Fargo Creator Talks Legion TV Series and Its X-Men Universe Connection

Noah Hawley says the Legion TV series is a more a standalone story

On Wednesday, Marvel announced plans for two new X-Men TV series: FX Networks ordered a pilot titled Legion, while FOX is in development on an action-adventure series, tentatively titled Hellfire.

The Legion TV series is the story of a troubled young man who may be more than human. The pilot introduces the story of David Haller: 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. Of course, comic book fans know Haller as the schizophrenic son of Charles Xavier.

A regular in the original X-Factor book, Haller (aka Legion) famously merged his various personalities into a singular, immensely powerful individual who, in an attempt to help his father, accidentally unleashed The Age of Apocalypse.

Noah Hawley (“Fargo,” “Bones”), who will write the pilot and serve as executive producer, was asked by TV Insider why they went with the Legion TV series. “What I really like about him is, here’s a character who is schizophrenic on some level, a character struggling with mental illness. Is he crazy or does he have these powers? The answer is, kind of both. I’m a big believer that the structure of a story should reflect the content of the story. And so I liked the idea that if you have a character that doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not real, that is also the audience’s journey,” he said.

If you were hoping for Legion to connect to the X-Men movie universe, Hawley said that it will be more of a standalone story: “It’s conceived more as a standalone. I don’t want to say too much more about it on that level, but certainly it’s not constructed as a back-door anything. It’s more just that there’s a story that I want to explore that has to fit into that larger universe, which is exciting.” And what about a connection to Hellfire? “We certainly haven’t had any conversations about crossovers. I don’t know anything about it, but I think that one is more linearly taken out of the world of the movies. Ours has its own world to it.”

Hawley also revealed when the Legion TV series will start filming. “The plan is to start shooting Legion by the end of January or early February. And then hopefully we’ve made something great and we can shoot the rest of the year and go from there.”

Hawley is executive producing along with Lauren Shuler Donner (X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Wolverine), Bryan Singer (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Superman Returns), Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Martian), Jeph Loeb (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Marvel’s Daredevil”), Jim Chory (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Marvel’s Daredevil”) and John Cameron (“Fargo,” The Big Lebowski).