While The Gifted may have just debuted on FOX, the Hellfire series had to be let go in order to make it. Over the past few decades an uncanny number of comic book movies and TV shows have stalled at some point in their development. And even in the Golden Age of superhero content, sometimes a certain set of characters just can’t bring a show to life.
When FOX and Marvel announced they’d be working together on two X-Men TV shows, anticipation was high. That only grew when it was announce FX would be making Legion while FOX would handle a series based on the Hellfire Club. The secret society of nefarious world-influencers have long butted heads with the Marvel’s heroic mutants, from comics to cartoons to X-Men: First Class. But while Legion was brought to life by Noah Hawley, Hellfire never manifested.
In the most recent issue of EW (via CBR), X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner offered a simple explanation for why Hellfire was ultimately abandoned, saying, “it was too many characters and not enough depth of character.”
This echoes what we heard last year from Fox Television Group president and CEO Dana Walden after news broke that the show was no more. For Walden, the characters just didn’t click, and newly appointed showrunner Matt Nix decided to take the show in a new direction. That would soon become The Gifted, which sprang forth from a story about a seemingly ordinary family thrust into the world of mutant affairs. Meanwhile, the work done by Manny Coto and Evan Katz on Hellfire has never surfaced.
There’s no telling how Hellfire would have fared, but The Gifted seems to have been worth the change-up. The premiere last night landed solid numbers and mostly positive reviews. While it doesn’t hold a critical candle to Legion yet, it’s likely to attract a wider audience.
There’s always a chance that some version of the Hellfire Club will appear on The Gifted, we know the X-Men and Brotherhood have vanished, but a familiar group from the comics still seems likely. Who better than the organization that nearly had their own series? Only time will tell if anyone from the Hellfire Club will make their way to TV, but it seems doubtful that Hellfire will ever be resurrected.
Source: EW (via CBR)
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