Marvel’s collection of TV shows have taken an interesting turn. The studio pivoted their focus away from network television, putting a large share of their interests in their collection of Netflix original series. We saw evidence of that move when they canceled Agent Carter and the never-aired Marvel’s Most Wanted, while green-lighting The Punisher on Netflix.
The scales look to be tipping back in the other direction now though, marked by the announcement of ABC’s upcoming Inhumans TV series. Here’s what we’ve learned so far.
1. The TV show comes after a long, failed attempt to make an Inhumans movie
It’s been a long time coming for Marvel’s Inhumans, with the TV series coming in the wake of multiple failed attempts to make a movie. Originally, the film was slated to release as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Three in 2018. Sony’s Spider-Man deal then pushed it to 2019, before it was shelved indefinitely.
The introduction of the Inhumans in Agents of SHIELD seemed like the final nail on the coffin. As it turns out though, all Marvel was doing was trying to find the right place for the property, having finally landed on ABC as the home for a standalone show.
2. So, who are the Inhumans?
If you’re not watching Agents of SHIELD and aren’t an avid comic book reader, you might be wondering who the Inhumans are. The short answer: They’re basically an alien alternative to the X-Men. The long version: They’re a genetically altered race of super-humans, originally used as experiments in the Kree’s intergalactic war with the Skrull. The Kree then abandoned their experiments, who later formed their own society and caste system. The primary characters in Inhuman lore make up the royal family: Black Bolt, Medusa, Karnak, Gorgon, Triton, Crystal, Lockjaw, and Maximus.
What makes them special is the wide assortment of abilities each Inhuman possesses. Black Bolt, the ruler of the race, can unleash a destructive sonic wave anytime he speaks. Medusa’s hair carries tensile strength, and she can use it grab, throw, and strangle her enemies. Triton can breathe underwater, swim at high speeds, and can resist the pressure of the ocean’s depth.
Most powers also come with a notable downside, whether it’s Triton’s inability to survive on land, or the fact that Black Bolt has to remain relatively silent at all times to harness his vocal abilities.
3. The TV series will debut in IMAX
Marvel’s plan for releasing their Inhumans series is intriguing to say the least, as it continues to push the boundaries of how we consume superhero TV shows. Rather than airing a pilot on ABC followed by a full slate of episodes, Inhumans will release its first two episodes (approximately 80 minutes total) in IMAX movie theaters in consecutive weeks, beginning September 1, 2017.
ABC will then broadcast the premiere themselves on network TV, September 25, kicking off an eight-episode run in total. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “all eight episodes are expected to run on the network over consecutive Tuesdays, barring unforeseen interruptions.”
This marks the first time a TV show has ever been released this way. More than that, it turns the premiere into a full-blown event. Fans can experience the series together in theaters for two weeks, before retreating to their homes for the remainder of the season. The whole show “will also be filmed completely with IMAX cameras,” giving us eight episodes of stunning quality.
4. This won’t be an Agents of SHIELD spinoff
Inhumans have been an integral part of ABC’s Agents of SHIELD. They first made their debut when our heroes stumbled on an ancient Kree site, exposing Daisy (Chloe Bennet) to Terrigen Mist, the catalyzing agent that unlocks a Inhuman’s abilities. The mist then made its way into the global food supply, activating the latent powers of Inhumans across the world. We even saw a haven for their species in Season 3, before it was destroyed later on. That said, the Inhumans we see in Agents of SHIELD likely won’t be a part of the standalone series.
The Hollywood Reporter claims that it will instead “explore the never-before-told epic adventure of Black Bolt and the royal family,” who are typically the main protagonists of Marvel’s comic series. It makes sense too; there’s not a whole lot of story to tell if you have Agents of SHIELD‘s own Inhumans pull double duty on another TV show. Having the Inhumans show operate as its own separate entity gives it far more creative runway.
5. Scott Buck will be the showrunner
A show is only as good as its showrunner, and Marvel has their man for Inhumans. Dexter alum, Scott Buck, will helm the series, as reported first by The Hollywood Reporter. Buck is already in charge of Netflix’s Iron Fist series, making him a natural choice to head up another Marvel series with a less-than-typical cast of characters. It’s also a clear commitment to keeping things in-house for Marvel’s TV universe.
6. Game of Thrones alum Iwan Rheon will star as the primary villain
For a show set to debut in almost six months, we know shockingly little about the cast. We finally have our first bit of information on that front though, with the news of Iwan Rheon assuming the role of Maximus the Mad.
In the comics, Maximus is the younger brother of Black Bolt, and makes a frequent habit of trying to overthrow him as the leader of the Inhumans. Most of his powers center around his intellect, with the ability to control the minds of others, along with a genius-level of intelligence.
Given Rheon’s run as Ramsay Bolton, there’s little doubting his aptitude for playing villains.
7. AMC star, Anson Mount will play the leader of the Inhumans
With the primary villain cast, the next step for Marvel was to lock up their lead. They did just that too, bringing in Hell on Wheels star Anson Mount to play Black Bolt. The character is typically depicted as the leader of the Inhumans, and the head of their royal family. His powers center around his supersonic voice, with the ability to reduce an entire city to rubble with a single utterance. He mostly keeps quiet in an effort to protect others from the destructive power of his voice.
That’ll give Mount a tall order too, forcing him to act and emote sans any significant speaking.
8. Production will kick off in Hawaii
Most estimates concerning the production process for Inhumans allege that things will kick off during the spring of 2017 in Hawaii, Los Angeles, and Chicago, and run all the way through June. So why Hawaii of all places? The answer can be found in the Inhumans’ ancestral island home of Attilan, located somewhere in the northern Atlantic Ocean. And even while it’s not exactly depicted as the tropical paradise of Hawaii, we imagine the island setting will still make for a suitable facsimile.
9. New photos from the set emerge on Twitter
We already have our first peek at set photos for Inhumans, courtesy of Reel News Hawaii. In the four-photo set, we can see Roel Reine, Lockjaw, and an unknown character described only as “a mystery man in black.” The pictures were snapped on the island of Oahu, hinting at a tropical setting for the series. You can see all four images in full here.
Stay tuned for more information as it arrives!
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