20th Century Fox

17 Questions About The X-Men TV Shows That We Need Answered

What's the deal?

Recently Marvel and 20th Century Fox announced they'd be partnering together to bring not one but two series to television that are based on the classic "X-Men" comics, one at Fox ("Hellfire") and the other at FX ("Legion").

Obviously this kind of partnership between the two companies is pretty rare and it's certainly not what anyone was expecting out of those rumors for an X-Men TV series -- when the idea was first announced, and "X-Men Evolution" style high school drama seemed more likely. But now that we know Fox's intentions for these two pilots, we have a lot of questions:

  1. Are they actually X-Men shows?

    None of the press releases about the two shows make any mention of mutants in them -- in fact, the one for "Hellfire" calls the club's leader a "power-hungry woman with extraordinary abilities" without saying anything about where those abilities came from. Could these be shows starring X-Men characters but without the fundamental thing that makes them a part of the X-Men world?

  2. Why Legion?
    Marvel Comics

    Let's explain David "Legion" Haller a bit more, because he's a confusing character -- in the comics, he is a mutant (Professor X's illegitimate son, in fact!) with dissociative identity disorder who's able to absorb the identities and superpowers of other people around him into his giant collection of personalities. While we have no doubt a show about him would be interesting, what made him the top pick? Was it "Fargo" showrunner Noah Hawley's -- who is taking on "Legion" as well -- pick?

  3. How will the show handle depictions of mental illness?
    Marvel Comics

    Leigon's an interesting character, but he's far from an accurate portrayal of either schizophrenia or split personality disorder. Given how the representation of mental illness in the media can create stigmas against people who suffer from them, they're going to have to be very delicate with David Haller.

  4. Who's going to play him?
    Barry King/Getty Images

    Whoever it is will basically have to be the female Tatiana Maslany and be able to play dozens of different characters. I know he's already on a Marvel TV show, but I nominate Enver Gjokaj for "Dollhouse" reasons.

  5. More importantly, will he still have his awesome giant hair?
    Marvel Comics

    I sure hope so!

  6. Why the Hellfire club?
    20th Century Fox

    We met the Hellfire club in "X-Men: First Class," technically -- it's that gentlemen's club led by Sebastian Shaw which Moira McTaggert infiltrates to learn more about mutants. In the comics it's much more than that, though; on the surface the Hellfire club appears to be a social club for wealthy elites, but it's run by a whole team of machiavellian masterminds who influence world events from behind the scenes. Also, all of them have chess pieces for titles.

  7. Who IS the leader of the Hellfire club?
    Marvel Comics

    Will it be the White Queen Emma Frost, who previously appeared in "X-Men First Class" and is seriously due for a kickass story of her own? Or maybe Selene, the "New Mutants" villain who became the Black Queen in the comics? Either way, it rocks that they're going with a female leader, given that the Hellfire club's got some pretty awesomely strange costuming gender politics going on.

  8. If it is Emma Frost, will they bring back January Jones?
    20th Century Fox

    Please no.

  9. Will they still wear their weird blend of lingerie and 19th century waistcoats like they do in the comics?
    Marvel Comics

    Please yes.

  10. Also, can Emma Frost have a fake British accent this time?
    Marvel Comics

    Frost is from an upper-class Boston family but pretends she's British so she can feel superior to everyone. This is one of the best things about her.

  11. Actually, can Natalie Dormer play her?
    Getty Images

    Search your feelings. You know she'd be perfect.

  12. But seriously, will they even get to say that they're mutants?
    FOX

    We're so used to seeing people on TV talk around the word "mutant" at this point that it would be weird to actually hear it out loud for once.

  13. Will the shows even exist in the current X-Men continuity?
    Fox

    The Hellfire club does exist in the '60s in the movies, so...

  14. Will it fit in with Marvel's TV continuity instead?
    ABC

    If they're not explicitly mutants, could they fit in to the world of S.H.I.E.L.D.? But how would that even work since they're all technically X-Men characters? Legion was never a part of the Avengers like Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were, after all.

  15. Or perhaps even BOTH?
    Marvel

    Probably not, but think of all the crossover fanfiction people will write!

  16. What's the deal with all these "Fantastic Four" rumors now?

    People seem to think that Marvel made a deal with Fox to collaborate with them on TV shows in exchange for the rights back to the "Fantastic Four" characters. Except the deal is with Marvel Entertainment, not Marvel Studios, and Fox has already officially denied that it's given up the Fantastic Four. Are people that desperate for a new "FF" movie?

  17. And does this mean we'll get more X-Men merch now?
    Fox

    It's no secret that Marvel has been quietly focusing the bulk of their merchandise on characters they own the movie rights to instead of ones like the X-Men and Fantastic Four. Does having a stake in a live-action X-Men series again mean they'll be more likely to put out Hellfire club coffee mugs or something? Because I would buy one of those.