Back in October, Marvel announced two new TV shows set in the X-Men universe, Fox's Hellfire and FX's Legion. We haven't heard too much about either show yet, but IGN is reporting that Legion will debut sometime in 2016 on FX. The series has already cast Rachel Keller as the female lead, with FX president John Landgraf revealing at the TCA winter tour that the show's development is moving along nicely. Here's what he had to say below.
"We're quite well along. We've had a writing staff working. We've seen not only the pilot but several episodes and we're well in process of casting. I would anticipate that Legion would go on the air some time in 2016, this year."
The pilot episode of Legion 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. It was previously reported that the show won't immediately connect to the X-Men movie universe. It has been confirmed by John Landgraf that show actually takes place in a parallel universe separate from what is happening on the big screen.
"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."
Noah Hawley (Fargo, Bones) will write the pilot and serve as an Executive Producer 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), James Chory (Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel's Daredevil) and John Cameron (Fargo, The Big Lebowski). The pilot for Legion will be produced by FX Productions and Marvel Television, with FXP handling the physical production. As of now Legion hasn't been given an official series order, but John Landgraf is optimistic it will be ordered to series.
"We don't tend to order series straight out the gate because I still really believe in the pilot process," he said. "We really think of it as a series. We're already in active prep. We're building sets, and our writers room has already been assembled. ... The vast majority of things that we pilot do go forward to series."
In related news, Deadline is now reporting that the show Hellfire is seeking new showrunners, since Evan Katz and Manny Coto have stepped away to make another Fox series, 24: Legacy. X-Men movie producers Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg and Lauren Shuler Donner have come on board to serve as executive producers, with Evan Katz (24: Live Another Day), Manny Coto (24: Live Another Day), Patrick McKay (Star Trek Beyond) and JD Payne (Star Trek Beyond) co-creating the Hellfire series.
Whoever comes on as the new showrunner will work with Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg and Lauren Shuler Donner, along with Marvel TV's Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory. The showrunner is also expected to hire a new writer, meaning the writers originally scheduled to write the pilot, J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, may not be involved. The writers were set to write the script based on a story they came up with alongside Evan Katz and Manny Coto, but their outline is said to be scrapped.
Set in the late 1960s, Hellfire, which will be produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Marvel Television, with 20th Century Fox handling the physical production -- follows a young Special Agent who learns that a power-hungry woman with extraordinary abilities is working with a clandestine society of millionaires - known as "The Hellfire Club" - to take over the world. The project is still in early stages of development and the casting process has not yet begun.
It isn't known if Fox's search for a Hellfire showrunner will have any serious effect on their production schedule, and it isn't known if this show will also debut this year, like Legion. Are you excited for both of these shows to debut on Fox and FX? Chime in with your thoughts, and stay tuned for more details on Hellfire and Legion.