You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Legion’ Team Talks Season 2 Telepathic Fight Sequence and ‘Darth Vader Offer’

In the second episode of “Legion” season two on FX, Dan Stevens’ troubled telepathic hero David Haller encounters, for the first time, the true face of the nemesis that haunted and hunted him through season one — the Shadow King, aka Amahl Farouk, played by Navid Negahban. It’s a critical scene for David and Farouk, as well as for Aubrey Plaza’s Lenny, who, up until this moment, had been the mask that Farouk wore when facing David.

The scene begins with David projecting himself into a sort-of psychic realm, where he wakes in a field and approaches a fortune-teller booth, when Farouk appears. After a tense exchange, David telepathically attacks Farouk, and the two take turns transforming into escalating threats — a samurai, a tank, a storm — each trying to one-up the other. Lenny later appears but can’t convince Farouk to return her to the real world.

LEGION -- "Chapter 10" - Season 2, Episode 2 (Airs Tuesday, April 10, 10:00 pm/ep) -- Pictured: Dan Stevens as David Haller, Navid Negahban as Amahl Farouk. CR: Suzanne Tenner/FX
CREDIT: Courtesy of FX

Ana Lily Amirpour
“I was really excited that there was a scene out in a desert, grassland environment. That’s a very happy place for me. I shot both of my last two films out in the desert. And there’s nothing more epic than anamorphic lenses in the desert. It was one of those kinds of blessed moments where we had clouds and cool weather. It was this sprawling sequence that went from in his mind, out to the desert, then they go through the eyeball into this other space to wrestle, then back to the desert and Lenny’s there, then Farouk erases the desert. It was this snakelike sequence, kind of like a classic Western in a way. It’s super tense, and you’re just with these two characters facing off on a epic mythic scale. The camera can tell that, the dialogue can tell that, the way it’s structured and laid out. It’s mythic, like a Western. But it’s ‘Legion,’ so people turn into tanks and samurais, and it makes it more fun and unexpected.”

LEGION -- "Chapter 10" - Season 2, Episode 2 (Airs Tuesday, April 10, 10:00 pm/ep) -- Pictured (l-r): Aubrey Plaza as Lenny Busker, Navid Negahban as Amahl Farouk. CR: Suzanne Tenner/FX
CREDIT: Courtesy of FX

Polly Morgan
Director of photography
“The content of the scene describes how Farouk and David are basically these god-like creatures. So the approach to the scene is to introduce Farouk and to show him as the god-like figure that he is, but also to show that David was equally as powerful, using the close profile shots as a tennis match almost, moving backwards and forward between them as they’re almost riffing off each other, then using lower angle, wider, close shots to make them feel more heroic. We shot it with anamorphic lenses, as we do throughout the season, to signify different mental spaces or different moments in time.”

LEGION -- "Chapter 10" - Season 2, Episode 2 (Airs Tuesday, April 10, 10:00 pm/ep) -- Pictured: Dan Stevens as David Haller. CR: Suzanne Tenner/FX
CREDIT: Courtesy of FX

Dan Stevens
“It’s happened quite a few times on ‘Legion’ where something will happen that will put me in the mindset that is required for David in that moment. There’s something quite awe-inspiring and new about meeting Farouk. It’s this uncanny interaction. They wanted it to be epic and have this sort of epic scale, and I really felt that out there. Even from the first shot of that scene where I’m lying down in the grass — I had never been out there and I was convinced that there were rattlesnakes within inches of my face. … So I was sort of lying there in terror, which was appropriate.”

Noah Hawley
Executive producer
“The only Shadow King that we’ve seen has been Aubrey Plaza, who has really been a mask for Navid. So he needed a good introduction. And we need to realize that as far as he’s concerned, he has this real relationship with David and has been with David since he’s a baby. So there’s this kind of intimacy to it that David is not expecting and rejects. He is a sort of elder statesman. He knows how to use his powers. He’s a strategist. He doesn’t feel like David is his equal, but he makes this sort of Darth Vader offer of ‘take my hand and we’ll rule the universe together.’ We need to see that offer, and we need to see David reject it.”

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Taylor SwiftMTV Video Music Awards, Arrivals,

    Taylor Swift Joins 'The Voice' Season 17 as a Mentor

    Taylor Swift is returning to “The Voice” as a mega mentor in the upcoming 17th season of the NBC singing competition series. The “Blank Space” singer will offer advice to each team of artists as they prepare for the knockout rounds in the show. Coaches John Legend and Blake Shelton took to Instagram to share [...]

  • Netflix Lands Streaming Rights to 'Seinfeld'

    Netflix Lands Streaming Rights to 'Seinfeld'

    Netflix yada yada yada “Seinfeld.” Variety has confirmed that the streaming giant has landed the global streaming rights to all 180 episodes the genre-defining sitcom. The deal was struck with Sony Pictures Television, which controls the distribution rights to the NBC series. It is a five-year deal which is set to begin in 2021. “’Seinfeld’ [...]

  • Lin-Manuel Miranda

    'Kingkiller Chronicle' Series Not Moving Forward at Showtime, Lionsgate TV to Shop

    The series adaptation of “The Kingkiller Chronicle” is not moving forward at Showtime as planned. Variety has confirmed with sources that Showtime will no longer develop the series, which has been in the works at the premium cabler since October 2017, for financial reasons. Lionsgate Television, which is producing the show, will now shop the [...]

  • Charlie HunnamBleecker Street 'Papillon' Los Angeles

    Charlie Hunnam to Star in ‘Shantaram’ Series at Apple

    Charlie Hunnam has been cast as the lead in the forthcoming Apple series “Shantaram,” based on Gregory David Robert’s novel, Variety has confirmed. Apple has greenlit the show, which will represent the first international production for Apple TV Plus, after acquiring the rights to the novel back in June 2018. The 2003 novel tells the story of [...]

  • Wendy Williams

    ‘The Wendy Williams Show’ Renewed Through 2021-22 Season on Fox Stations

    “The Wendy Williams Show” is set to remain on the air through the 2021-22 season. Fox Television Stations has handed Williams’ eponymous talk show a two-year renewal, extending the live, nationally syndicated show’s decade-long run to 13 seasons. “I’m so excited to launch our 11th year by letting the world know I will continue to [...]

  • Canal Plus

    Netflix, France's Canal Plus Sign Distribution Deal

    France’s Canal Plus Group has sealed a deal to offer Netflix on its platform, joining other pay- and cable-TV providers across Europe in recognizing the demand for access to the U.S. streaming giant. Beginning Oct. 15, subscribers to Canal Plus’ Cine/Series package will gain access to Netflix through Canal Plus’ set-top boxes. The exclusive bundle [...]

  • TV Ratings: Eagles-Falcons Down 18% on

    TV Ratings: Eagles-Falcons Down 18% on 'Sunday Night Football' Opener

    Last night, Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Flacons held off Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles in an interception-filled affair on “Sunday Night Football.” Perhaps unsurprisingly given the stop-start nature of the game, it didn’t perform quite as strongly in the early Nielsen ratings as last week’s “SNF” opener between the New England Patriots and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content