Wonder Woman actor Saïd Taghmaoui has left the role of the Shadow King in season 2 of FX’s X-Men-adjacent series Legion. Series showrunner Noah Hawley first announced Taghmaoui’s casting earlier this summer, just before the series reconvened to commence production on the second season, informing fans at Comic-Con the actor would take on the role of Amahl Farouk, but now it seems that the series is on the search for someone else to play the part.
When his casting was first announced, Taghmaoui made a welcome addition to the series. The actor has been a familiar face in popular film and television for years now, appearing in everything from Three Kings to Lost to American Hustle to this year’s Wonder Woman, where he played Sameer, an ally of Diana Prince and Steve Trevor during World War I. With the DCEU’s biggest hit yet on his resume, it certainly wouldn’t have hurt Legion to have him onboard in such a major role.
Though details regarding his departure remain scarce, the actor was actually the first to break the news over the weekend on his Twitter account, where he casually mentioned he would no longer be in Legion but that he had a “big surprise coming soon.” As reported by Variety, FX has since confirmed Taghmaoui’s departure, but didn’t offer any additional details as to why he and the production parted ways or how much of his role had already been filmed. However, FX did confirm that the role would be recast, though no replacement has been officially set.
While it is odd to have an actor leave in the middle of production, it’s not entirely unheard of. Given Taghmaoui’s pending “surprise” announcement, one has to wonder if it boils down to a simple scheduling issue or if, for whatever reason, the powers that be decided the actor and the role simply weren’t a good fit. As the production has been underway since September, it’s safe to assume Taghmaouri had already filmed quite a few scenes, which will presumably have to be reshot with whoever is recast in the role of Amahl Farouk.
The character of the Shadow King is technically already played by both Aubrey Plaza, in the guise of Lenny, while Quinton Boisclair plays the more frightening version – referred to frequenly as “the devil with the yellow eyes.” With two people offering different interpretations of the villainous being, it raises some interesting questions about what Hawley had planned for Taghmaoui as Farouk. His additions suggests that he may have been intended to help deliver additional background information on the Shadow King, and perhaps to humanize him a little, considering what a monstrous presence he was in season 1.
Legion season 2 is set to premiere in 2018 on FX.
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