Thanks to some new comments from longtime X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner, we've got some interesting new tidbits to share with you about Fox's upcoming X-Men TV series. There's been loads of curiosity surrounding the two X-themed series, Legion and X-Men. Legion arrives on February 8th on FX, and it's been made clear that it's set within its own world. When it comes to X-Men, which will be run by Matt Nix (Burn Notice), things have been a little hazier. Donner's recent remarks continue to muddy the water while revealing a cool inclusion that fans will be happy to hear about.
Last week, Nix told IGN that "if you like the world of the movies, there are definite nods to it. It definitely exists in the same general kind of universe, if that makes sense." He was referring to whether or not his series will be connected to the movies. A lot of outlets took that remark, and others made during that interview, as some sort of "confirmation" that his show will be a companion to the X-Men movies. But does that really sound like what he's saying?
Donner also tackled that question, and the resulting response was equally sort of vague. Here's what she said about the relationship between the X-Men Cinematic Universe and both mutant TV shows:
“Matt’s is much more a part of just the world in terms of there are mutants, mutants are hated and there are Sentinels — though very different from what we’ve seen before. You feel like you’re here in the X-Men world.
With Legion, we’re our own universe. It gives Noah the freedom to do what he wants to do. Because we play with so many different timelines, and we rebooted and not really rebooted and all that, we felt like, OK, we’re going to throw it out there and hope the fans accept it.
The cinematic universe will not worry about Legion. They will not worry about these TV worlds at all. They will just continue in the way that they have been continuing, and there is some great stuff that we are developing. I can just say it’s going to be new and different, and yet Legion and our other show, we’re not going to get in each other’s way.”
So, for starters, did you catch how she snuck in that the X-Men show will include Sentinels? That's cool.
But as for the rest of her answer, as it pertains to where this X-Men series is set, things aren't quite clear. Both she and Nix seem to reference that the X-Men series will, essentially, feel more like an off-shoot of the films, but not necessarily have direct ties. In that way, it seems like X-Men will be to the XCU as Marvel's Netflix shows like Daredevil are to the MCU, in that there's definite synergy there, but they're not really attached-at-the-hip.
This is why I caution all of the other sites covering this story to be careful how you phrase this for your readers. I think it's a bit bold and misleading to flat out state that the X-Men TV show is connected to the movies, as both Nix and Donner are busy saying things like this:
"I guess I'd say in a sort of general way it acknowledges that events like the events that have happened in the movies have happened, you know what I mean? But it's not to date... it's still evolving. We'll see how much that comes in. It's certainly not 'Since this happened in X-Men Apocalypse now all of these things are happening!' which I think is cool, but they already did that."
So, much like the Netflix The Defenders franchise, which houses series like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, it'll be connected to its big-screen siblings in a very loose, minimal way. Just as they reference the Chitauri invasion from The Avengers on Daredevil, but don't really go out of their way to cross-pollinate the continuities, Fox's X-Men TV series will acknowledge that stuff like Magneto dropping a football stadium around the White House happened...without going so far as to say that there's a 1:1 connection.
Remember, as Donner has just revealed: The movies "will not worry about these TV worlds at all."
Keep that in mind, while everyone else is busy telling you that X-Men (TV) will be connected to the XCU.