17 years after Fox’s X-Men franchise launched in 2000 with, er, X-Men, the series has finally crossed over into the television side of things. Earlier this year, we had Legion, the critically-acclaimed psychological drama starring telepathic mutant David Haller (Dan Stevens), and soon, we’ll get The Gifted, a thriller focusing on a family with mutant children going on the run from the authorities.
Naturally, fans really want to know just how these shows fit in with the X-Men movies. Are they set in the same continuity like the TV series of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Or are they two distinct worlds such as the DCEU and Arrowverse, for example? In an interview with Screen Rant, producer Hutch Parker was asked to clear up the matter, and though his reply is slightly ambiguous, it seems to confirm that the TV shows will be entirely separate from the movies.
“[The TV series]’re more of their own thing. I think they’re designed really to, again, part of what I think has always been compelling about the X-Men Universe to me is, it is about individuals grappling with the degrees and ways in which they’re different from the society in which they live. That as an idea allows you, you can follow any one of countless characters in the universe and have a completely idiosyncratic experience, right?
A completely unique story. I think what’s great about what they’ve been doing in TV is they’re finding those nooks and crannies and characters and new articulations or expressions of those issues and exploring them in a series format. So without being specifically tied, they’re another way in which the [X-Men] Universe is getting expanded.”
Parker’s talk about “unique” stories and “idiosyncratic” experiences fits in with the direction that the X-Men franchise is taking as a whole. There’s definitely been a move towards projects with their own unique flavour of late. For instance, the R-rated irreverent fun of Deadpool and the dark, moody thrills of Logan.
It looks like this is carrying over to the TV division, as well. Though we fans like to see everything connected, Fox are concentrating on making sure each movie or show has its own unique appeal and while we’d love to have, say, Patrick Stewart turn up in Legion, you can’t say that putting story first is a bad thing.
The Gifted will air on Mondays at 9PM on Fox this Fall.