Yesterday, after months of speculation about what form an X-Men TV spin-off might take, Fox finally announced the development of not one, but two, X-Men-connected television shows. Work has already begun on two TV shows with ties to the studio’s popular film franchise: “Legion” and “Hellfire“. While more are expected to come in the future, possibly including the previously-rumored “X-Factor” series, these will be the studios flagship shows.
“Legion“, if it sticks to the source material, will follow the troubled son of Professor Xavier. It will presumably be based on the “X-Men: Legacy” title that the character top-lined, which dealt with some of the most powerful mutants on Earth. If memory serves, the titular Legion struggled with mental illness, so that should make for some interesting drama. This particular series is earmarked for FX, with Noah Hawley (“Fargo“) holding the reins. Given the nature of the series, expect it to be set during the present, which shouldn’t interfere too much with the now-period set films.
“Hellfire“, however, will indeed be a period piece series. Set during the 1960s, it will involve a federal agent investigating The Hellfire Club, a mysterious mutant organization bent on world domination. Aren’t they all? If that name sounds familiar, it’s because it is the same club that Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) ran alongside Emma Frost, Azazel, and Riptide in Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class. I’m assuming that this series will be set after the film and involve a different incarnation of the titular diabolical group, but it’s hard to tell at this time. Regardless, those whining that the First Class trilogy moved out of the ’60s so quickly should finally get another mutant fix here from that decade. “Hellfire” is set to hit Fox itself. Bryan Singer will be executive producing both shows.
With Marvel themselves holding partial rights and legal approval over any live action mutant shows that Fox might want to make, how is all of this finally happening? Aside from Fox paying for usage, the answer is simple: a trade is occurring. According to today’s big rumor, Fox is handing back Fantastic Four in exchange for carte blanche when it comes to live action X-Men television shows. It’s honestly a deal that makes sense for all involved, as Marvel would love to have their First Family back and Fox has no desire to develop anything beyond X-Men properties anymore. Win win, especially when it comes to audiences.