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Noah Hawley Told Fox He Couldn’t End ‘Legion’ Unless They Allowed Him to Use Professor X

"That conversation began to be had at the highest levels," Hawley said about getting permission to use Charles Xavier.

Dan Stevens, "Legion"

Dan Stevens, “Legion”


Noah Hawley confirmed at the TCA press tour the upcoming third season of his FX comic book series “Legion” will be its last, and he’s got major plans as Harry Lloyd is joining the series as Charles Xavier/Professor X. The character is the father of “Legion” protagonist David Haller (Dan Stevens). For Hawley, bringing Professor X to the series meant going to the executives at 20th Century Fox and negotiating to use the character. James McAvoy currently stars as Professor X in Fox’s “X-Men” movies, which includes the upcoming “Dark Phoenix.”

“The movie studio definitely controls that story and those characters and there was a negotiation that had to go on,” Hawley told The Wrap. “Going into this third story, that conversation began to be had at the highest levels, because I can’t finish the story unless I can do it.”

Luckily for Hawley, 20th Century Fox was willing to give him the character and eager to see how the creator would put his spin on him. Before James McAvoy played the role starting in “X-Men: First Class,” Professor X was famously played by Patrick Stewart. The actor originated Professor X on the big screen starting with Bryan Singer’s 2000 tentpole “X-Men.”

Including Professor X in “Legion” was inevitable for Hawley, as David has been plagued by the show’s primary villain, the Shadow Monster/Amahl Farouk, ever since Professor X lost a telepathic battle with him. Xavier had to send David away as a child to keep him safe.

“At a certain point, his parents felt like the child was in danger and so they gave him away to be raised by somebody else,” Hawley said. “Not because they didn’t want him, but for his safety, without realizing that already that he had been compromised.”

Hawley said the final season of “Legion” will explore the relationship between Xavier and the Shadow Monster in depth. Harry Lloyd will take on the coveted role after gaining recognition on series such as “Game of Thrones” and “Counterpart.” Hawley said part of the reason Fox was willing to give him permission to use Xavier is because of just how separate “Legion” feels from the larger “X-Men” movie universe.

“The good thing with ‘Legion’ is that our reality is so detached from the comics — or anything — because it’s David’s subjective experience,” Hawley said. “The tesseracts in his reality doesn’t really have to linearly tie to anything we’ve seen before.”

“Legion” Season 3 will air on FX in June.

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