'Legion' Showrunner Reveals Why Patrick Stewart Hasn't Appeared Yet

Despite never appearing on the show, the presence of Professor Charles Xavier looms large over Legion.

The X-Men-inspired series on FX shows the character's adopted son David Haller as he attempts to thwart off the influence of the Shadow King, who has been existing as a parasite after losing a psychic battle with Xavier.

And though the show has made heavy references to Xavier, even including his iconic wheelchair from the original film series, circumstances are preventing him from appearing on the series as either Patrick Stewart, James McAvoy, or a different version.

Showrunner Noah Hawley spoke about his attempts to get Stewart on the show to reprise the role, revealing what's holding them back.

"It’s not a rights issue or a legal issue, it’s more about corporate synergy," said Hawley to THR. "There are a lot of people with opinions and strategies for franchise development. But I think we’ll be victorious in the end because our hearts are pure."

Hawley added that they haven't yet pinned down just how they want to tackle the character, given the series' non-linear structure.

"We move around a lot in time with the show," Hawley said. "I haven’t really settled on which version we’ll see."

Producer Lauren Shuler Donner, who has shepherded the franchise ever since the first X-Men movie came out under 20th Century Fox, spoke about her relationship with Stewart and his vital role in the beginning of the franchise.

"Patrick was the key to getting the franchise off the ground. Once [X-Men director] Bryan [Singer] and I convinced him to sign on, we got Ian McKellen," Shuler Donner said.

Series star Dan Stevens has also lobbied to get Stewart involved, even personally inviting him to appear when they both appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden.

When Stewart said his appearance in Logan would be his last portrayal of the character, Stevens invited him to appear on an episode of Legion, basically offering him a job. After explaining the connection, Stewart seemed enthusiastic.

"ABSOLUTELY. One hundred percent," he responded to a question of his interest.

Later during their panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Hawley spoke about David's lineage and how it would play into the series' future.

"I think we want to address that," Hawley said. "It's normal when you learn you're adopted to want to know who your real family is. He doesn’t yet know the identity, so I think it will be a process to get there."

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Legion airs Tuesdays on FX.

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