FX has ordered comic book drama “Legion” to series, Variety has learned. The show hails from FX Productions and Marvel Television, and the eight-episode first season will debut on FX in early 2017 with “Fargo” boss Noah Hawley executive producing. The news was announced by Nick Grad and Eric Schrier, Presidents of Original Programming, FX Networks and FX Productions.
“Legion” centers around David Haller (“Downton Abbey” alum Dan Stevens); 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.
In Marvel Comics canon, David Haller is Professor Charles Xavier’s mutant son. Xavier has been portrayed by Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy in the “X-Men” franchise on the big screen, but the films have yet to introduce Haller into the cinematic universe. The latest installment in the movie series, “X-Men: Apocalypse,” was released on May 27 and topped the Memorial Day weekend box office, racking up over $80 million domestically.
In addition to Stevens, the “Legion” cast includes “Fargo” alums Rachel Keller and Jean Smart, along with Aubrey Plaza, Jeremie Harris, Amber Midthunder, Katie Aselton and Bill Irwin.
“We’ve come to expect excellence from Noah Hawley and with ‘Legion’ he has delivered another major creative achievement,” said Grad. “Just as he did in reimagining ‘Fargo,’ he is bringing an entirely new aesthetic and sensibility to the enormously popular and richly represented X-Men world. The pilot episode is stunning, driven by incredible performances from Dan Stevens, Aubrey Plaza, Jean Smart, Rachel Keller and the rest of the cast. We join our producing partners at Marvel in congratulating the creative team for what they’ve accomplished and are as excited as the fans for the premiere of ‘Legion’s’ first season.”
“Marvel Television is thrilled to not only have our first partnership with FX go to series, but working with the enormously talented Noah Hawley makes it even better,” said executive producer and Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb. “From the first time we heard Noah’s vision to his exceptional script and cast through the extraordinary filming of the pilot, we knew the series would be incredible.”
In addition to Hawley and Loeb, the series will be executive produced by Lauren Shuler Donner (“X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “Deadpool”), Bryan Singer (“X-Men: Apocalypse,” “Superman Returns”), Simon Kinberg (“X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “The Martian”), Jim Chory (“Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD,” “Marvel’s Daredevil,” “Marvel’s Jessica Jones”) and John Cameron (“Fargo,” “The Big Lebowski”).