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FX's X-Men spin-off Legion producer talks Fargo and comic book fanaticism

01.17.2017

Back when I was doing my coverage of New York City Comic Con 2016, one of my assignments was to sit in on the panel for FX’s upcoming X-Men spin-off show, LEGION, which will be spearheaded by creator of FX’s Fargo, Noah Hawley. During the panel, the good people at FX were kind enough to show us an extended-cut of the show’s upcoming pilot episode. Without a doubt, LEGION had been the best thing I’d seen at the con during that long and exhausting weekend of cosplay, comic book creators, and delicious food trucks. I’m really looking forward to the show’s debut on February 8, 2017, and I highly recommend that you all check it out. Think of it as an omega-level X-Men love story set in a psychiatric ward. Sounds cool, doesn’t it?

Recently, LEGION executive producer Noah Hawley, while conducting a press-related conference call, gave everyone a bit more to chew on in regard to the upcoming comic book-related program. Among other things, Hawley spoke primarily about his experience with the X-Men, and what it was like reading the series in his teenage years, during which creator Chris Claremont was a primary contributor.

Here’s what he had to share:

What’s great about the phases of that comic, as well as others, is as new artists or new writers came in, you would have a shift in the style, and even the darkness to lightness spectrum that the books used,” Hawley told CBR. “My memories of the Claremont X-Men of that time was, they were always story first, and they were always using whatever the crisis was as a way of exploring the characters. It was about a group of people who didn’t really fit in anywhere, having to learn to fit in together, and that wasn’t always easy.

Noah then continues,

I approached this in many ways the way I approached ‘Fargo,'” Hawley said. “In that case, I was asked to adapt the movie “Fargo” without any of the characters or stories from the movie, which was a very odd thing to think about. How do you take the essence of the story and translate it into a completely new movie? But it liberated me in a lot of ways to create something where I wasn’t imitating. I wasn’t taking pieces that Joel and Ethan [Coen] had created and mimicking them. I was approaching with respect for the underlying material, and then saying, ‘You know what? That makes me think of this.

Noah then wraps everything up by saying,

I wasn’t necessarily interested in taking any of the story runs from the comics, and saying, ‘Issues #4-#8 are our first season, and issues #9-#12 are our second season,'” Hawley said to CBR. “It was more saying, what is the particular makeup of this character, and the themes and challenges that he faces, and how can I fit that into a story that I want to tell, that plays into my strengths? The character himself sort of led me to the story, which led me to the style.

In the months leading up to LEGION’s debut, Hawley has emphasized the notion that fans should not expect to see familiar plot lines from the X-Men and X-Men Legacy comic book series to be a part of the narrative. LEGION is very much its own animal, and while recognizable characters from Marvel’s universe may appear at some point down the line, the show hopes to stand on its own as a worthy addition to Marvel’s ever-growing television-related lineup.

LEGION features omega-level mutant David Haller (Dan Stevens), who is the son of Professor Charles Xavier. As I’d mentioned earlier, the show is set to premiere on February 8, 2017, and you should totally watch it.

Extra Tidbit: Aubrey Plaza is positively hilarious in this show. She's taking her whole apathy schtick to new levels with this role. Don't miss it!
Source: cbr.com

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8:23AM on 01/18/2017
Actually looking forward to this. Always interested to see a different take on comicbook characters - will keep an open mind and give it a chance.
Actually looking forward to this. Always interested to see a different take on comicbook characters - will keep an open mind and give it a chance.
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12:12AM on 01/18/2017

Not connected rly

I don't get this so called spin off. They cut out anything really connecting it to the films. It seems like a disadvantage to do that. It alienates the fanbase. I'd be more excited if he was playing Patrick Stewart's Prof. X's son but it appears that isn't really the case.
I don't get this so called spin off. They cut out anything really connecting it to the films. It seems like a disadvantage to do that. It alienates the fanbase. I'd be more excited if he was playing Patrick Stewart's Prof. X's son but it appears that isn't really the case.
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+1
3:20PM on 01/17/2017
Uh oh. Sounds like we may be getting reviews again that point out all the differences between comic and show and then under appreciate an original vision.
Uh oh. Sounds like we may be getting reviews again that point out all the differences between comic and show and then under appreciate an original vision.
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