Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens set to star in new X-Men TV series

Of course, Matthew Crawley’s leg-healing powers already put Wolverine to shame

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If you’ve been missing Dan Stevens on your TV since he left Downton Abbey, then there might just be some good news coming your way – the erstwhile Matthew Crawley is in the frame to star in a brand-new US TV series called Legion, and he’ll be playing a superhero with a difference.

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If Stevens signs up for the series (which is based on characters from the X-Men comics but won’t directly link to the film adaptations), he will take on the role of David Haller, say Stateside insiders The Hollywood Reporter, a diagnosed schizophrenic who gradually realises the voices and visions he experiences are actually part of his mutant abilities.

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The comic-book version of David Haller, aka Legion

In the original comics, Stevens’ character is a similarly unstable telepathic, telekinetic and pyrokenetic (aka fire-controlling) mutant who was born to X-Men leader Charles Xavier/Professor X (currently played by James McAvoy in the film series) and Holocaust survivor Gabrielle Haller. He takes the name “Legion” due to the warring personalities within his own psyche, each of whom controls one of his powerful abilities.

He first appeared in the comic New Mutants in March 1985, and is most notable for the accidental killing of his father Charles when he travelled back in time to try to off X-Men foe Magneto (thereby saving the world a lot of trouble) before he’d got the whole villain thing down yet. This historical change led to the alternate timeline “Age of Apocalypse”, which coincidentally forms the basis for this year’s big-screen adaptation X-Men: Apocalypse.

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The Legion pilot will be made for FX by Fargo’s Noah Hawley, and also stars Fargo series 2’s Rachel Keller and Jean Smart alongside Parks and Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza as David’s troubled best friend.