It seems that FOX have decided to add another show to the current batch of ‘comic book to tv’ series, after striking a deal with Marvel to bring the X-Men title Legion to their FX channel in the US.
Legion stars Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens as David Haller, a man who’s struggled with mental illness since his teens. He’s diagnosed as a schizophrenic, and spent much of his life in and out of hospitals and psychiatric care facilities. However a strange encounter with a fellow patient leads him to realise that the voices in his head, and the visions he sees, may not be as imaginary as he’d been lead to believe.
In the comic books, David Haller, aka Legion, is the son of Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Haller, a catatonic Holocaust survivor whom Xavier had managed to bring out of her catatonic state using his mental powers. The couple had fallen in love and started an affair, which, unknown to Xavier at the time, produced David. However, it seems unlikely we’ll be seeing any cameos from James McAvoy or Patrick Stewart as this version of the character will be set in a parallel universe to the X-Men movies.
Additional casting for the show includes Fargo’s Rachel Keller and Jean Smart, Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation, The Legend of Korra), Katie Aselton (Togetherness, The League), Hamish Linklater (The Newsroom), Amber Midthunder, Jeremie Harris & Bill Irwin (Law & Order: SVU, Sleepy Hollow).
The show has been created by Fargo’s Noah Hawley, and is backed by FOX’s X-Men team, including Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg and Lauren Shuler Donner, plus Executive Vice President of Marvel TV Jeph Loeb, Marvel EP Jim Chory, and Fargo EP John Cameron.
After seeing the pilot episode, FX network exec Nick Grad commented “We’ve come to expect excellence from Noah Hawley and with Legion he has delivered another major creative achievement. Just as he did in reimagining Fargo, he is bringing an entirely new aesthetic and sensibility to the enormously popular and richly represented X-Men world. The pilot episode is stunning, driven by incredible performances from Dan Stevens, Aubrey Plaza, Jean Smart, Rachel Keller and the rest of the cast.”
The 8 episode first season of Legion is due to shoot in Vancouver over the Summer, and air early 2017 on FX in the US. Reports suggest that Fox Networks Group may be the international broadcaster for the show, which would mean we would get it in the UK on FOX only days after the US, but that has yet to be confirmed.