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Downtown Abbey’s Dan Stevens has signed onto the title role in FX’s Legion, an X-men universe pilot from Fargo creator Noah Hawley, according to Deadline.com. The rest of the cast includes Aubrey Plaza, Fargo’s Jean Smart and Rachel Heller. Legion is the story of David Heller, son of X-men founder Charles Xavier. Heller has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals due to being diagnosed with schizophrenia. David is at the end of his rope when he meets the girl of his dreams, a fellow patient. Soon after the encounter, he is confronted with the fact that the voices and visions he experiences may actually be real.
Plaza will play David’s overly optimistic friend, and Smart will portray Melanie, a tough therapist who uses unusual treatment methods. Keller plays the tough Syd, who despite her hard exterior still always carries a soft spot for happily ever after.
Noah Hawley wrote the pilot and serves as executive producer along with Lauren Schuler Donner, Bryan Singer, and Simon Kinberg of the X-Men franchise as well as Marvel TV’s Jeph Loeb.
Stevens first garnered attention as Matthew Crawley, of the hit British period drama Downtown Abbey. He has since been featured in the films The Guest and Night at The Museum: Secret of the Tomb. He will next be seen as the Beast in the Disney live action version of Beauty and the Beast co-starring Emma Watson.