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‘Legion’ Casts Stevens, Plaza, & Smart

FX has announced its leads for its X-Men spin-off TV series, “Legion“. In addition to the previously-announced Rachel Keller (“Fargo“), the show will be toplined by Dan Stevens (The Guest, “Downton Abbey“), Aubrey Plaza (“Parks & Recreation“, Dirty Grandpa), and Jean Smart (“Designing Women“, “Fargo“).  Kudos to THR for breaking the news.  The series, based on the popular comic run of the same name, is being brought to television by none other than Noah Hawley (“Fargo“).  So, “Fargo” fans, if you’re wondering why you won’t get a new season of that series until 2017, this is the answer.  Looks like he’s bringing a chunk of his cast along for the ride, however, so that’s a plus!

Stevens will be playing series lead David Haller, who has been described as “a haunted man, trying to find his way back to sanity, but he’s getting tired and is about to give up when he meets the girl of his dreams.”  In the comics, Haller was actually the mentally-ill son of Professor X, but I suspect that aspect might be left out for the series.  Its connections to the films aren’t likely to be strong ones, especially since the film series is now comprised of period pieces and looks likely to remain that way (outside of spin-offs like Deadpool).

Plaza will be portraying Lenny.  Reportedly a new character created for the series, Lenny is described as an “impossible optimist [with a] rough demeanor” who is looking to turn her life around after a long battle with substance abuse.  She will apparently be Haller’s best friend.

Smart will be playing the part of Melanie.  She is described as “”nurturing, demanding therapist with a sharp mind and unconventional methods.”  Like Lenny, Melanie is an original character created by Hawley for the series.

The name of Rachel Keller’s character still has yet to be announced, but she’s been described as “a scrappy, optimistic woman in her 20s”.  That’s pretty damn vague, although there are rumors surrounding her part.  One points to her have powers related to touch, ala Rogue.  Another has her potentially playing one of Haller’s schizophrenic personalities.  Regardless, it sounds like we’re in for a pretty interesting series set within the X-Men Cinematic Universe.

Here’s the series logline, in case you’ve missed it…

“Since he was a teenager, David has struggled with mental illness. Diagnosed as schizophrenic, David has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years. But after a strange encounter with a fellow patient, he’s confronted with the possibility that the voices he hears and the visions he sees might be real.”

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