Back in June, Legion showrunner Noah Hawley (who also helms FX’s Fargo series) commented that his series — which focuses on the son of Charles Xavier, David Haller, who has extraordinary abilities he has trouble controlling — would not necessarily connect to the larger X-Men universe. Now, X-Men director/writer/producer Bryan Singer (who is also an EP for Legion) is saying that it will.
At the Edinburgh Television Festival, both Singer and Peter Rice (the chairman and CEO of 21st Century Fox) spoke about X-Men, Legion, and more. As THR reports,
“Singer discussed Legion, which he is executive producing for FX, saying it is designed to be a series that is “part of the X-Men universe, but when you watched it, you wouldn’t have to label it, it could exist completely on its own.” He said it and another planned X-Men series “will relate to future X-Men movies.” And he added it would feature a “really ambitious and fun and very unique storyline.”
This seems to be in opposition to what Hawley told HitFix in June, saying:
“No, it’s not. It’s a little more of a fable in my mind. If you were to say, ‘Where is it, and when is it?,’ it’s not exactly clear, I think. And a lot of it is because he’s not exactly clear. It’s the world as perceived subjectively on some level. The recent X-Men movies, starting with First Class, are rooted in a time period and a world and playing with history in interesting ways. This isn’t doing that.”
Perhaps Hawley was, at the time, just talking about the feel of the show, which Singer does confirm can stand on its own. Singer also references “future” X-Men movies, not the ones we’ve seen. But regarding Haller as being Xavier’s son on the show,
“He could be. It’s a different story, but I’m not ruling that out.”
Marvel has had a well-documented struggle connecting its TV shows and movies, since the movie filming schedule is so behind what the TV show can do. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has notoriously been rather ignored by the film franchises while also being beholden (and held back by) the movies’ storylines. The Marvel series on Netflix, meanwhile, make vague references to the guy with the hammer and the big green guy, but that’s the extent of it. The movies certainly haven’t touched on Daredevil or Jessica Jones’ stories, although, those series don’t really have a connection to one another yet aside from the character of Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson).
Meanwhile, DC’s TV and movie universes have stayed completely separate, which has also been point of contention for some fans, especially when individual properties like The Flash have been so successful in its tone and storytelling — the kind of tone and storytelling that is missing from the big screen adaptations.
So is it better to connect, or stay separate? Neither one is working out perfectly for all parties involved, so it will be interesting to see where Legion lands on the spectrum. From the sounds of it, Hawley is hesitant to make the worlds connect too much, and yet, it feels like Fox is eyeing its own expanded universe.
Legion stars Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Jean Smart, Aubrey Plaza, Jeremie Harris, Amber Midthunder, Katie Aselton, and Bill Irwin. The series is expected to debut in early 2017.