The X-Men took their first tentative steps towards the small screen in February with FX’s Legion which centers around David Haller (Dan Stevens) the secret son of Charles Xavier, who has spent his life believing that his powerful psychic abilities were simply delusions brought on by mental illness.
The show’s last two episodes vaguely teased the connection between David and his long-lost father, but despite a few references to mutants, the show felt largely disconnected from the sprawling cinematic universe featuring Professor X, Logan and Magneto.
That won’t be an issue for Fox’s new series The Gifted, which will premiere on the broadcast network on Monday nights this fall.
Like Legion, The Gifted is executive produced by the architects of the X-Men cinematic universe, Bryan Singer, Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg, along with Marvel TV’s Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory. Oh, and they’re damn sure not afraid of mentioning the X-Men or Magneto’s Brotherhood as the first full-length trailer for the show reveals.
“Its very different from [Legion], visually, and yet its very different from the X-Men films as well,” Singer told Mashable of The Gifted back in February. “Its mostly about a family. Its a family drama. Therell be effects, powers, and things like that. But at its heart, its about a family. Its an emotional story.”
The Gifted follows a suburban couple whose ordinary lives are rocked by the sudden discovery that their children possess mutant powers. Reed Strucker (Stephen Moyer) and his wife Caitlin (Amy Acker) are typical middle-class parents dealing with the realities of raising a family. However, when their teenage kids, Lauren (Natalie Alyn Lind,) and Andy (Percy Hynes White), are involved in an incident at their high school which reveals they are mutants, Reed and Caitlin do all in their power to protect their children.
Forced to go on the run, the Struckers must leave behind their old lives to flee from a relentless government agency that tracks down mutants, the Sentinel Services, which includes Agent Jace Turner (Coby Bell). Complicating matters further is the fact that Reed is a prosecutor in the district attorneys office tasked with going after mutants.
Desperate and running low on options, the familys only choice is to contact an underground network that helps mutants in trouble. The mutants in the network Eclipse/Marcos Diaz (Sean Teale), Blink/Clarice Fong (Jamie Chung), Polaris/Lorna Dane (Emma Dumont) and Thunderbird/John Proudstar (Blair Redford) are dealing with their own issues. With one of their members in prison and their team possibly compromised, they face an uncertain future in a world that looks increasingly dangerous for mutants.
“The X-Men, the Brotherhood, we don’t even know if they exist anymore,” says Eclipse in the trailer, meaning that the show probably takes place in a timeline after the events shown in X-Men: Days of Future Past, which saw the X-Men alive and well, after the film retconned the controversial ending of X-Men: The Last Stand (which killed Jean Grey, Cyclops and Xavier).
That’s not the only tie to the wider X-Men universe in the trailer here are some other X-tidbits you should pay attention to.
In the X-Men comics, the character is the daughter of Magneto, and possesses similar powers to him which may explain why she’s being kept in a plastic prison in the trailer. This isn’t the first time Polaris has been mentioned in the X-world; she was previously teased in an X2 easter egg, when her name appeared on a computer belonging to William Stryker.
The name “Sentinels” should be familiar to any fan of the X-Men comics or films in Days of Future Past, they were the powerful robots who were eradicating mutants in a bleak, dystopian future where much of the world was in ruins. In The Gifted, we may be seeing another origin for the mutant-hunting task force in the Sentinel Services group. Robots or humans, they’re definitely bad news.
The purple-haired teleporter also made an appearance in Days of Future Past, portrayed by Fan Bingbing. There, she was a member of the surviving group of mutants seen fighting against the Sentinels in the post-apocalyptic future that Wolverine was sent back in time to avert, working alongside other X-Men including Kitty Pryde, Iceman and Colossus.
In the comics, John Proudstar was the ill-fated brother of James Proudstar, aka Warpath. It was Warpath who appeared in Days of Future Past alongside his fellow X-Men in 2023 a team that also included Blink and Kitty Pryde but there was no mention of Thunderbird in the film. Presumably, since Singer and Kinberg are involved, we’ll see some mention of John’s connection to James during the series, since the two are supposed to have similar powers.
Marcos Diaz isn’t a character from the X-Men films, and according to Fox, he’s been created especially for the show but the name Eclipse has been used for a mutant in Marvel’s comics history before, as an alter-ego for Sunspot (another character who appeared in Days of Future Past along with Blink and Warpath sensing a pattern) in an alternate reality known as Earth-11326 in the “Age of X” story arc. His abilities to absorb and manipulate photons are also similar to Sunspot’s powers, so there may be more to his story… or he could be a simple amalgamation of several characters for TV purposes.
For more intel, we’ll probably have to wait until fall but since the X-Men movie producers are on board, so are we.