Exchanging black comedy for superhero comics, Fargo creator Noah Hawley has just directed and executive-produced the pilot for 20th Century Fox and Marvel’s upcoming X-Men spinoff series, Legion, centering on Charles Xavier/Professor X’s schizophrenic son, David Haller (Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens). David is a powerful mutant whose multiple personalities control his various mutant powers, making him one of the most complex and wildly interesting mutants in the Marvel universe.
In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Hawley gave an update on the status of the planned 10-episode FX TV show (it has yet to be picked up to series) whose pilot they shot in March, saying that it’s “to be determined, I suppose. We shot a pilot and I’m cutting it together now and we’re going to talk about it.”
He also explained how he plans to approach the X-Men spinoff, saying that he’s aiming for a “more existential exploration” and “surreal or dreamlike quality where it’s not just about running and kicking.” Here's what he told the site:
“I always feel like the structure of a story should reflect the content of the story. If the story, as in this case, is about a guy who is either schizophrenic or he has these abilities, i.e., he doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not real, then the audience should have the same experience. There’s, whatever, 9,000 superhero stories right now. They’ve got all the running and kicking covered. I think my goal with this is to do something whimsical and imaginative and unexpected. Not just because I want to do something different, but because it feels like the right way to tell this story.”
“We’ve got the time, right? It’s not a two-hour movie. It’s an 8- or a 10- or a 12-hour movie. Let’s tell the parts of the story that you couldn’t tell on the big screen. What is it really like to hear voices or to be able to move things with your mind or to think you can move things with your mind, but you’ve been hospitalized and they’ve been talking you out of the idea that you can actually move things with your mind. If there’s one thing that television doesn’t really do, and has never really done, is to tell a surreal story.”
“Film and TV have traded places where, you know, where you are now in a case-of-the-week movie world. One week, the Avengers fight this guy; the next week, they fight that guy. You can’t take the story too far in any one direction.”Dan Stevens in The Guest
That's pretty intriguing. I wonder how they'll go about that. Legion is a co-production between 20th Century Fox, Marvel Television and FX Productions -- a first. FX President John Landgraf revealed a few months back that the series won't be set in the X-Men Cinematic Universe and that the time frame “might be a few years in the past.”
“It's not in the continuity of those films in the sense the current X-Men films take place in a universe in which everybody on planet Earth is aware of the existence of mutants. The series Legion takes place in a parallel universe, if you will, in which the US 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.”
Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation), Jean Smart (Fargo), Hamish Linklater (The Crazy Ones) and Rachel Keller (Fargo) also star in the comic book pilot. What do you think of Noah Hawley's take on Legion?
(via Vanity Fair)