With Season 2 of Legion continuing its trippy journey of FX's X-Men spinoff story, it looks as though we’ll have to keep on waiting for the felt-but-not-seen presence of Charles Xavier to possibly blossom into something more.
That’s not to say having Patrick Stewart on the show, to step back into the role he first introduced all the way back in 2000 with the first X-Men film, isn’t going to happen. It’s just that it can’t happen until the figurative stars align just right.
Speaking the The Hollywood Reporter, Legion creator Noah Hawley said there’s nothing actually written in stone that is preventing Stewart from stepping out of the shadows the show has placed everywhere to loom over David Haller’s family past.
But, he added, the “corporate synergy” has to be right before fans can expect to see Legion’s mutant dad — and not just hints of his significance, like Episode 7’s empty-wheelchair tease — on the FX series.
“It’s not a rights issue or a legal issue,” said Hawley; “it’s more about corporate synergy. There are a lot of people with opinions and strategies for franchise development. But I think we’ll be victorious in the end because our hearts are pure.”
Hawley didn’t elaborate on what kind of synergy he’s looking for, but last year’s mammoth acquisition of Fox by Disney, the details of which are still being sorted, might be the likeliest candidate. Fox has held the rights to the X-Men film universe, where Stewart’s character has long resided, but now that Disney is set to add the X-Men and a host of other Marvel properties to its stable, it may just be a waiting game until characters locked behind Fox’s side of the fence finally know what Disney has in store for them.
Even if Stewart never shows up on Legion, Hawley said writing Xavier into the show — even if it means casting a different actor to play him — is still a possibility. “We move around a lot in time with the show. I haven’t really settled on which version [of Xavier] we’ll see,” he said.
Dan Stevens, who plays David Haller, aka Legion himself, also admitted he’d been trying to get Stewart to work out some kind of appearance on Legion, although he didn’t say whether for a cameo or a recurring part. “I’m always putting words in Patrick’s ear to come on the show,” he told THR. “I think it would be great if David met his true father.”
The second season of Legion returns to FX tomorrow, premiering at 10 p.m. ET.