Fox wants to take the X-Men franchise to the small screen, and they’ve found the man to lead them there. Dan Stevens, who played Matthew Crowley on Downton Abbey, will take on the title role in the pilot for Legion, based on The X-Men spinoff comic of the same name.
Stevens will play David Haller, the son of Professor Xavier, who has struggled since he was a teen 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.
Rachel Keller (Fargo) will play Syd, self-sufficient and street-smart who uses her sharp and prickly demeanor to protect her soft core, because even though it makes her a sucker and puts her at risk, she still believes in happily ever after.
Also cast are Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) as Lenny, David’s friend, who despite a life of drugs and alcohol abuse, knows that any day now her life is gonna turn around, which gives Lenny the likeable energy of the impossible optimist despite her rough demeanor; and Jean Smart (Fargo) as Melanie, a nurturing, demanding therapist with a sharp mind and unconventional methods.
Fargo co-creator Noah Hawley wrote the pilot and will executive produce along with X-Men stewards Lauren Shuler Donner, Bryan Singer and Simon Kinberg, plus Jeph Loeb for Marvel TV, Jim Chory and John Cameron