In 2014, Kevin Feige took to the stage at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood to announce the Phase Three line-up of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Captain Marvel and Black Panther — undeniably two of Marvel Studios’ biggest upcoming films — and The Inhumans. The film was scheduled to debut in 2019, though details surrounding the project were few and far between, with many rumors suggesting Marvel had no intention of making the film at all.
Fast-forward to November 2016, and Marvel announced that the Royal Family would be moving from the big screen to the small screen, with ABC and IMAX joining forces to make what they hoped to be the Game of Thrones of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Unfortunately, the project, which doesn’t premiere on ABC until next Friday, has already been dubbed a critical dud, and failed to take off in its limited two week IMAX window. So, has the network already given it the ax? Well…
If you look at ABC’s latest promotional posters for Inhumans, you’ll note that rather than stating “the complete first season,” the posters actually say “the complete series.” It’s strange wording, one that would typically indicate that it’s a limited series and a second season isn’t necessarily guaranteed. This, of course, has led to speculation that the series has already been cancelled before its even had a chance to premiere on ABC, even though the verbiage existed on some posters prior to the IMAX debut.
Of course, while it wouldn’t be too surprising for the series to be cancelled after one season, it seems far too early to jump to conclusions. Yes, the wording on the poster is odd, and sure, the critical response has been tepid-to-terrible. But that doesn’t make for a cancellation, though.
Let’s look at Iron Fist — also ran by Scott Buck — and the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The easy comparison here, of course, is the former as Buck was behind the show’s poorly received first season. Even though the series was considered the worst of Marvel’s efforts of Netflix by many critics and fans, it still managed to gather enough interest to make it popular on the streaming service. So much so that it actually managed to score a second season, albeit with a new showrunner.
Then there’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., ABC’s first attempt at recreating Marvel’s success on the small screen. While ratings on SHIELD were fantastic in the beginning, they declined throughout the first season as fans felt it wasn’t up to par with the rest of the MCU. That show, however, has since found its footing, and has continued to serve as an important part of the MCU on the small screen.
The fact of the matter is, it’s far too soon to know if ABC will continue with the series, and the network most likely hasn’t;t made the call to pull the plug before the first few episodes have even aired. There aren’t any ratings to go by just yet, and while the IMAX numbers were relatively soft, the ratings could prove to be the lifeline the series needs. And if the series does fail? Who knows, maybe we’ll see the Royal Family worked into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..
Inhumans will make its broadcast debut on Friday, Sept. 29, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. The drama stars Anson Mount as Black Bolt, Iwan Rheon as Maximus the Mad, Serinda Swan as Queen Medusa, Ken Leung as Karnak, Isabelle Cornish as Crystal, Eme Ikwuakor as Gorgon, Mike Moh as Triton and Sonya Balmores as Auran.
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