How Does The Gifted Connect to the X-Men Movies?

The cast of Fox’s X-Men spinoff series, The Gifted, comment on the show’s approach to the mutant movie series.

The Gifted kicked off its sophomore season on Fox as a series evolved in the aftermath of a transformative Season 1 finale. Yet, the show’s unmistakable connection to the 800 lb. gorilla that is (Fox’s) X-Men movie universe continues to thrive, even though the connection remains unclear. Interestingly, members of the cast recently weighed in on the shared-universe conundrum.

Indeed, speculation about the connection of The Gifted to the X-Men movies is not going anywhere just yet. The subject was the topic of an interview with Digital Spy, in which cast members – who each play characters prominently picked from the mythos of Marvel’s X-Men comic books – discuss how the series work around the movies. Blair Redford, who plays James Proudstar/Thunderbird, reveals that characters who manifest on the series are selected after an elaborate process of evaluating the impact of their arrival in not only the TV series, but the movies… you know, just in case. As he explains:

“Each character that is that big, they also have to go through a series of hoops to get… you know, to be allowed to bring it into our show. And I get it. The films… if there’s a chance they’re going to use it in the next five years, they want everything to be on the same page, so that they’re not doubling up on characters. I think that’s kind of important.”

Of course, no one involved with the show is truly in a position to answer if there will ever be a clear onscreen codification akin to what the Marvel Cinematic Universe has done with ABC’s Agents of SHIELD, the gone-but-missed Agent Carter, the gone-but-not-missed Inhumans and, to a less pronounced extent, the Netflix/Hulu/Freeform Marvel shows. While possibility of such an event clearly factors into the continual curation of the series, the showrunners are clearly forging their own road in terms of storyline. As Redford continues:

“I think it’s also important that we’re telling an original story, too. We want to make our own mark within the realm of mutant lore, and the realm of X-Men lore. So yeah, I think there’s a happy medium there. Hopefully, we can touch on it in an interesting way where we can. But I know our writers want to forge new stuff that no one’s experienced before.”

Yet, the series has not shied away from obvious comic tropes, notably the one concerning Emma Dumont’s Lorna Dane/Polaris, who is depicted in the comics as the daughter of Magneto. Indeed, Season 1 scattered hints that Lorna’s parentage was a sensitive subject for her since she did not want to be held in the same militant mutant classification; ironic since she would make such a turn at the end of the season. Redford even mused on the possibility of Lucas Till, who played Alex Summers/Havok in the recent X-Men movies, reprising the role on the show, since Till shoots MacGyver in the same city. – Of course, it’s just a hypothetical musing.

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Dumont, who’s clearly schooled in the lore of the comics and has been open about her enthusiasm for making Magneto’s presence felt on The Gifted, reiterates the notion, stating of X-Men characters that have yet to receive authorization for the series:

“Yeah, we really just can’t have them. Also, Alex and Lorna were a horrible couple. They were very bad for each other!” She adds, “I mean, if it were up to us, and if we didn’t have contractual things and legal whatever blah blah blah franchise nonsense? I’d want Magneto in the show. We want the X-Men.”

Regarding The Gifted‘s place in the X-Men timeline, Dumont adds:

“Well, I will say… yeah. I mean, the movies don’t even align – let’s be honest. Sometimes, the comics don’t align at all. It’s totally different. What I will say, we could fit… well, we have many Sentinels. Obviously it’d be before the future part of Days [of Future Past].”

Ultimately, any effort to clarify the place of The Gifted in conjunction to the X-Men movies would face difficulties. Besides the fact that the movie continuity is – to put it generously – problematically circuitous, there are plenty of pitfalls that lead to anachronisms. Even the upcoming effort, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, will – in temeritous fashion – rewrite the efforts of 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, which originally depicted the Dark Phoenix dilemma of Jean Grey (originally played by Famke Janssen, now played by Sophie Turner). Thus, the more ideal scenario for The Gifted might be to wait things out and possibly become grandfathered into a prospective Marvel Cinematic Universe version of the X-Men live-action timeline, as facilitated by Disney’s looming acquisition of Fox.

The Gifted airs on Fox Mondays at 8 p.m.

Joseph Baxter is a contributor for Den of Geek and Syfy Wire. You can find his work here. Follow him on Twitter @josbaxter.