So, if you’re not already aware, there are a lot of X-Men projects in the works. First, there are the two X-Men films in production, titled X-Men: Supernova and X-Men: The New Mutants. For a while, two X-Men live action television series were on the docket, with only Legion making it to air (The Hellfire Club died in, well, the hellfire of the development stage – and, yes, I’m proud of that pun).
But from the hellfire (last time, I swear) rose another live action X-Men television show, like a phoenix from the ashes (but not the Dark Phoenix; see X-Men: Supernova for that madness). This show has been untitled for a long time, with over half the main cast announced before the name of the project they were attached to was.
But no longer. X-Men franchise producer Lauren Shuler Donner shared, via the magic of Twitter, a behind-the-scenes picture of the cast and crew doing a script reading for the show. Within the text of the tweet, she revealed the show’s official title: “Gifted.”
The show follows two normal parents as their life is thrown into upheaval when their two children turn out to be mutants. In a world where Sentinels are the norm, the two parents have to protect their children from the government that is hunting them. They meet up with an underground group of mutants and join up their Star Wars: Rebels-esque cause.
Below is a fantastic Polaroid-lineup of the (known) main cast. Below that, I’ve included a list of who’s who, as well as their respective roles within the X-Men universe.
Alright, so here’s the skinny:
Stephen Moyer (True Blood) – Reed, who is the father of the family of four. He was also an attorney before everything went to crap. I’m interested in seeing how the writers of the show will tie that into his character.
Amy Acker (Person of Interest) – Caitlin, who is Reed’s estranged wife. Not much else is known about her character outside of that tidbit, but it is a juicy clue as to the internal conflict that the family will have to deal with (on top of the more pressing, Sentinel-sized ones).
Natalie Alyn Lind (Gotham) – Lauren. Hardly anything is known about this character outside of her name, and the fact that she’s the daughter of the family. Anyone involved with the show is being very mum about the nature of her powers, or even how they end up manifesting.
Blair Redford (Satisfaction) – Although Blair’s character was called “Sam” for a while, many believed that this was just a cover-name until the reveal of his mutant character. Well, as you can see from the tweet above, he’ll be playing Thunderbird. Now, whether or not he’ll be the “John Proudstar” Thunderbird, an original X-Men; his brother James (who took on the mantle after John died in his third issue); or even a completely new Thunderbird named Sam; has yet to be clarified. Whatever his human name, Thunderbird is the leader of the underground mutant movement. His powers mainly consist of having peak physical abilities, which includes enhanced strength, stamina, durability, speed, and superhuman senses.
Jamie Chung (Once Upon A Time) – She’ll be replacing Bingbing Fan (X-Men: Days of Future Past) as my favorite non-Nightcrawler teleporting mutant, Blink aka Clarice Ferguson. I can already foresee her powers being extremely useful to an underground rebel group of mutants on the run. I just hope that they actually give her the beautiful, striking pink skin and hair that is so iconic about her character. Oh, and also the crystal-like teleporting stun javelins. Those are awesome.
Emma Dumont (Aquarius) – Polaris aka Lorna Dane, aka the lesser-known daughter of Magneto. While she takes after daddy dearest with her incredibly powerful powers of magnetism, later on in her arc she also gains invulnerability, super-strength, and the ability to increase her body in size. So there’s certainly a lot for the writers to play around with, depending on how OP they decide to make her. I really don’t care, so long as they make sure to give her that fantastic green hair (in case you haven’t noticed, I’m huge into characters being properly portrayed).
Sean Teale (Incorporated) – He’ll be playing the newly-created mutant, Eclipse. This character doesn’t exist in the known X-Men canon and was created just for the purpose of the show. Eclipse’s “human name” is Marcos Diaz, and his powers include the ability to absorb and manipulate photons. What this will look like on screen is a complete mystery, but I can’t wait to see it for myself and find out!
Coby Bell (Burn Notice) – While the ultimate role of Jace Turner in the show is still unknown, we do know that he’s a “weathered man who quietly wrestles with the moral ambiguities of a job that regularly requires cold-blooded, calculating efficiency on a day-to-day basis.” I’m thinking that this means that Jace might work for the government in hunting down mutants, but is conflicted. Granted, it’s just a theory, but at the moment that’s all I have: theories.
And that’s all the cast that we know so far. The pilot was written by Matt Nix, the creator of Burn Notice; and the incredibly talented and X-Men canon-savvy Bryan Singer will be directing it. With so much fantastic talent already all lined up, I really don’t see this show going the way of The Hellfire Club. The pilot is set to start filming this month, and I’ll be counting down the days until I can binge it via Netflix or Hulu!
That being said, I’ll leave you with this last picture of the Gifted cast (this is how I’ll be posing in all my photographs from now on, just FYI):