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‘Legion’ EP On FX/Marvel Schizophrenic Mutant Series: “By The End Of The Season, You’ll Understand”

Deadline logo Deadline 1/12/2017 Anthony D'Alessandro
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In the wake of complex, narrative TV series such as HBO’s Westworld, USA’s Mr. Robot, and BBC America’s Orphan Black, is Legion EP Noah Hawley worried that TV viewers will find another –his take on the Marvel property — to be long in the tooth?

One has to figure the action will get trippy:  Legion is an X-Men spinoff about mutant David Haller (Dan Stevens) who is diagnosed with schizophrenia and during a stint in a mental hospital meets a fellow patient who opens his world to his abilities.

“We introduce this love story in the first hour for the audience,” Hawley said about keeping Legion as grounded as possible. “This will pull us through and will give leeway to tell a story. It’s not necessarily that you can’t understand what’s going on.”

Even if Legion goes rogue, “I’m making a subjective reality, but by the end of the season, you’ll understand [everything],” he added.

X-Men film franchise producer Lauren Shuler Donner, who serves as EP on Legion, said the FX series “was a chance to get X-Men into the TV franchise” with characters who couldn’t make it in the film franchise.

Marvel Television EVP Jeph Loeb said, “FX has merged together to tell a story that Marvel has never made before.” When Hawley pitched his take on Legion, Loeb said that what struck the label wasn’t the superhero factor of it all, but the Fargo EP “talked about mental health” and how “took those issues and put them in a prism.”

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