Legion is set within a parallel universe to the main X-Men film franchise, and as such, showrunner Noah Hawley says he has no plans to bring in any of the main X-Men characters just yet. Hawley told Entertainment Weekly he wanted Legion to be able to stand on its own before enlisting the help of other mutants.
“I’m firm believer the show has to stand on its own two feet,” Hawley said. “For a crossover to be possible we have to earn that right through the quality of our storytelling and hopefully our popularity. David’s origin story hasn’t changed, so we haven’t changed that connection to the X-Men universe.”
Legion follows David Haller, a man who has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia after hearing voices his entire life. While institutionalized, he learns that the voices he’s been hearing may have not been auditory hallucinations at all. Instead, Haller discovers he may actually possess mutant powers. The show stars Dan Stevens as Haller and Aubrey Plaza as his good friend, Lenny Busker.
Hawley isn’t ruling out the idea that Professor X, who plays main character David Haller’s father, could make an appearance in the series. It just probably won’t be this season. It’s a different approach from other Marvel series, like Agents of SHIELD, which used Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury as a way to entice people to watch the first couple of episodes. In Marvel’s Netflix universe, one of the key components to the studio’s small screen franchise is overlapping characters like Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.
The difference is that Netflix and Marvel are trying to build an entire television universe, whereas FX is not. Both Fox and FX are working on X-Men related TV projects, but neither will include appearances from mainstream X-Men characters.
While that may be disappointing to some fans, it makes perfect sense for the direction Hawley wants to take the series. Polygon saw the pilot episode during New York Comic Con and it was immediately clear that Legion wasn’t trying to be a traditional superhero show in the same way Agents of SHIELD and Daredevil are.
Legion will premiere Feb. 8 at 10 pm. ET on FX.