FX ‘Legion’ Release Date: Plot, Cast & Everything We Know About The New X-Men Series

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FX's Marvel and X-Men series, 'Legion,' premieres early 2017. FX

A new X-Men TV show, Legion, will be co-produced by Marvel and Fox. Pitched as a Marvel show at San Diego Comic-Con, Simon Kinberg has confirmed it will take place in the X-Men universe. However, Legion will tell a different story than what fans may have read in the comics.

‘Legion’ Cast

David Haller

For starters, the world at large doesn’t know about mutants like in the X-Men movies, showrunner Noah Hawley told IGN . In fact, everyone just thinks David Haller (the son of Professor X) has schizophrenia.

“Yeah, part of the discovery is that he’s not alone – assuming that this is real and that he’s not alone. But again, there’s the mental illness factor of it. That sense that you can never be completely sure,” Halwley explained.

Sounds kind of like Mr. Robot as far as the exploration of mental illness. In the comics, David shows signs of many different mental illnesses, including schizophrenia,  multiple personality disorder and autism. However, in the series, David’s love story keeps him grounded.

“It’s a tragic condition that people have, and so I don’t want to use it for entertainment purposes...But because the love story is so tied into this discovery – that he’s not sick, he’s got powers – we the audience really find ourselves hoping that that’s true,” Hawley said.

Syd

Rachel Keller ( Fargo ) plays David’s love interest and is described as “self-sufficient and street smart, she uses her sharp and prickly demeanor to protect her soft core, because even though it makes her a sucker and puts her at risk, she still believes in happily ever after,” according to The Hollywood Reporter .

Lenny

Parks and Recreation ‘s Aubrey Plaza plays David’s drug-addicted yet optimistic friend. “Despite a life of drugs and alcohol abuse, knows that any day now her life is going to turn around — which gives Lenny the likeable energy of the impossible optimist despite her rough demeanor,” says THR .

Melanie

Jean Smart ( Fargo ) plays Melanie, David’s ‘unconventional’ therapist. THR describes her as nurturing and demanding with a sharp mind.

Ptonomy

Jeremie Harris, most recently seen on Netflix’s The Get Down , plays “an outsider by nature, standoffish and sardonic, who is a former child prodigy who feels trapped in the past,” according to the THR .

Kerry

Amber Midthunder ( Banshee) is Kerry, a woman of action with a childlike sense of wonder. A true savant, Kerry has lived a sheltered, but never dull life,” according to Deadline .

Amy

Katie Aselton ( The League ) is set to play Amy, who according to Entertainment Weekly , is David’s “practical” older sister “who does her best to remain positive, which proves difficult when her brother has spent years in and out of hospitals after being diagnosed as a schizophrenic.”

‘Legion’ Plot

Hawley says his approach to Legion was similar to Fargo , in that it is his job to “retell a story that had already been told, but to try to tell a different story with the same effect, the same impact.”

Though told   IGN comic book fans should prepare themselves for an arc dissimilar to what they’ve read in the past.

“It’s about a respect for the world, but it’s not about telling stories in that world that the reader is familiar with. 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.”

The focus of the plot will be half mental illness and half love story. Hawley explains David’s relationship with Syd is the catalyst that pushes the the series forward. By not focusing on Legion’s traditional origins, Hawley plans to deconstruct David Haller’s character into something new.

“So, I would be remiss, I feel like, if I didn’t deconstruct this, if I didn’t really try to do something for the genre that feels personal and interesting to me and to really explore if you have a character who for his whole life has believed that he’s schizophrenic, and is now starting to think that he may have these powers, but he doesn’t know and he doesn’t know what’s real – well, that’s the experience the audience should have,” Hawley told IGN . “To be put into his world is to enter something that’s by definition surreal, because he’s hearing things, he’s seeing things… Are these things real or not real? What can you trust that you’re seeing?”

Legion will explore the time when David first began to experience his powers. While everyone thinks he has schizophrenia, David’s newfound relationship gives him a sense of normalcy.

“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,” Hawley said. “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. But never forgetting we feel that hope, because the alternative is loss.”

Will ‘Legion’ Relate to ‘X-Men’ Movies?

Executive Producer Bryan Singer told THR that both Legion and a new upcoming X-Men series “will relate to future X-Men movies” and have a “really ambitious and fun and very unique storyline.”

Singer didn’t speak directly on the recent Marvel/X-Men multiverse speculation , but he did say both new X-Men series are "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."

Singer’s statements match those of FX President Jon Landgraf, who according to Uproxx , revealed Legion is set in a parallel universe.

“The series Legion takes place in a parallel universe, if you will, in which the U.S. government is in the early days of being aware that something called mutants exist but the public is not. I wouldn’t foresee characters moving back and forth because they really are parallel universes.”

If Legion relates to X-Men movies but takes place in a parallel universe, only time will tell what exactly Bryan Singer has in mind for a tie-in story arc. There has been no word on if a version of Professor X will appear in the TV series.

‘Legion’ Trailer

‘Legion’ Release Date

Legion is produced by Marvel’s Jeph Loeb and Jim Chor, and X-Men’s Simon Kinberg, Lauren Shuler Donner and Bryan Singer. Legion is expected to premiere on FX sometime in early 2017.

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