Thursday, October 15, 2015

X-Men TV: FX Orders LEGION Pilot, Fox Developing HELLFIRE

Typical.  You wait years for a X-Men TV show and two come along at once.

Deadline has word that Marvel and Fox have agreed to move ahead with two drama series based on Marvel's X-Men characters, both executive produced by X-Men movie director Bryan Singer, producer Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg, along with Marvel Television’s Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory.

According to the article, FX has given a pilot order to Legion, written and executive produced by Fargo creator Noah Hawley, while Fox has closed deals to develop the long-rumored Hellfire (working title), created by Evan Katz (24: Live Another Day), Manny Coto (24), Patrick McKay (Star Trek Beyond) and JD Payne (Star Trek Beyond).

Legion is based on the mutant character Legion, a.k.a. David Haller, the son of Professor Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Haller, who was created by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz, and first appeared in 1985's New Mutants (vol.1) #25.

Since he was a teenager, David has struggled with mental illness.  Diagnosed as schizophrenic, David has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years.  But after a strange encounter with a fellow patient, he’s confronted with the possibility that the voices he hears and the visions he sees might be real. 

Hawley will write the pilot and serve as an executive producer with Shuler Donner, Singer, Kinberg, Loeb, Chory, John Cameron (Fargo) and Steve Blackman.  The pilot for Legion will be produced by FX Productions and Marvel Television, with FXP handling the physical production.

"Legion is just the sort of ambitious story that Noah excels at," FX’s Nick Grad said.  "His adaption of Fargo for television was one of the most acclaimed television events in recent memory.  It’s also an honor to partner with Marvel on Legion and to enlist such an accomplished team of executive producers to create this pilot."

Hellfire, meanwhile, is based on the group of X-Men villains known as The Hellfire Club, which were created by Claremont and John Byrne, and first appeared in 1980's X-Men (vol.1) #129.

Set in the late 1960s, Hellfire, produced by 20th Century Fox TV and Marvel Television, with 20th Century Fox handling the physical production – follows a young Special Agent who learns that a power-hungry woman with extraordinary abilities is working with a clandestine society of millionaires – known as “The Hellfire Club” – to take over the world.  A different version of The Hellfire Club was previously seen as the primary antagonists of X-Men: First Class, led by Kevin Bacon’s Sebastian Shaw.

"We are thrilled to partner with Marvel to bring this world to television and build upon the Fox Logovibrant mythology that has captivated fans for years," said Fox Entertainment president David Madden.  "These powerful and dynamic characters are complicated and larger-than-life, the pace and visual imagination are unrelenting, and the story takes place during one of the most explosive eras in recent history."

McKay and Payne will write the pilot script, based on a story by Katz, Coto, McKay and Payne.  Shuler Donner, Singer and Kinberg executive produce with Marvel Television’s Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory will executive-produce the pilot, alongside Katz and Coto, who will serve as showrunners.

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