Fans flocked to Ballroom 20 to learn more about the new X-Men-based TV show on FOX. The Gifted showrunner Matt Nix was joined by executive producers Jeph Loeb, Lauren Schuler Donner, and stars Stephen Moyer and Amy Acker to start the panel.
Nix spoke about his enthusiasm for the program before Donner prepped the crowd for the premiere of some new scenes from the upcoming show.
Before the lights dimmed, Loeb riled fans up by revealing the entire cast would be showing up for the panel. Then they played the footage, giving fans their first look at the Gifted's season premiere directed by Bryan Singer.
The footage began with a woman running from the police in the rain. She’s cornered, and a close up shot reveals it’s Blink. She’s struggling to get her powers to work, but manages to summon a portal.
Thunderbird, Polaris, and Eclipse track Blink down to rescue her. They say they know Blink just escaped from a mutant detention center. She doesn’t trust them, but after they demonstrate their powers they convince her to join them.
Polaris uses her powers to destroy the lights on the cop cars, starting a shootout. She takes out a few of the cops before Eclipse uses his light powers as a distraction.
During the escape, Eclipse is shot and Polaris nearly loses control, trying to hurt the officers. They arrest her while Thunderbird grabs Eclipse and the two escape.
The scene cuts to a principals office at a high school. The Strucker parents are speaking to the principal about their son Andy being bullied. Reed Strucker gets called into work at the Mutant Wing at the Garland prison, where he goes to meet Polaris in a small cell similar to Magneto’s.
He asks her to cooperate and reveal information about her allies in order to get a reduced sentencing, revealing he knows she’s helped hundreds of mutants escape capture.
Reed enters the cell, causing Polaris to manipulate the metal screws in his knee. She threatens to hurt him, but saying if she wanted to kill him or the police officers who captured her, she easily could have.
Reed shows her the contents of a folder, using it as leverage. The viewer doesn’t see what he shows, but it causes Polaris to lose control and cause some damage in the prison. Reed leaves, imploring her to reconsider his offer.
It cuts to dinner at the Strucker home with Andy and Lauren eating dinner with their mom Caitlin. They talk about going to a high school dance, but Caitlin is obviously protective about her son.
He sneaks out and joins his sister as she goes to meet her boyfriend. Andy watches the dance floor from the bleachers before seeing some bullies. He tries to get away, but the corner him and take him to the gym showers.
While being tormented by bullies in the showers, Andy breaks down and causes the metal pipes to break, the ceiling to come down, and the walls to begin caving in. The destruction starts affecting the school, causing an evacuation.
Lauren runs to rescue her brother, using her own telekinetic abilities to deflect debris that manifest as if they're a shield. She calms her brother down, ending the destruction, and the two escape while their classmates look on. The footage ends with people discovering the Strucker kids are mutants.
Matt Nix, Lauren Schuler Donner, Stephen Moyer (Reed), and Amy Acker (Caitlin) returned to the stage. They were joined by producer Derek Hoffman and cast members Jamie Chung (Blink), Sean Teale (Eclipse), Coby Bell (Jace Turner), Emma Dumont (Polaris), Blair Redfield (Thunderbird), Natalie Alyn Lind (Lauren), and Percy Hynes White (Andy) for the panel moderated by Tim Stack of Entertainment Weekly.
Nix mentioned that X-Men: Days Of Future Past established that there are many streams in their universe, and the Gifted will take place in its own stream.
"It's definitely its own universe," Nix said, but the show will share some elements with the movies and comics.
Emma Dumont spoke about her character's hand gestures for her powers and how they draw from Magneto's motions in the X-Men films. She ends with calling her character "a daddy's girl."
Nix spoke about how the show will explore the manifestations of mutant powers and how the characters will learn to cope with them, hone them, and learn the limits of the abilities.
Asked if we will see X-Men characters such as Rogue, Nix said "The X-Men are gone. Why are the X-Men gone? That is a thing in the show," he said.
"It's not just that they're too expensive for television," he added, causing the room to laugh, "although that's maybe related."
Donner spoke about taking the X-Men to television and expressed that each offering needs to be its own unique story separate from the other movies and shows, indicating that we wouldn't see the Gifted would not cross over with Legion or the other X-Men films.
Nix said the show's pitch is basically the River Phoenix movie "Running On Empty," but with mutants.
One fan asked about whether X-Men stories would appear in the show's future, Nix said that the source material would influence the series but it would have its own unique narrative.
"How much freedom are we willing to give up for the sake of security. How much are we willing to take from people we're afraid of?"
A fan asked if Legion and The Gifted would crossover eventually. Donner said no.
Nix hinted that the show will show Sentinels and explore the different upgrades and alterations the robot killing machines have underwent.
Asked which power they'd have, or what mutant they would be, Nix said he has always wanted to be Xavier while Donner said she would be Jean Grey.
Nix and Teale both spoke about how the show will reflect the current troubles of the world.
The panel ended with an extended trailer of the upcoming season.
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The Gifted tells the emotional story of a suburban couple whose ordinary lives are rocked by the sudden discovery that their children possess mutant powers. Forced to go on the run from a hostile government, the family seeks help from an underground network of mutants and must fight to survive.
Set within the “X-Men” universe, the series stars Stephen Moyer (SHOTS FIRED, “True Blood”), Amy Acker (“Person of Interest”), Natalie Alyn Lind (GOTHAM) and Percy Hynes White (“Night at the Museum 3”) as the STRUCKER family. Also featured in the series are Sean Teale (“Reign”) as ECLIPSE/MARCOS DIAZ; Jamie Chung (GOTHAM) as BLINK/CLARICE FERGUSON; Emma Dumont (“Aquarius”) as POLARIS/LORNA DANE; Blair Redford (“Satisfaction”) as THUNDERBIRD/JOHN PROUDSTAR; and Coby Bell (“Burn Notice”) as Sentinel Services Agent JACE TURNER. The series is written by Matt Nix (“Burn Notice”), directed by Bryan Singer (the “X-Men” franchise”) and executive-produced by Nix, Singer, Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg (“X-Men: Apocalypse,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past”) and Marvel’s Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory.
The Gifted premieres on Oct. 2 on Fox with a pilot episode directed by veteran X-Men movies director Bryan Singer.