***Spoiler Warning: Spoilers for Legion Season 1 follow. Spoilers***
We’ll take it! Honestly, we’ll take any little scraplet of news on anything Noah Hawley, and especially about one of 2017’s best series. Left hanging off yet another brilliant mindcliff, with Dan Stevens’ David Haller kidnapped, and the evil Farouk, aka the Shadow King, apparently having jumped ship host from Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) to Oliver (Jemaine Clement), Season 2 could literally go anywhere and everywhere.
Quickly kicking off the new year, the cast and showrunner spoke at the 2018 Television Critics Association panel, revealing a short clip featuring David visiting a fortune teller, who turns out to be — SPOILER — Farouk as played by someone other than the previously announced Saïd Taghmaoui.
That was Navid Negahban playing Amahl Farook for us. He came on board. We didn’t have a great fit with Said. Navid was good enough to come join us to play against Dan.”
The separation of Farouk, who up ’till now has been hiding inside other characters, seems to indicate the character won’t stay inside Oliver long, and also leaves Aubrey Plaza with a different version of Lenny to play. But, Hawley indicated the Shadow King mightn’t always show himself.
He wore different faces and certainly this season we’re now meeting him for the first time, That doesn’t mean he won’t continue to hide and continue to use people.”
Plaza also spoke about what Lenny is dealing with.
It’s really scary to play a character that you don’t know who she is. You’re being used as a vessel, in the first season. Lenny almost becomes like David in a sense. She doesn’t know what’s real or who she is. For season two, it’s like my the power I thought I had has been totally taken away from me. I’m totally stripped down. Now we have to dig deeper and see who she really is … I think traumatic is the right word”
Hawley and the cast let a few other details about Season 2 slip, including that the series will return sometime in April, and we won’t be dropped right where Season 1 ended; there’s a time jump.
The first year we started with some confusion about does he have schizophrenia; does he have these powers; what’s this monster he’s seeing? Over the course of the year, as he got clarity, we got clarity. I didn’t want to go in season two, it’s all clarity all the time, so we built in a time jump. We can muddy the waters agin. I think that’s the fun of the show, the mystery of trying to figure things out.
If the first year was the story of an insane man in a sane world, then I was interested in looking at David now being the sane man in an insane world. We’ve established he doesn’t have schizophrenia and he has these abilities. There is this time jump, for him to come back and suddenly the world is a very different place. I was interested this year in looking at a mass psychology. Mental illness can also be cultural in a way so those issues were interesting to me. We’re also exploring with Dan, he’s on a journey here in which in the language of this world, you have heroes and villains. It’s not determined yet where he’s going to end up. A lot of that’s going to have to do with what’s holding him on the good path, this love story with Rachel and his experience with Farouk. That’s really interesting to explore I hope.”
Other tidbits of note:
David’s hair will gradually grow to match the comic character’s: “Oh, it creeps ever higher I will say. There’s always moments where we’re working towards it. You’ve really got to earn hair like that I think.” [Stevens]
Season 2 will feature new location shoots, including a desert. “The character of the landscape has really informed the landscape of the season and where David is at personally.” [Stevens]
Season 2 will consist of ten episodes (up from eight in the first season).
Hawley has plans for a third season (and he’s ruminating over what a fourth season of Fargo might be).
Legion returns to FX this April, and we can’t wait.