Hitting Screens, Week of Feb. 6, 2017

mv5bmja3njc1odg2mf5bml5banbnxkftztgwmzyymji5mdi-_v1_sy1000_sx666_al_This week, Dan Stevens returns to TV in Legion, a show set in a world very different from Downton Abbey.

He stars in the next iteration of Marvel’s X-men and plays, reports the NYT, “the son of Professor X and a powerful mutant with a multiple-personality disorder.”

Noah Hawley, creator of the TV series Fargo and author of the best seller Before the Fall, (Hachette/Grand Central; OverDrive Sample)directs the FX series which he says tells “a more existential story — what is it really like to have these abilities?” Producer Lauren Shuler Donner says she wanted this version of X-men to “be very, very different … There’s no way that anybody would watch Legion and go, ‘Ugh, I saw that already.’”

The NYT says fans of the superhero movies should instead expect something more like Twin Peaks or Hannibal, with “a heightened, dreamlike aesthetic … [and] a more abstract, elusive approach to storytelling … [the series is] about memory, identity and perception.”

It is getting solid reviews. Variety writes it “is not timid. It offers a jittery take on many of the genre’s familiar themes, and it hurls them together with such boldness that the entire concoction ends up carrying quite a kick … it won’t be for everyone, but those who are pulled into the surreal, jagged orbit of this distinctive drama are likely to stay there for the full eight-episode run. It is, literally and figuratively, a trip — and it’s often an exhilarating one.”

Collider says it is “A Stunning, Challenging, Fantastically Human Journey” and ComicBookMovie writes “FX May Have A Massive Hit On Its Hands.”

This is only the start of X-Men on TV. The NYT‘s says “The Fox network has already ordered its own series pilot set in the world of X-Men’s mutants (written by Matt Nix, the creator of Burn Notice, and directed by Bryan Singer), and Marvel hopes to create more shows for FX.”

The premiere episode debuts Feb. 8. There is no tie-in.

9780525431886_2b7baThe second film in the expected trilogy adapting E.L. James’s novels arrives, like the first in the series, close to Valantine’s Day, Feb. 10.

Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan reprise their roles as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. Kim Basinger and Bella Heathcote join the cast as Grey’s ex-lovers.

There is a tie-in: Fifty Shades Darker (Movie Tie-in Edition): Book Two of the Fifty Shades Trilogy, EL James (PRH/Vintage; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample) also in Spanish Cincuenta sombras más oscuras (Movie Tie-In): Fifty Shades Darker MTI – Spanish-language edition, E L James (PRH/Vintage Espanol).

James has also promised a re-telling of Fifty Shades Darker from Christian’s perspective, following her re-vamp of Fifty Shades of Grey with the same twist. No date yet for its release.

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