With the X-Men universe building cinematically, producer Simon Kinberg has been talking about its first endeavour on the smaller screen, principally with FX’s in development Legion.
With Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD and Netflix’s range of shows bringing the Marvel Universe to the TV sets of the planet and DC’s Arrow, Flash, Gotham and more doing the same for DC, FOX wanted in on that action and it’s coming soon.
The show will star Dan Stevens, star of The Guest, in the lead role (below) as David Haller, who is the son of Professor X, who is hearing voices and feared to be mentally unstable… but what if the voices ARE real?
“It’s like writing books of the Bible – you’re just writing one book, but it’s going to interconnect to all the others,” says Kinberg, talking about stitching the universe(s) together.
While DC are happy to have several ‘universes’ co-existing between the cinematic and TV series, FOX want to copy the Marvel template and connect everything (or at least make it look that way): “I think part of the fun of the way they’re building the universe is that it is interconnected between the different movies and even beyond the movies … It’s something that was true in comic books going back, the way that you’d have interconnections between characters and stories. Even sometimes from DC to Marvel. I like the way that those stories are told in the larger tapestry.
“And, also, getting to work with other artists and filmmakers and writers, and use their talents — I like not being by myself in a room when I work. I like having other collaborators. You’re with some of the world’s best.”
Of course, Kinberg is no stranger to this idea of tying movies and TV together, with his involvement in Star Wars, including Rebels and Clone Wars: “What’s lovely is, obviously, we’ve brought in characters from ‘Clone Wars’ in the second season, and we keep sort of bringing characters from the original movies and sort of deepening the relationships between our core characters, the Ghost crew.
“So it’s trying to balance the two different things, like the original cast from the first season with ‘Clone Wars,’ with characters from the original movies, and maybe even feeding into future movies.”
Going on and getting back to X-Men and Legion, he says: “The success of that movie [Deadpool] showed the studio that not just the mainline ‘X-Men’ movies, but there are characters — and characters with different tones and different vibes, that can justify their own movies as well.”
“So ‘Gambit,’ and ‘Deadpool,’ and ‘New Mutants,’ and even others … we’re really serious about making, and then, like the way Marvel has done so brilliantly, the Marvel Studios have done so brilliantly, feeding them in and out of each other’s stories. Building these larger tapestries that you can watch one movie and enjoy it, and that can be your only experience of an ‘X-Men’ movie, but if you watch all of them together, you get a deeper, richer experience.”
Legion is being looked after by Noah Hawley, who brought FX’s Fargo series to the small screen with great success, so it’s true to say that he has experience in such thinks: “Noah is a genius,” says Kinberg, “he wrote and created and directed the pilot to ‘Legion’ — and it is a very different sensibility than anything we’ve done with the ‘X-Men’ movies.
“Legion is in a different direction: really character-based, really granular in terms of getting inside the details of the characters. It stands as part of the ‘X-Men’ universe, but it stands apart from it as well.”
We’re excited to see what FOX can do with stitching together the X-Men universes and will be watching Legion with great interest.
Oh, and here’s a new image of Stevens filming the show which is set for FX sometime in 2017.