When you’re a big X-Men fan like I am, every Marvel/Fox casting announcement is something to pounce at. They’ve done great casting since the First Class trilogy despite initial doubts on McAvoy and then newcomer Fassbender, proving that they have an eye for the correct talent for the right character.
Now FX under Fox has cast Dan Stevens as David Haller, the eponymous Legion. Known for his portrayal as Matthew Crawley on ITV’s Downton Abbey, he’s actually starred in other productions such as The Guest, Beauty and the Beast, and Vamps (coincidentally, with Krysten Ritter). Admittedly though, he hasn’t been in the spotlight since dying in that car crash a couple season ago. If this is his comeback, I’m excited to see how his acting has improved and if he can play a character known for his dissociative identity disorder. But for those not in the know, some background: Charles Xavier fell in love with Gabrielle Haller, an Israeli Holocaust survivor, and consequently had David. I don’t think he actually knew he had a kid in the comics until David showed up, but hey, what continuity?
Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) and Jean Smart (Fargo) have also been cast in the show. Plaza bagged the role of Lenny, a close of friend of David who’s led a life of drugs and alcohol, and is supposed to play the more optimistic side of series. Smart is set to play Melanie, David’s therapist with unconventional methods of treatment to match with her, well, smarts.
All three new cast members are to join an already cast Rachel Keller (Fargo), set to play Syd.
Legion is under the banner of FX Productions and Marvel Television. Noah Hawley will executive produce and write the pilot, with team members Lauren Shuler Donner (X-MenL DOFP, Wolverine), Bryan Singer (take a guess at his credits), Simon Kinberg (this guy too), Jeph Loeb (ehem), and Jim Chory (Daredevil). Keep an eye out, production begins in March 2016!