While The Gifted Season 1 carefully established that Polaris is Magneto’s daughter, the series avoided giving the Master of Magnetism his name. Now, showrunner Matt Nix has explained why.
Comic books fans were thrilled when Emma Dummont was cast as Polaris in The Gifted. The character is one of the most powerful X-Men, in large part because of her ancestry. She’s the daughter of Magneto, and possesses all his power. In the comics, Lorna Dane has often struggled with that legacy. The Gifted Season 1 followed a fairly traditional comic book plot in that respect. Curiously, though, the series never actually used Magneto’s name. It settled for dropping obvious hints; it showed Lorna toying with a medallion, for example, and the Cuckoos told Lorna her father was “a king” in the Hellfire Club.
Fans had been curious as to why the show skirted around Magneto’s name. Now showrunner Matt Nix has finally explained. Speaking to TVLine, Nix confirmed that he’s wary of treading on movie turf. “Not to be coy, but we don’t want to stumble into movie territory,” he explained. “That said, canonically, Polaris’ father is Polaris’ father.”
Fox wouldn’t be the first studio to restrict a showrunner from using their movie characters in a small-screen adaptation. Arrow had big plans for Harley Quinn, for example, but was forced to shelve them after Warner Bros. began work on Suicide Squad.
From a narrative viewpoint, this deliberate decision not to name Magneto will actually be a part of Polaris’s character arc. “There’s a little Voldemort to it, if that makes sense,” Nix explained. Magneto is the villain who made the mutant race look bad. He’s the one who really kicked off this dystopian timeline where mutants are hated and feared. Just as in the comics, Lorna’s reaction this knowledge will be very complex. Nix continued:
“We’ve taken what is kind of a necessity, in terms of us needing to stay out of the way of the movies, and turned it into a virtue in our eyes. It’s now a feature of the characters that they don’t really want to talk about — [that Lorna’s father is] the leader of the mutant group that made mutants look horrible and kind of put them in the position that they’re in now.”
Nix’s statements carry strong implications for Season 2. Fans are eager to learn more of the show’s history; the series, however, will carefully avoid any element that’s set to turn up in the movies. That means the X-Men and the Brotherhood will never return; it’s even possible the show will never reveal why these two groups have disappeared. That’s sure to disappoint some fans, but please others. After all, it means Emma Dumont and her fellows really are the stars of their show.
The Gifted season 2 premieres on FOX sometime in 2018.
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