Hawley Talks X-Men TV Series “Legion” Tone

As previously reported, FX is getting into the superhero genre with “Fargo” creator Noah Hawley developing the series “Legion” which has story ties to the “X-Men” universe. This one however will stand on its own and NOT part of the existing film series, think along the lines of DC’s TV efforts like “Gotham” and “The Flash” which are separate from the films.

We know that Dan Stevens has the lead role alongside Aubrey Plaza and Jean Smart, but FX has yet to commit the project to series and in a new write-up in Vanity Fair, it’s said the new series will be much more toned down in terms of comic book and superhero elements than other shows. However, that doesn’t mean it will be straightforward – in fact Hawley says that with the themes of mental illness and dissociative identity disorder being explored, you can expect something positively David Lynch-ian:

“I always feel like the structure of a story should reflect the content of the story. If the story, as in this case, is about a guy who is either schizophrenic or he has these abilities, i.e., he doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not real, then the audience should have the same experience.

[I’m aiming for a] more existential exploration… a surreal or dreamlike quality where it’s not just about running and kicking. There’s, whatever, 9,000 superhero stories right now. They’ve got all the running and kicking covered. I think my goal with this is to do something whimsical and imaginative and unexpected. Not just because I want to do something different, but because it feels like the right way to tell this story.”

What is it really like to hear voices or to be able to move things with your mind or to think you can move things with your mind, but you’ve been hospitalized and they’ve been talking you out of the idea that you can actually move things with your mind. If there’s one thing that television doesn’t really do, and has never really done, is to tell a surreal story. I would have loved to have been in the room with the ABC executives when they watched David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive TV pilot. You know that had to be a long silence after that thing stopped.”

Hawley wrote the pilot and serves as executive producer alongside Kinberg, Lauren Shuler Donner, John Cameron, Jim Chory and Bryan Singer. With FX not yet moving forward, it’s now likely not going to air until sometime in 2017.