In case you hadn’t heard, Legion is a new X-Men T.V. series on the FX network. “Why do we need more X-Men?” You might ask. The X-Men are awesome and as an intellectual property they have heaps of potential for amazing storytelling. That’s why. Also, do you really want to wait years for another three hours you only get to watch once? Or, do you want to wait less for content that you can binge to your hearts’ content?
We can all rest easy as the buzz for Legion grows. First of all, the Director of the X-Men movies, Bryan Singer, says that Legion lives in part of the same universe as the movies. This means Legion has the potential for cameos and crossovers and all sorts of fun stuff like that. Second of all, the show is being developed by a man named Noah Hawley. This is the man who brought you the television series of Fargo. The Coen Brothers’ film is a classic slice of cinema, and Hawley managed to make something out of it that impressed critics. This is the man you want making an X-Men show. Apparently, he will take a similar approach to Legion as he did to Fargo.
This comes off the back of an interview with IGN, “So my approach to the Legion material is similar, which is it’s about a respect for the world, but it’s not about telling stories in that world that the reader is familiar with,”
Hawley is obviously interested in respecting the world of the X-Men. He is also aware of the differences between feature films and television: “It’s about taking that character and really exploring, almost on an existential level, what it’s like… What a television show can do that a movie can’t do is it’s not just a plot delivery device. It’s not about action, it’s about character and theme and as we see in Fargo, you can really play with structure and you can deconstruct the story in a big way. Whereas in a two-hour movie, it’s ‘What’s the problem? Where’s the bad guy? Let’s go get him!’
Here’s the official synopsis of Legion, from FX:
Since he was a teenager, David has struggled with mental illness. Diagnosed as schizophrenic, David has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years. But after a strange encounter with a fellow patient, he’s confronted with the possibility that the voices he hears and the visions he sees might be real.
It seems that the challenge of David coming to terms with his reality will be the core of the series. According to Hawley,
“There really is a sense, and you’ll see when you see it, that once upon a time he was a little boy who had his whole life ahead of him, and then he began to hear voices and to see things, and ended up institutionalized, and there’s a tragedy, a tragic nature to that. So if we can ground that for the audience, then the idea that he’s fallen in love and that he’s not ill, there’s a hope to that that the audience is gonna grab onto.”
(Also, in the comics, David is Professor X and Moira Mc Taggarts’ son. Season Two, anyone?)
Legion will debut globally in 2017.