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What We Want To Know About Hellfire

Marvel Studios and 20th Century Fox announced in October 2015 that they will team up to create a new series, entitled Hellfire, to be broadcast on the latter's television network. For those unfamiliar with the property, the Hellfire Club is one of the X-Men's greatest foes. Viewers of X-Men: First Class will be familiar with some of its members. Its leader is Sebastian Shaw (portrayed by Kevin Bacon in First Class) and members include Emma Frost (portrayed by January Jones). The show's storyline will follow a special agent in the 1960s who discovers that the Hellfire Club—a secret society presumably comprised of mutants—is attempting to conquer the world. Very little was divulged about the show aside from this news. This leads us to a few questions...

Who Is The "Young Agent"?

The series' synopsis refers to a young special agent who uncovers the Hellfire Club. This storyline is reminiscent of CIA officer Moira MacTaggert's (portrayed by Rose Byrne) subplot in X-Men: First Class. Will MacTaggert be Hellfire's main character? If so, will Rose Byrne reprise her role for television? Such an adaptation is not without precedent. Marvel also created the series Agent Carter—starring Hayley Atwell in the title role—after introducing the character in Captain America: The First Avenger. Byrne is also still involved in the X-Men movie franchise, as she's set to appear in the film X-Men: Apocalypse.

Will The Show Feature Sebastian Shaw?

Magneto (Michael Fassbender) killed the Hellfire Club's leader Sebastian Shaw via currency in X-Men: First Class. Will the series follow the events of the movie or will it serve as a prequel? The choice will ultimately determine if Sebastian Shaw will appear in the series. Even if he does, we doubt that Kevin Bacon will reprise his role. Redbox movies don't make themselves, after all.

Who Are The Hellfire Club's Members?

If Shaw is dead, then who will take the Hellfire Club's reins as its new leader? Also, will the show feature the club's other members, such as Emma Frost, Azazel, and Angel? This is certainly possible, as we know that they are all still alive at the end of X-Men: First Class. All of these characters are mentioned to have died, however, by 1973, when X-Men: Days of Future Past takes place. It will be interesting to see how and why these deaths occurred. No doubt Marvel and Fox will also add several members from the comics who hitherto have not appeared on-screen. Possibilities include Harry Leland ("the Black Bishop") and Donald Pierce ("the White Bishop").

Who Will Play Emma Frost?

Although not confirmed in the press release, we assume that Emma Frost will likely appear in the series. The buxom blonde character is simply too iconic and possesses too much sex appeal for Marvel and Fox to resist. We can already envision the Maxim covers. The question then is, who will portray her? It's unlikely that January Jones will be recast given the poor reception her performance in X-Men: First Class received among fans. Is Kate Upton too much to ask?

Are More X-Men Series Coming To Fox?

Marvel Comics was in dire financial straits in the 1990s. The company's executives made an "it seemed like a good idea at the time" move when they decided to sell off the film rights to some of its comics. The result was director Bryan Singer's 2000 hit film, X-Men, for 20th Century Fox (not to mention Sony's successful Spider-Man trilogy). That movie's success led Fox to cling to the X-Men and Fantastic Four film rights like a D&D player gripping the last cold Mountain Dew. Some behind-the-scenes drama has resulted, including chilly support from Marvel toward the recent Fantastic Four movie/flop. This is also the reason why Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were not called mutants in Avengers: Age of Ultron (despite being mutants in the comics). It seems, however, that Marvel and Fox decided to temporarily play nice with Hellfire. Is this a prelude to more adaptations such as X-Factor, X-Force, and District X? Ultimately it will depend upon what ratings that Hellfire can garner among viewers.