One of my favorite series of the past few years was Noah Hawley’s Legion. Based on the Marvel Comics by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz, the series focused on David Haller (played brilliantly by Dan Stevens), who believed himself to be schizophrenic, only to discover that he is one of the most powerful mutants the world has ever seen. Over the course of twenty-seven episodes and three seasons, the series managed to push the medium of television forward in new and innovative ways by using a unique visual style and narrative structure that I can’t believe they pulled off on a weekly basis. Each episode always included shots I’d never seen on TV before, while also finding a way to make story choices that I didn’t expect. In addition, while there are many series featuring people with superpowers, Legion’s choice to focus on mental illness as the main part of the storyline puts it in a league of its own. And don’t get me started on the amazing cast. If you have never watched an episode, now is the perfect time to start, as it’s streaming on Hulu.
The reason I have been singing the praises of Legion is I recently conducted an extended interview with Noah Hawley. While the interview was to discuss the new season of Fargo (which is fantastic), we spent a bit of time talking about the making of Legion and the series finale. Hawley also discussed when he knew it would only last for three seasons, how the series never got huge ratings, how Legion was a different kind of superhero show, how he wanted the series to feature bold, iconic images, and more.
Check out what he had to say below and look for our conversation about Fargo in the coming days.
- Did he know it would be a three-season series?
- On what he learned in the second season making Legion.
- Did he always know what the series finale would be?
- How he didn’t know the first and the last images would be the same.
- How the series never got huge ratings but always got great reviews.
- How Legion was a different kind of superhero show.
- The unique visual style of Legion and how they pulled it off on a weekly schedule.
- How he wanted the series to feature bold, iconic images and when they showed the next episode’s trailer he wanted people to always wonder how did they pull off certain shots.