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‘Legion’ Producer: FX Characters Won’t Cross Over With X-Men Franchise

Variety logo Variety 1/12/2017 Daniel Holloway
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The producers of FX’s “Legion” are not looking at the new series as a building block in an X-Men television franchise.

Speaking at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour Thursday in Pasadena, the show’s producers and stars were asked whether the series would be part of a broader universe, like The CW’s “Arrow,” which ties in with “The Flash,” “Supergirl,” and “Legends of Tomorrow.”

“For my part, no,” executive producer Lauren Shuler Donner said. She went on to address whether the series could cross over with with Fox’s X-Men films. “Because I come from the X-Men franchise movies, it was a chance to bring the X-Men to television, to mine some of the characters we haven’t and won’t be using in the film franchise and to open up the universe to some other characters, as television does.”

Fellow executive producer Jeph Loeb, head of television for Marvel Entertainment, characterized the series as an evolution of the superhero genre.

“For Marvel, we’re just interested in telling really good stories,” Loeb said. “I think that ‘Legion,’ in particular, redefines [the genre] in new ways as well. What we get asked a lot is are there too many superhero shows? Is there going to be a place where we reach saturation? There are two responses, which is do we ask those questions about cop shows and medical shows and legal shows? And generally no. But secondly, the other idea is that Marvel doesn’t ever start out from a place of ‘This is a person who is defined by their powers.'”

“Legion” tells the story of David Haller (Dan Stevens), a diagnosed schizophrenic who discovers that he may not be mentally ill, but may instead have superpowers. The character originated in Marvel’s X-Men comic-book series.

Creator and showrunner Noah Hawley emphasized the show’s non-genre underpinnings.

“The first thought that I had in looking at the genre was, well, if we remove the genre, is there a compelling show that you would want to watch there?'” Hawley said. “I think that the underlying show, whatever the genre is, has to be a compelling character story. That’s what attracted me to it.”

“Legion” will premiere Feb. 8 on FX.

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