French-American actor Saïd Taghmaoui will be joining the cast of FX’s Legion when it returns next year for its second season. According to the show’s official Twitter account, he will be portraying Amahl Farouk/The Shadow King, introduced midway through the first season as a psychic parasite without a human body who had latched onto the mind of protagonist and powerful psionic, David Haller (Dan Stevens), feeding off his powers following a battle with David’s father, Charles Xavier. Over the course of the season, Farouk manifests himself to David in multiple forms, including his childhood dog King, “The Angry Boy” (portrayed by Devyn Dalton) from the book The World’s Angriest Boy in the World, a corpulent, tick-like grotesque creature David calls “The Devil with the Yellow Eyes” (portrayed by Quinton Boisclair) and as David’s fellow mental health patient and friend Lenny Busker (portrayed by Aubrey Plaza) following her death.
In the season finale, Farouk jumped from David’s body and into psychic/reality warper, Oliver Bird (portrayed by Jemaine Clement), escaping to parts unknown. It’s been confirmed that Plaza and Boisclair will be returning next season, which leads to the belief that Taghmaoui will be portraying the actual Farouk from before his death, potentially taking that form as a psychic manifestation or appearing in flashbacks. The first page of Season 2’s premiere episode was released online last week, which seemed to reveal that while Farouk is not utilizing them, the Lenny and Oliver personas are held in some sort of psychic limbo made to look like a resort with a swimming pool, unaware of their predicament.
In the comics, much like the show, the Shadow King was a being of pure psychic energy, a “multiversal manifestation of the dark side of the human consciousnesses, spawned by the first nightmare” who has been transferring his consciousness from host to host since the dawn of humanity. He merged with Farouk during the 1930s, becoming his primary host until his duel with Xavier.
Taghmaoui is no stranger to big budget tentpoles, having previously appeared in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, the Conan the Barbarian reboot and recently Wonder Woman. His performance in the latter has been very well received, so fans are very much looking forward to seeing him bring the Shadow King to life.
Legion season 2 will premiere on FX sometime in 2018.