FX’s ‘Legion’ has filled in its main cast with three high profile fan favorites.  We previously reported that Rachel Keller, from FX’s ‘Fargo’ had been cast as the new ‘X-Men’-based show’s then-unnamed female lead.  We have since learned that her character’s name is Syd.  Now Keller will be joined by Dan Stevens as the lead character David Haller, plus comedy favorites Aubrey Plaza and Jean Smart.

Though ‘Legion’ is based on one of Marvel Comics’ mutant characters (the son of Professor Charles Xavier, in fact) and is produced by 20th Century Fox, it will not be directly related to Fox’s ongoing ‘X-Men’ film franchise.  In the comics, David Haller/Legion is a mutant with multiple personalities, each with a different super power.

Here is the show’s description:

Since he was a teenager, David has struggled with mental illness. Diagnosed as schizophrenic, David has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years. But after a strange encounter with a fellow patient, he’s confronted with the possibility that the voices he hears and the visions he sees might be real.

Legion-Dan_StevensNow we know that ‘Downton Abbey’ heartthrob Dan Stevens will be playing the lead character David.  On ‘Downton’ be played Matthew Crawley for three seasons from 2010-2012, until his character was shockingly killed off.  (The fan reaction was kinda like when Jon Snow was killed on ‘Game of Thrones’ but more polite.)  Since exiting that hit program, he has made a few additional appearance, perhaps most visibly in ‘Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb’ in which he portrayed Sir Lancelot.  He will soon be seen as The Beast opposite Emma Watson as Belle in Disney’s live action cinematic version of ‘Beauty & The Beast’.

Stevens may have kept a somewhat quiet profile since leaving ‘Downton Abbey’, but it looks like his profile is about to get much higher!

In the pilot, reportedly, David is at the end of his rope and about to give up, when he meets the girl of his dreams, Syd, which begins to turn things around.

Legion-Aubrey_PlazaScoring Aubrey Plaza is quite a coup.  The comedic actor was highly sought-after this pilot season and basically had her choice of projects to pursue.

On ‘Legion’, Plaza plays Lenny, David’s lifelong friend.  She is described as “Despite a life of drugs and alcohol abuse, [she] knows that any day now her life is going to turn around — which gives Lenny the likeable energy of the impossible optimist despite her rough demeanor.”

And a rough demeanor is probably Plaza’s most famous trait, after spending six years playing the surly and infinitely-quotable April Ludgate on ‘Parks & Recreation’.

She can currently be seen on the big screen in ‘Dirty Grandpa’ with Zac Efron and will next appear in ‘Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates’… uh, also with Zac Efron.  (God, the hardships that certain actors have to endure for their art!  Poor girl!)

Legion-Jean_SmartThough she may forever be associated with her role as the ditzy Charlene on the classic late 80s sitcom ‘Designing Women’, Jean Smart is an acclaimed actor with dozens of roles to her credit.  ‘Legion’ reunites Smart with her ‘Fargo’ costar Rachel Keller.  Both series are, not coincidentally, executive produced by Noah Hawley.

Smart recently won the Critics Choice Award for her ‘Fargo’ role as crime boss Floyd Gerhardt.  She has also won three Emmy awards, two for ‘Frasier’ and one for ‘Samantha Who?’.  (She has been nominated a total of seven times.)

On ‘Legion’, Smart plays Melanie, a therapist who is described as having “a sharp mind and unconventional methods.”

Though FX airs quite a lot of junk from Fox’s library (like ‘Two and a Half Men’… lots and lots of ‘Two and a Half Men’), its original programming possibly surpasses the quality of that of the more widely praised AMC and includes such edgy and beloved milestones as ‘The Shield’, ‘Justified’, ‘Sons of Anarchy’, ‘Nip/Tuck’, ‘Rescue Me’ and current favorites like ‘Archer’, ‘It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’, ‘American Horror Story’, ‘American Crime Story’, ‘The Americans’ and, of course ‘Fargo’.  The network is also developing a series based on the excellent Vertigo comic series ‘Y: The Last Man’.

Will ‘Legion’ join that luminous tradition?  So far, they’ve stacked the deck with top-notch talent both in front of and behind the camera.

How is this show shaping up in your opinion?  Will ‘Legion’ become the next fan favorite for FX?

Source: The Hollywood Reporter