San Diego Comic Con 2017: FX’s ‘Legion’ Panel Highlights

Legion SDCC 2017 Panel Recap

Fans took a trip into David Haller’s brain at the Legion panel on Thursday evening at San Diego Comic-Con.  As fans, we were hoping for answers, but we may have come out with more questions about Noah Hawley’s trippy take on the X-Men universe.

The show runner, producers Jeff Loeb, Lauren Schuler Donner, John Cameron as well as stars Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Jean Smart, Jeremy Harris, Amber Midthunder, and Bill Irwin were in attendance. As part of the hour long panel, the producers and cast members chatted about that cliffhanger season finale, dove into their characters a bit more, and even shared a little preview of what’s next to come including a surprise annoucement of Noah Hawley directing the Doctor Doom movie for FOX.

Here are some of the panel highlights

  • The Bolero sequence was included because it was written by a person with OCD & reflects the show’s themes.
  • Jean Smart loved how the show turned into a work of art. The Bolero sequence took days and days to film but the cast was happy with the pay-off.
  • Noah Hawley enjoyed playing the genre aspects in the Bolero sequence including the silent film, action, and dancing. Mashing these things together created an “appropriate bigness” since it was already a musical.
  • To Jeff Loeb, “Noah is Legion” as he is creating something that’s springing from his head.
  • Lauren Donner wanted to make this show very distinctive, it “had to exist on its own plane.”
  • John Cameron on the Bollywood number: It was an early part of the discussion of the show–how integral the music aspect became to the tapestry.
  • Dan Stevens still has a lot of questions for Noah about where David is. Early on he became convinced that Aubrey knew more than he did. Spent a lot of time not knowing what was happening to echo David’s not knowing and making those discoveries along with him.
  • Aubrey Plaza on transforming Lenny. “It was a wild ride. It was really fun. I knew the broad strokes.” Plaza had fun with the challenge. The most fun kind of work to her is also how a psychopath moves around & taking “Weird risks.”
  • Jean Smart described Bird as In love with a popsicle & someone “who hasn’t gotten laid in over 20 years.”
  • The Cary’s are still figuring out how they work & take on Hawley’s notion of the character. Describe their relationship differently to Midthunder they have a sibling dynamic but to Irwin it’s a parental dynamic.
  • Noah Hawley on season two teases, “He went on a little ride in a little ball,” “We are going to meet the Farouk/Shadow King, played by Saeed Tam(wonder woman) create a trio
  • At its core Hawley explained that Legion is an epic love story between two people who can’t physically be together & have to figure out how this would actually work. Described season one as David & Sydney’s honeymoon period.
  • Loeb loves that all the characters Hawley creates have secrets, the joy of it is that there’s no reliable narrative with beautiful shots and moments. “Noah in a nutshell: he lives in the future and we all have to get there.”
  • Dan had violent food poisoning when they shot they Bollywood dance sequence. “Not a fun dance to do while nauseous”
  • Plaza loved shooting in the astral plane because she’d “never been there before”
  • Harris most memorable moment of the shoot was the action sequence when he was running up the hill with a tommy gun.
  • Keller thought the white room set was very Kubrick-seque. Stevens agrees that the red room in that room would only add onto the trippyness because when they walked out of it and back into the white room
  • Every character on the show. I have a slight character issue, i like a lot of them. Even characters who were supposed to be villains. Definitely go deeper”
  • Hawley is mum on whether Xavier will appear, tossed it to Jeff Loeb and Dan chimed in that when he met Patrick Stewart on a show, “He seemed very into the idea Jeff
  • Hawley is unsure of where in age their Professor X would be and who would be available to be them.
  • You will see a lot more of Melanie and Oliver and their relationship in season 2.
  • Stevens uses the comic book frames for his inspiration in playing David when he uses his powers.
  • “Noah will write a sentence that could be taken a million different ways.” Plaza said of looking forward to tackling her character even more so.
  • David without Lenny may fall under “the hubris of being a hero– so everything he does is heroic”. Stevens added “he has to fill in that void.” And determine without the influence what his choices are now that they’re all his.
  • Songs the cast wants to sing in the show “Ain’t going down till the sun comes up” by Garth Brooks is a song Aubrey Plaza would do, Smart “My Man” from funny girl. “Seek and Destroy” girl Cary, Harris no idea “mama” by boys to men. Syd “Wish you were here by Pink Floyd. Dan, “Just the two of us” added Dan.
  • “Important to me that the show not be a gimmick to be a comic book sorry pretending to be a mental illness story.” David he still developed a personality because of the life he lived and that even being told he was sick he still has to cope with that. It doesn’t just make him okay.

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