Noah Hawley’s Legion has been one of the weirder versions of Marvel Comic characters committed to screen. The FX show just premiered its third and final mutant-filled season of absurdity and psychedelia, continuing to earn the cult status befalling all things on the fringes of madness. And when it comes to comic characters and storylines, according to Hawley anyways, a little madness might be necessary.
Hawley has had plenty of irons in the fire at Marvel proper over the years as well. While Legion will be introducing its Professor X, Hawley has been teasing the script for his long-coming Doctor Doom movie. Not only does that film seem like it has more chance to actually be made since the Marvel properties under license by Fox (like the Fantastic Four villain and the X-Men) are now under Disney control, but the film may be taking some of the oddball aesthetic from Hawley’s TV show. That’s because Hawley has been meeting with Marvel movie head Kevin Feige about making the MCU stranger — and about using his work on Legion as research for what sticks and what goes too far.
“I did sit down with Kevin Feige recently and I said that I look at myself as sort of the Marvel R&D department,” Hawley told The Hollywood Reporter. “I know the genre can do all of these amazing things that [the Marvel Cinematic Universe] is doing, but my feeling is, what else can we do with it? Can we make it surreal? Can we make it musical? Not as a gimmick, but all of these techniques are about putting you into the subjective experience of these characters.”
These are techniques Legion fans are well familiar with. And the MCU has been experimenting with genre and more singular aesthetics in some of its recent entries — director Taika Waititi’s bright and comic Thor: Ragnarok comes to mind — so some of Hawley’s mad science could definitely make its way onto the big screen. Doctor Strange was already pretty trippy; Ant-Man was already hilarious; Spider-Man... still might not be able to pull of a dance sequence (sorry Tobey).
With Legion coming to a close and Marvel growing bigger than ever on screens large and small thanks to Disney+, Hawley may once again find himself pushing comic adaptations to the edge.