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SDCC: Marvel’s Inhumans Cast Talks TV, Royal Family Secrets

by  in TV News Comment
SDCC: Marvel’s Inhumans Cast Talks TV, Royal Family Secrets

The Inhumans Royal Family has arrived in San Diego. The cast of Marvel’s Inhumans took the stage at Comic-Con International to discuss the groundbreaking television show and debut some exclusive, never-before-seen footage from the series. Head of Marvel Television Jeph Loeb, director Roel Reiné, executive producer Scott Buck, Anson Mount (Black Bolt), Iwan Rheon (Maximus the Mad), Serinda Swan (Queen Medusa), Ken Leung (Karnak), Isabelle Cornish (Crystal), Eme Ikwuakor (Gorgon), Mike Moh (Triton), Sonya Balmores (Auran) and Ellen Woglom were on hand to provide their special insight into the mysterious world of the Inhumans Royal Family.

As was previously announced, Inhumans will air its first two episodes in IMAX starting September 1st. However, at the panel, Loeb revealed that — when the show transitions from IMAX to television — the first two episodes of the series will include all-new footage, “almost like a variant cover.”

Asked what it was like to film in Hawaii, “Shooting in IMAX kind of scares everyone… Before I was involved, I wanted to test them out… I asked them if they had any lenses because I felt they were not wide enough for the scope we have planned.” He added that, subsequently, IMAX created a custom lens for the series.

Buck went on to say that the show’s goal is to view the characters as people with super powers, rather than as superheroes only. As such, he put them in situations where the Royal Family cannot use their powers to get their way out.

“He’s trying to geninuenly change the world, and change for people who are living in the terrible caste system,” Rheon said of his character Maximus. “So that’s where you get the conflict between the brothers… he thinks that he has to do something himself. As you said, he’s perhaps more of an antagonist than a villain.” He added that there may be something in it for Maximus, too, of course.

“Mike [Moh] and I got great stunts and stunt training,” Balmores shared. “I had to take some serious boxing lessons and learn how to punch properly… This role required much more than I anticipated…. Fighting in the jungle, covered in leather, that takes a lot of energy. That was fun, but worth it.”

“Everybody, whether they’re trained like me or not, they’re going to be happy with the action,” Moh added. He also discussed his training in martial arts.

As to acting with Lockjaw, Cornish said, “It was very interesting, because a lot of the time I’m just acting to the air, but I had to make up this relationship with Lockjaw. At the end of my audition, I got asked to pretend there was this huge giant head in front of me… when I got the role, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh! I get why I was running around, acting to the air!'”

Loeb then queued up some footage from the show, specifically an opening sequence with Triton.

“So I would have three to five hours in the chair every morning,” Moh revealed. “It’s definitely not comfortable. It’s something you have to get used to… it was a crazy experience, but it was something my martial arts focus helped me get through.”

Loeb announced that Woglom would play Louise, who is an original character that is from Earth but has some special knowledge. She will not have any powers. “It was great. For my character, I feel like there was a sort of levity in the material and the script that made up for not having superpowers,” Woglom shared.

Loeb then rolled another clip which he called “The Dinner Sequence,” which features a disagreement between the Inhuman Royal Family. The scene directly references the spread of Terrigen in Earth’s water supply, which occurred in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

“I couldn’t imagine ever coming across this acting challenge again, so I really wanted to leap at it,” Mount said. “I wanted to take it very seriously and at face value, so I wanted to begin to learn how sign systems work.” He studied different sign language lexicons and orchestra conductors to learn more.

“I think what helped the most was having a collaborator,” he added, referencing Swan. During filming, she asked him to send her videos of his research so that she could learn as well.

“There was so much emotion that I could see from you that I could get, so it was easy,” Swan said. “When it’s a more intimate scene between the two of us, I was just talking to myself… it’s not just him doing hand puppets. We were synced. If you watch the show, you will recognize words and you will recognize moments.”

“I don’t always say what he signs word for word,” she added. “That’s the great thing about Medusa. She has her own opinions.”

“We were very sensitive to the deaf community and saying we’re doing signing. This is a system that Black Bolt created to communicate with Medusa,” Loeb explained.

“You see a lot of movement of the camera… but we’re moving the camera in a different way than you do on television, so that we’re revealing this world,” Reiné shared. “The art department did a wonderful job designing these awesome sets.”

“Playing Gorgon actually had a way of expressing myself,” Ikwuakor said. He recalled going around town doing “very Gorgonic” things. “Everyone should try it! Discovering more about him and the size and the scope… made me realize I don’t know my own strength.”

“He is the most aggressive hugger you will ever meet,” Swan pitched in.

Cornish recalled how Ikwuakor once bench pressed her on a dare. According to them, he was able to bench press her 34 times before he stopped.

Of his character Karnak, Leung said, “It was daunting. I mean, the character is so formidable physically, intellectually and spiritually that I’m constantly challenged by being in the position to play him. I’ve never felt that before, where I’m kind of constantly trying to catch him. It stretches me in ways I’m not used to.”

Loeb then rolled a clip where Gorgon and Karnak fight off their respective attackers.

“Karnak can see the fault in anything, whether it’s a person, an idea, a wall… whatever it is. However great that sounds, it leads to a life where the glass is not only half empty, but shattered on the ground,” Buck explained. “The challenge was to try and create that in a visual way that our audience could see.” He praised the VFX crew for their work on the show.

Shortly after, Loeb rolled a clip of Medusa using her prehensile hair against Maximus. He revealed that there are over 600 effects over the first episode so far.

Rheon revealed that he was afraid of being type cast at first. However, he ultimately went with it. “I think we can make something interesting from this character and tell it from a different perspective of this character. He went through Terrigenesis and became nothing… He is the lowest of the low,” he explained. “The only reason he’s not working down the mines is because he’s the brother of the king. He’s a man of the people.”

“He genuinely thinks he can change the world for the people,” he continued. “He believes that, in order to make this happen, there are these things he has to do it. He doesn’t want to. He loves his family… He thinks he’s right… He’s just trying to stop suffering… The cost of the decisions he makes start to corrupt him. It’s very Shakespearean, Macbeth-like.”

As to why she took the role, Swan said, “There’s such strong female characters, so as soon as you’re going to be part of Marvel, you know you’re going to be taken care of… She’s not willing to just stand behind him. From the beginning, even from the audition, it was very apparent.”

“From day one, it was just this presence she had to have,” she added. “It was amazing.”

The first two episode of Inhumans will premiere Sept. 1 in IMAX theaters, followed by their broadcast debut Friday, Sept. 29, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

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