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X-Men comics characters will finally make their long-awaited television debut.
Marvel Entertainment and Fox Broadcasting Company announced Wednesday that they are teaming up to create two new live-action series based on X-Men spin-off comic characters (although the press releases did not specifically reference X-Men or mutants, as Fox still has exclusive rights to both of those terms).
FX has ordered a pilot for Legion, and a series is in development for Fox under the working title Hellfire. The news arrives after years of dispute on who owns the TV rights to X-Men. These two upcoming shows will mark the first time X-Men comics characters make their live-action debut on the small screen.
Legion will be about David Haller, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia and has spent years going in and out of psychiatric hospitals. After encountering a strange fellow patient, he discovers that “the voices he hears and the visions he sees might be real.” FX’s press release doesn’t mention that David is the son of Professor Charles Xavier, which is canon in the comics.
Hellfire will be set in the 1960s and follow a special agent who finds out that a woman with “extraordinary abilities” has teamed up with a “clandestine society of millionaires” called the Hellfire Club to try to take over the world. A 1960s Hellfire Club notably made an appearance in X-Men: First Class. In the comics, the Hellfire Club often comes into conflict with the X-Men.
Both pilot episodes of Legion and Hellfire will be executive produced by Bryan Singer, Lauren Shuler Donner, and Simon Kinberg of X-Men: Days of Future Past and Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The pilot episode of Legion will be written by Noah Hawley of FX’s Fargo. The pilot episode of Hellfire will be written by Patrick McKay and JD Payne of Star Trek 3.
It’s not clear yet if the two new TV series will be set in the same universe as the X-Men movies.