Fargo showrun­ner Noah Haw­ley talks bring­ing the X-Verse to the small screen with Le­gion

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Mu­tants are fi­nally in­vad­ing our small screens in Le­gion!

Grow­ing up in the 1980s, Noah Haw­ley pored fever­ishly over Chris Clare­mont and John Byrne’s clas­sic Un­canny X-Men run. Thirty years on, the Fargo showrun­ner is re­unit­ing with Mar­vel’s Merry Mu­tants, this time over­see­ing their first ever live-ac­tion TV se­ries: Le­gion.

“What I’ve al­ways liked about the X-Men is that it’s a metaphor for be­ing an out­sider, which is ob­vi­ously very rel­e­vant when you’re a high-school kid of a cer­tain type,” he re­veals. “I also liked how the first X-Men movie starts in a Nazi con­cen­tra­tion camp, so you know that it’s con­cerned with the real na­ture of evil.”

The first joint ven­ture be­tween Mar­vel Tele­vi­sion and FX Pro­duc­tions, Le­gion cen­tres around David Haller (Dan Stevens), a pow­er­ful psy­chic whose pow­ers man­i­fest through his dis­so­cia­tive iden­tity dis­or­der, re­sult­ing in his nu­mer­ous per­sonas boast­ing their own mu­tant abil­i­ties. But while X-Men di­rec­tor Bryan Singer has hinted that the eight-part se­ries will “re­late to some fu­ture X-Men movie”, Haw­ley in­sists that it will ini­tially stand apart.

“There’s no overt con­nec­tion, although in the comics, David Haller is con­nected to the main X-Men uni­verse,” says Haw­ley. “We don’t have ac­cess to the movie ac­tors, or their char­ac­ters, who are pro­tected by the film stu­dio [Twen­ti­eth Cen­tury Fox], so my feel­ing was, ‘Let’s go in the op­po­site di­rec­tion and do some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent.’”

In­deed, in the comics David Haller is Pro­fes­sor Xavier’s son, although Haw­ley is in no hurry to reach that rev­e­la­tion. “We want to find our own way to that sto­ry­line be­fore ex­plor­ing it,” he con­tin­ues, al­lud­ing to how Fargo didn’t re­veal any links to the orig­i­nal Coen brothers film un­til the fourth episode. “There’s some­thing sat­is­fy­ing about do­ing it that way. Let it be its own thing first, and then find a way to con­nect it to the thing that peo­ple love.”

Ad­mit­ting that he was more in­trigued by Dan Stevens’ turn as a “Terminator-es­que su­pervil­lain” in 2014 film The Guest than his stint in Down­ton Abbey, Haw­ley be­lieves that it was Stevens’ ver­sa­til­ity that made him per­fect for the role of David Haller. “In The Guest, he played a bad guy, who was re­ally charis­matic and very com­fort­able in his body, as well as re­ally mas­cu­line and ma­cho,” he says. “I liked that con­trast of how he could be in a re­ally sen­si­tive pe­riod drama but also han­dle him­self phys­i­cally. He’s re­ally great, and it hap­pens so rarely, but when the ac­tor is just right, you look at them and say, ‘Now we have a show!’”

Le­gion will de­but on Fox in the UK and FX in the US in early 2017.

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