Simon Kinberg: X-Men TV series Legion is 'Breaking Bad of superhero stories'

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Nov 18, 2015, 2:22 PM EST (Updated)

One of the most intriguing Marvel TV shows currently in development isn’t even in the MCU proper — it’s the X-Men-inspired project Legion over at FX. Well, producer Simon Kinberg is going ahead and setting expectations sky-high.

If you’re unfamiliar, the series follows David Haller, a man diagnosed with schizophrenia who is finally forced to confront the possibility that the voices he hears and the visions he sees might just be real. In the comics, the character is actually the son of Professor Charles Xavier, and his abilities came about because he is a mutant. No clue if the TV series will have any actual connection to the X-Men universe, but that’s the inspiration.

In an interview with Collider, Kinberg opened up about the development of the project and how they hooked up with Noah Hawley (Fargo) to actually write the pilot. Kinberg is billing it as the “Breaking Bad of superhero stories,” which, if nothing else, is an awesome logline. Check out an excerpt from his comments below:

“Actually the idea for Legion, it began in conversations with Lauren Schuler Donner and Bryan Singer and Noah me, but I remember I was actually in Moscow last year about to go into a dinner, I was there for the Days of Future Past premiere, and I was sitting in a car outside a restaurant about to go into dinner. It was really early on in the process, like one of the first conversations, and Noah and I were on a call just the two of us just riffing ideas, and I was sitting outside what I thought was gonna be like a 10 minute call and I ended up sitting out there for three and a half hours, missing the dinner. Everybody had not only had the dinner but went home, and I just got off that call being like, ‘It’s midnight in Moscow but we have to make this show with this guy because he’s so brilliant.’ So that’s really ramping up now, the production’s ramping up to start shooting at the beginning of the year with FX.

I mean the thing that’s cool and that’s the hope in branching out to TV is that we can tell these X-Men stories in a slightly different way and even with a slightly different tone. It’s one of the thing we’re kind of doing in the different movie franchises. I mean Deadpool obviously has a very different, almost antithetical tone to the mainline X-Men movies. The X-Men movies are dramatic and almost operatic, whereas Deadpool is irreverent and hysterical and sort of a dirty R-rated comedy in many ways. And Gambit will have its own different flavor and tone to it, will be more of like a heist movie and a sexy thriller in a way. So the TV shows give us an opportunity to go even further and certainly what I’m seeing on Legion with Noah and FX is an intent to do something completely original in the genre, in some ways to sort of blow up the paradigm of comic book or superhero stories and almost do our Breaking Bad of superhero stories.”

Of course, Legion isn’t the only X-Men-esque series coming to the small screen. Fox is also developing Hellfire as a period-set 1960s tale about a young agent who stumbles upon the evil Hellfire Club organization.

What’s your take on Legion? Can it live up to the lofty billing?

(Via Collider)