Bryan Singer, Aubrey Plaza Talk "Psychedelic Genius" at Premiere of FX's 'Legion'

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
Dan Stevens and Aubrey Plaza

"It's a visual feast," said Bryan Singer of the FX superhero show.

There’s no easy way to describe Legion, FX’s new X-Men TV series from the brain of Fargo creator Noah Hawley.

“It's an onion,” executive producer and X-Men movie director Bryan Singer told The Hollywood Reporter on the red carpet at the show’s premiere. “That's the best way to describe it — it's a visual feast, it's beautifully written, but it's an onion — constantly being unpeeled with every scene and with every episode. It's constantly evolving. Just when you think it's going in one direction, it takes you in a completely different one.”

Star Aubrey Plaza chimed in, “I would say it's a superhero origin story told through the lens of some cosmic psychedelic genius that is telling the story in a nonlinear, magical way."

“It's a very complex web of character relationships," said Bill Irwin, who plays Cary Loudermilk on the series. "The whole question of superpowers in [writer] Noah [Hawley]'s hands is just a different proposition than anybody else's. Time is relative; powers are relative; good and evil are not relative, but it's hard to know who's on what side at any point."

But star Amber Midthunder might be the most successful in describing the series: “It centers around a guy named David Haller. He grew up thinking he was schizophrenic, and then suddenly he's faced with the idea that maybe the voices he hears and the things that he sees are real, and he has a team of people helping him do that,” she explained.

FX debuted the high-profile show at the Pacific Design Center’s Silver Screen Theater on Thursday night, with the majority of the cast and producers in attendance (along with fellow FX stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Allison Tolman, and Glenn Howerton from Fargo and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia).

Dan Stevens, who plays the lead, David, on the show, spoke to THR about getting into the mind of his character. “I guess it depends on your definition of insane, and that's one of the big questions that sort of hovers over all of it. The show is mad and I felt pretty insane playing him if that's any concert, but I don't think it's as clear cut as saying David Haller is insane. But to a lot of people he seems pretty crazy.”

Marvel Television boss Jeph Loeb told THR that he does want Legion to feel like the comics, but you won’t see anything on the show that you’ve seen on the page. “I certainly don't want to tell stories that are in the comics because it's both disrespectful to the original comics and it's disrespectful to the television audience. If they know how it's going to begin and end, they can read the comic. Why watch the show? It doesn't matter whether it's Daredevil or Jessica Jones or Agents of SHIELD, we'd like to be able to present new stories that use our characters in the same kind of way that [the comics do]."

After the screening of the hour-plus-long premiere, guests drove and Ubered their way to Nightingale Plaza on La Cienega Boulevard, where they sipped the SBE nightclub’s signature cocktails, dined on filet mignon and roasted chicken, and danced to Beyonce.

Earlier in the evening, both Hawley and Loeb spoke to THR about whether there could be a second season of the well-reviewed show. (In fact, FX boss John Landgraf introduced the screening by reading several of Legion’s positive write-ups, THR’s review included.)

“I think the goal is to do more, but it was important to me that this story have a beginning, middle, and end,” said Hawley. “If you know where you're going, then you're laying in all the pieces that get you there.”

Loeb said there are definitely ways to expand the Legion world. “Well, there are eight episodes, let's see how people like that before we figure out where else this is going to go. I can tell you that there's certainly ways that things can expand, and there are ways not to. I've said it many times, we're not in the business of running an Easter Egg farm, but if there's a nod or a wink to let everybody know we know where we are, we know when we are, then our fans will follow us. Isn't it about time we did an X-Men television show, and isn't it about time we did it well? And that's what Legion is.”

Legion premieres Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 10 p.m. on FX.

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