Legion is coming to FX. The network has ordered a first season of the series about a mutant with multiple personalities from Marvel’s X-Men universe.
“Downton Abbey” star Dan Stevens returns to TV in the series, playing David Haller, the “troubled young man who may be more than human.”
This 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.”
Production on the eight-episode season will begin this summer in Vancouver and will debut on FX in early 2017.
FX has announced other cast members, but I was told they have not officially announced their characters yet. I was able to find the following from previous reports when the actors were cast in the pilot.
Rachel Keller (“Fargo”) stars as street smart Syd, a character who hides her softer side with a harsh personality. Aubrey Plaza (“Parks and Recreation”) portrays Lenny, Haller’s friend who suffers from addiction. I believe either Lenny or Syd is the fellow patient in the description above.
Jean Smart (“Fargo”) stars as Melanie, Haller’s therapist who uses unconventional methods. Katie Aselton (“The League”) will play the Amy, who is described as having a Type A personality.
Jeremie Harris (“A Walk Among the Tombstones”), Amber Midthunder (“Hell or High Water”) and Bill Irwin (“Interstellar”) co-star in the series.
The series comes from David Hawley, who created the brilliant “Fargo” series on FX from the Coen Brothers movie.
“We’ve come to expect excellence from Noah Hawley and with ‘Legion’ he has delivered another major creative achievement,” FX’s Nick Grad said in a release. “He is bringing an entirely new aesthetic and sensibility to the enormously popular and richly represented X-Men world.”
Grad and Eric Schrier are presidents of original programming at FX Networks and FX Productions. Grad’s comments echoed what FX CEO John Landgraf said during the January meeting of the TV Critics Association.
“The scripts are extraordinary,” he told reporters when asked about the progress of “Legion.” FX had ordered a pilot and several episode scripts.
Landgraf also said he didn’t foresee characters moving from the “X-Men” films into the “Legion” series because the show will exist in a different reality.
David has not been introduced in any of the “X-Men” movies, including the latest, “X-Men: Apocalypse.” Despite bad reviews, “Apocalypse” debuted May 27 in theaters and topped the Memorial Day weekend box office, making more than $80 million domestically.
In the comic books, David is the son of X-Men leader Charles Xavier and one of his patients, Gabrielle Haller. His multiple personalities manifest themselves with different powers, including telepathy, telekinesis,pyrokinesis, super strength, time manipulation, transmutation and the harnessing of sound blasts. That list just scratches the surface of his capabilities.
David seems to have the powers of most of the X-Men and quite possibly their enemies rolled into one troubled soul.
“Legion” is the first series partnership between FX and Marvel Television, which has several shows already on TV and even more in various stages of production. The list includes “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Daredevil,” “Luke Cage,” “Jessica Jones,” “Iron Fist,” “The Defenders” and “Punisher.” “Marvel’s Agent Carter” recently was canceled at ABC, and the network did not order “Marvel’s Most Wanted” after seeing the pilot.
Marvel TV boss and “Legion” exec producer Jeph Loeb praised Hawley in the FX release.
“From the first time we heard Noah’s vision to his exceptional script and cast through the extraordinary filming of the pilot, we knew the series would be incredible,” he said.
Hawley will serve as an executive producer of the new series along with Loeb, Lauren Shuler Donner, Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, Jim Chory and John Cameron. “Legion” will be produced by FX Productions and Marvel Television, with FXP handling the physical production.