10 Things to Know About "Legion"by IMDb-Contributing-Writers | last updated - 07 Feb 2017
IMDb attended the "Legion" panel at New York Comic Con. Here are the 10 things we learned about the latest Marvel show. — Carson Blackwelder
Where does this show fit into the X-Men film universe?
With Marvel being such a big force in today’s pop culture landscape, showrunner Noah Hawley tried to explain where "Legion" fits into the grand scheme of things. "There's a certain degree to where that's to be determined. We're in David's subjective reality, so it's hard to tell,” Hawley said. “One thing that's attractive about X-Men is there are alternate timelines and universes. We start to realize we're seeing this world through multiple layers and mixed signals that Dan's character is getting.” Executive producer Lauren Shuler Donner added that “the only way for X-Men to keep moving forward is to be original and to surprise” and that this is “very, very different.”
How true will the show stay to Legion’s backstory?
In the comics, Legion is the son of Professor Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Haller. Without giving too much away, Hawley and Dan Stevens (David Haller) hinted that the FX series will stay true to that backstory. “It would be a spoiler in a true sense to say [too much],” Hawley said. “I'll say that we are true to the origins of this character, and just leave it at that. You can’t tell this story without that element." Chiming in, Stevens reminded the audience — who saw the first 30 minutes of the pilot — that “there’s a wheelchair in the first scene.” This was the closest thing to a spoiler given.
Hawley explains how he got involved with the project — and the inspiration behind it.
Turns out Hawley, who has always been a fan of the X-Men, found out about the idea for "Legion" when finishing up the first season of Fargo but was admittedly a little hesitant at first. “I had to feel like I understood what the show was [and] it had to be a strong character journey,” he said. “I almost started without a character in mind, just thinking in general terms about what would be fun in this space, and found my way to David’s character — which really clicked for me this idea that he was a man who was either schizophrenic or had these powers and so he didn’t really know what’s real. In the show, you’re in his head, so you don’t necessarily know what’s real, either. This show is subjective; you’re in his head, you’re in his world. So you don’t know what’s real and what’s not — and I thought that was a fun and fresh idea.”
Stevens was looking for the perfect post-Downton Abbey gig.
The 34-year-old Brit said that he’d been waiting for a role that was “omega-level” after having played Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey and — after hearing that Hawley was involved — immediately determined this was it. After researching Legion and the scope of the story surrounding the character, Stevens said made him stretch himself as an actor. “As an acting exercise, this has been one of the wildest rides ever,” he explained. Plus, the actor notes that this is one of the most comfortable costumes he’s ever worn.
The name of Rachel Keller’s character has a musical origin.
Rachel Keller plays a character named Syd Barrett, which just so happens to be the name of the founding member of Pink Floyd. When Hawley met with composer Jeff Russo to discuss the show, he said he wanted it to sound like the band’s Dark Side of the Moon 1973 hit album. “That album more than anything is really the soundscape of mental illness to some degree,” Hawley said. Keller also promised that we’d see Syd — David’s love interest who has a fear of being touched — develop throughout the season.
Lenny Busker is going to be quite the character to get to know.
Parks and Recreation alumna Aubrey Plaza plays the eccentric Lenny Busker in "Legion" and — as evidenced by the first half of the pilot — is quite the character. When asked if Lenny would become David’s sidekick on the show, Plaza deadpanned: “I don’t think she thinks she’s anyone’s sidekick. I think they’re friends.” Also, Lenny is listening to music on headphones throughout the first episode. The contents — or lack thereof — must be pretty important because Plaza wouldn’t reveal what Lenny is listening to.
Could David’s sister be a mutant, too?
Katie Aselton plays Amy Haller, David’s sister, and promises that we’ll get to know more background about the Haller family throughout the show’s first season. When asked what the chances are of Amy being a mutant — her brother is, after all — things got interesting. Hawley gave a general tease that anything is possible but did dive into what that would means for the character. “Here’s someone who defined herself as normal against her brother,” Hawley said. “She finds herself being looked at as if she might be crazy, as well. It’s a good lesson, that the line between sane and insane is very thin.”
Who are the other characters?
Noah noted that Jeremie Harris (Ptonomy Wallace), Amber Midthunder (Kerry Loudermilk), and Bill Irwin (Cary Loudermilk) are going to be part of a different group than our main characters. Harris said that Ptonomy remembers a lot — even remembers everything that happened in his life — and can bring people through their memories to help them grow and heal. Amber described Kerry is a doer, a fighter, and will lead the charge. Bill said Cary as a geeky scientist and brilliant geneticist. Look out for Kerry and Cary to have an interesting relationship — as noted by the similar spelling and and pronunciation.
Will we get any guest stars?
With a property as big as Marvel, one person at the panel asked about the potential for guest stars on the show — but things don’t look good in that department. “Probably not, but you never know,” Shuler Donner said. “Wouldn’t that be great?” Jeph Loeb added. Either these two have excellent poker faces or there won’t be any crossovers happening in the foreseeable future.
“Bridges are being made” between Fox and Marvel Studios.
Loeb, being the head of Marvel TV, told the audience that him being at the NYCC panel should show that “bridges are being made” between Fox, who owns X-Men and Marvel Studios but that he wasn’t making any promises that they’d ever be officially connected. "It boils down to this. Marvel heroes at their core are people who are damaged and are trying to figure out who they are in life. It doesn't matter whether or not they're X-Men, Tony Stark, Matt Murdock, or Peter Parker. That's where it starts,” he said. “We're much more interested in the person inside the mask than the mask. If you start at a place as strong as David's character is and you have a storyteller like Noah, then it's Marvel. In that way, it is all connected." Hawley, on the other hand, said that they have to “earn the right to be part of this universe.”