Image: Fox

The Gifted, Fox’s mutant drama, has a dilemma. You see, one of the stars is Lorna (Emma Dumont), aka Polaris, a mutant with a pretty serious bombshell in her past. Her dad? It’s Magneto. Only, uh, The Gifted can’t talk about it.

At least, not directly: since Magneto is such an essential part of the X-Men film universe under Fox, and will likely continue to be under Marvel’s new tenure, making him a major player in The Gifted is a bit of a no-no. Which makes things tricky.

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“Not to be coy, but we don’t want to stumble into movie territory,” showrunner Matt Nix recently explained, in conversation with TV Line. “That said...canonically, Polaris’ father is Polaris’ father.”

This faithfulness to the comic source material, in tension with the need to keep from stepping on another property’s toes, has led to some interesting writing challenges for the team.

“One thing that we do use from the comics, that is legitimately a part of the lore of Polaris, is that she doesn’t always know that Magneto is her father,” Nix said. “And she has very mixed feelings about Magneto being her father, so we’ve taken what is kind of necessity, in terms of us needing to stay out of the way of the movies, and turned it into a virtue in our eyes.” Which is to say, “It’s now a feature of the characters that they don’t really want to talk about—[that Lorna’s father is] the leader of the mutant group that made mutants look horrible and kind of put them in the position they’re in now.”

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They do say that constraint breeds creativity. And, if nothing else, this lets the show play with the ambiguity and fear of hating your own past. That can be a scary thing. So scary you might not even want to put a name to it, huh?

[TV Line]