The X-Men franchise continues to thrive on television with a new series pilot ordered by Fox Television. The show’s latest news is bound to excite fans of Marvel Comics, as unlike the upcoming FX series Legion, it seems this series will have a connection to the film franchise. That connection was cemented with the news from TVLine that the X-Men film franchise director Bryan Singer is officially set to direct the pilot episode.
News about the new X-Men series started spilling from the 2017 winter press tour of the Television Critics Association a couple weeks ago. Speaking with IGN, Burn Notice creator Matt Nix discussed the series (which he created and is producing) and its connection to the films.
“Without getting into specifics that I’ll get murdered for getting into, I would say that a fan of the movies — particularly the movies, but also the comic books — would not be disoriented at all as to where this fits in the mythology,” he said.
Nix also mentions the upcoming FX series Legion, but he notes that the relationship that series has with the film franchise is different from the way this new series is being planned out. This probably means there won’t be any crossover between the two shows.
The new X-Men show will follow a family who go on the run from a hostile government after the children’s identities as mutants are discovered. That description is somewhat close to the Brian K. Vaughn series Runaways, and as that comic deals with generational differences, it seems likely that this series will find common thematic ground.
Marvel’s Jeph Loeb agrees that family is the center of the new series. Speaking at the 2016 summer press tour of the Television Critics Association, Loeb praised Matt Nix for bringing that understanding of one of X-Men‘s central themes to the table for the as-yet-untitled show.
This is the second television show (after Legion) emerging from a collaboration between Fox Television and Marvel Comics that was first announced in 2015. At the time, Fox was developing both Legion and a series called Hellfire. The latter would have followed the secret organization from the comics that seeks to influence world events behind the facade of a social club for wealthy elites. A few members of the Hellfire Club were introduced in the films with X-Men: First Class.
It was in reporting on the pilot commitment for this new series by Matt Nix that Variety noted the quiet death of the Hellfire project at Fox, presumably to make room for Nix’s show.
Nix is apparently under strict orders not to discuss specifics about this new series with the press, but he still finds ways to tease exciting new things for X-Men fans. In an interview with CNet, Nix says that there is a lot of optimism for the project at Fox; he also discusses how the series might be different from what the films and comics have already done.
“I’d say, a more intimate story, in the sense that’s what television does well. So I’d say it also explores issues surrounding mutants and what that experience is in a way that’s hard to do in a two-hour movie because [a movie] needs to move very quickly and needs to get to big action,” he says.
Nix also hints that the series may include some familiar X-Men characters, though he is not specific as to whether these are characters from the films or simply recognizable faces from the comics.
Bryan Singer signing on to direct the pilot episode is definitely a good sign for fans of Fox’s X-Men film franchise. The director was at the helm of four of the six main X-Men film franchise entries (he traded with Brett Ratner on X-Men: The Last Stand and Matthew Vaughn directed X-Men: First Class) and has served as producer on five of the films as well — he was not credited as producer on the 2000 film which launched the franchise. His presence is bound to strengthen the bond between this new X-Men show and the films.
While this series probably won’t reach small screens until fall, 2017, at the earliest, mutant-based television series Legion is set to premiere in February on FX.
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