EP Noah Hawley Wants to Make a Surreal Story With ‘LEGION’

No doubt about it. We live in a world where comic books and superheroesare mainstream and saturated in Hollywood, so much so that many are starting to see these stories as predictable and formulaic. But in reality, those types of stories only scratch the surface of what’s available in the comic books, which are generally able to take greater storytelling risks than films. This superhero craze has also bled over into television, and with series like DAREDEVIL and THE FLASH, filmmakers are able to explore different aspects of the properties that could never be shown on the big screen. This is also something that executive producer Noah Hawley hopes to do with the upcoming FX series, LEGION.

In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Hawley expressed his interest to take the genre in a whole new direction. Rather than go the traditional route, he almost wants to deal more with the abstract side of things.

“I always feel like the structure of a story should reflect the content of the story. If the story, as in this case, is about a guy who is either schizophrenic or he has these abilities, i.e., he doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not real, then the audience should have the same experience.

[We want to go for a] surreal or dreamlike quality where it’s not just about running and kicking. There’s, whatever, 9,000 superhero stories right now. They’ve got all the running and kicking covered. I think my goal with this is to do something whimsical and imaginative and unexpected. Not just because I want to do something different, but because it feels like the right way to tell this story.”


“What is it really like to hear voices or to be able to move things with your mind or to think you can move things with your mind, but you’ve been hospitalized and they’ve been talking you out of the idea that you can actually move things with your mind. If there’s one thing that television doesn’t really do, and has never really done, is to tell a surreal story. I would have loved to have been in the room with the ABC executives when they watched David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive TV pilot. You know that had to be a long silence after that thing stopped.”

This is a very interesting development. Considering this series is supposed to be a companion to the X-MEN Cinematic Universe, I very much expected it and HELLFIRE to be more like AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. in how it was connected to the film universe, but if Hawley gets his way, it looks like it’ll be anything but that. Not sure why I expected anything less. This is the man who brought FARGO to the small screen, after all. 

While perhaps not as exciting or “sexy” on paper, this is an approach that’s decidedly a better fit for TV than your typical fare. It’ll be a project where the budget limitations will likely be less severe, and the character intrigue could be all the better. Of course this all depends what Hawley means by surreal. If by surreal he means more CG, then it can very well go in the other direction, but given the description, I think he can get away with more a standard “trippy” or “odd.” 

What do you make of Hawley’s comments. Does this get you more or less excited for the series? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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SOURCE: Vanity Fair

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