American actor Blair Redford (Switched At Birth, The Lying Game, Beauty & the Beast, 90210) has been cast as the first mutant in the upcoming Marvel pilot by FOX, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Details of Mutant Series
The project is not officially being billed as an X-Men series, but showrunner Matt Nix has said it will indeed take place in the same universe as the films:
It’s sort of designed to side-step questions like, ‘Where is Wolverine?’ There is a certain amount of those characters that I can use and I’m using some of those. Other characters I’m inventing but everything is invented with a nod to the existing mythology.
The announcement states that Redford has been cast as Sam, “the strong-headed Native American leader of the underground network.” There is speculation over whether or not Sam is a mutant character that we already know from the existing universe, or if he is an original creation for the series. There are notable Native American mutants in the X-Men lore, including: Scalphunter, Thunderbird, Warpath and Forge. None of these characters are named “Sam”, though Forge’s real name has never been revealed in comic books.
X-Men Alumni Involvement
X-Men alum Bryan Singer will direct the pilot episode of the series. Singer has directed four of the X-Men films including 2000’s X-Men and its sequel X2 in 2003, and the two most recent entries (X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse). He also co-wrote/co-produced X-Men: First Class in 2011.
Along with Singer, Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg are set to serve as executive producers, as is Head of Marvel Television Jeph Loeb. The executive team includes Marvel Studio involvement due to the long-standing rights deal with parent company Disney, which differs from the rights deal involving the Fox X-Men films.
The untitled show is currently in pre-production for an undisclosed release date.