability to manipulate magnetism,” something she shares with her father.
Who Is Polaris?
Debuting in 1968’s The X-Men #49, Lorna Dane would join the team the following year. Possessing extraordinary control over electromagnetic fields, Polaris is able to generate force fields, fly, and manipulate all manner of metal. In fact, she comes close to possessing the title Master of Magnetism, if only her father would hand it over. Despite her decades of existence, it wasn’t until 2003’s Uncanny X-Men #431 that Lorna was revealed to be one of the many mutant children of Magneto. Of course, there have been untold hints throughout the years, and the many interactions between the characters, along with their shared powers, made the reveal an anticlimactic one.
Lorna’s connection to one of mutantkind’s most notorious terrorists hasn’t helped her mental state, however. Neither have multiple stints in X-Factor and witnessing the destruction of Genosha and the massacre of her people. She even lost her powers during the M-Day event, thanks to her very own sister, the Scarlet Witch. Part of what’s helped her hang on, however, has been her long relationship with fellow X-Man Havok.
Better known as Alex Summers, the brother to Cyclops, Havok and Polaris joined the X-Men at a similar time and even studied geophysics together. Though their relationship would go on and off, surviving a few instances of mind-control even, they eventually made a plan to get married. The moment was marred by tragedy, sadly, as Polaris grew increasingly violent due to the trauma she’d spent a lifetime suffering. Meanwhile, Havok was having a telepathic affair while in a coma with a woman he would eventually leave Lorna on the altar for.
The road has never been easy for Lorna, but that’s part of what makes her so fascinating. The addition of her character to Fox’s X-Men series also further bolsters the idea that the show may connect to the movies, given how important Polaris is to the mutant mythos.
How Will The Show Connect To The Movies?
The question has always been whether this new X-Men series would feature prominent characters from the comics, or merely new inventions and small-time mutants. Nix promised we’d see mainstays from the page, and the casting of Blink and Polaris certainly prove that’s the case. Now, the biggest question is how this new show connects to what we’ve seen in the movies so far.
With the events of Days of Future Past, no one’s quite sure where things sit in terms of the continuity of the X-Men franchise. That’s further highlighted by the fact that Blink appeared in that very film, played by Fan Bingbing. While her recasting could be just that, it might also be a sign that this show takes place in an altered timeline (perhaps with Apocalypse, Deadpool, or Logan).
The inclusion of Bryan Singer behind the camera also adds credence to the idea that this is a high priority for Fox - one that may feature connections to the established cinematic universe. A character like Polaris furthers that theory. Firstly, there’s her relationship to Magneto. We’ve already seen one of his children, Quicksilver, in the movies, so it’s hard to imagine Fox introducing this character and not including her parentage. Then again, the comics have provided precedence for how that reveal could take decades.
There’s also her connection to Havok, who exists in the movie universe as well. Dumont is around the same age as Lucas Till, who plays Havok. Alex Summers could easily be one of the bridges between the movies and TV, as he’s not as much of a megastar as the other X-Men actors. With this, we could see Lorna and Alex’s relationship play out, though hopefully with less mind-control and telepathic affairs.
Of course, her connection to both Magneto and Havok may be dependent on this new show taking place in the ‘80s, or else none of the ages will match up. There’s been no word yet on what time period the new show will take place in, but if it’s the present day and in the same universe, we can likely throw most of Polaris’ comic book lore out the window.
For now, most of this is just speculation, as we don’t even have a name for the new series yet. It’s highly likely that Fox will wait to see how it performs before they decide how connected they want it to be to the movies. In the meantime, casting announcements are coming almost daily, so we’re sure to learn a lot more about the series as it approaches a premiere date. When it does, we hope to see Polaris and the other mutants of the show given the deference they deserve.
The Untitled X-Men Series will air on FOX on an as-yet undesignated date.
- Logan (2017) release date: Mar 03, 2017