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Inhumans: The Marvel Characters’ Long Path to Television

by  in TV News Comment
Inhumans: The Marvel Characters’ Long Path to Television

Meanwhile, the Inhumans made their first jump from comics to TV. Though the Royal Family wasn’t involved, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. debuted the Inhumans as a race in December 2014, just two months after the original announcement of the Inhumans film. In the Season 2 episode “What They Become,” Daisy Johnson — then known as Skye — underwent Terrigenesis to become the Inhuman known as Quake, confirming what many fans believed.

Imax-Inhumans-Header

RELATED: ABC Reportedly Has Concerns About Marvel’s Inhumans

The Inhumans went on to become a centerpiece of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2, where Daisy discovered a secret society of Inhumans who had been thriving on Earth for centuries. In the season finale, her Inhuman mother Jiaying’s failed plan for conquest resulted in a worldwide Terrigen contamination when several crystals tumbled into the ocean. Echoing Black Bolt’s Terrigen bomb from Infinity, this set the stage for Season 3, where Daisy and her fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. agents dealt with new Inhumans emerging all over the world, all while global governments struggled to keep up. Season 3 marked the formation of the Secret Warriors, a team of Inhumans led by Daisy who ran missions for S.H.I.E.L.D., and the emergence of Hive, an ancient Inhuman villain with some valuable insight on the race’s history. Season 4 also featured Inhuman characters, though their Inhumanity was not the focal point of the story arc. To date, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has never made a direct reference to or discovered the Inhuman royal family.

Then, in November 2016, Marvel made a shocking announcementInhumans — which would focus on the Inhuman royal family — would be adapted as a television show, not a movie. Roughly six months after the property was removed from the film schedule, it found new life as an eight-episode series that debuted its first two episodes on IMAX screens for a two-week window — the first-time a live-action TV series has done so. Starting this Friday, the series will air on ABC with “additional exclusive content that can only be seen on the network.”

RELATED: Marvel’s Inhumans Is Already A Disaster: Here’s What Went Wrong

At the red carpet premiere for Inhumans earlier this month, Head of Marvel Television Jeph Loeb revealed how this major transition came to be. “Well, as you know Marvel is one big giant company, and this was a property that was in movie division, and when they looked at their schedule and realized what they wanted to be doing, [Inhumans] was something that was gonna push very far out,” he explained. “So we started having a conversation with them about, ‘well, maybe this is something that would work as a television series,’ and that worked out really well.”

Between February 21st and March 3rd, Marvel began revealing the core cast one-by-one, culminating in a full-cast announce. Production in Hawaii took off quickly from there, with set photos of pre-CGI Lockjaw, Black Bolt, Medusa and more surfacing online. As the series rapidly developed, more about the show’ direction came out and word went out that Inhumans would not yet be directly connected to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., despite the latter series’ deep ties to Inhuman continuity; eventually, the two series would come to be “linked.” This past May, Marvel released the first photo of the Inhuman royal family and dropped the series’ first trailer.

RELATED: Marvel TV’s Jeph Loeb Hopes for Future IMAX Collaborations

As Inhumans‘ IMAX debut loomed, the show drew “mixed reactions” and early word on the project predicted it would “disappoint” at the box office. Inhumans went on to pull in an underwhelming $2.6 million box office and negative reviews over its opening weekend. This double whammy — and the release of a new poster that calls Inhumans “the complete series” — have led some to speculate that the show has already been cancelled, even prior to its network premiere.

Much like its comic book counterpart, Inhumans has traveled a long, winding road to the spotlight. After the film’s surprise announcement, Inhumans bounced along Marvel Studios’ schedule, until it finally landed on television — and in IMAX — as an eight-episode series. After a series of bad reviews and a poor opening box office, Inhumans still has a long way to go, but the show will attempt to kick off its bold new adventure this Friday when the show makes its long-awaited debut on ABC.


The first two episodes of Marvel’s Inhumans debuted in IMAX theaters on September 1, kicking off a two-week run. On September 29, the show will make its broadcast debut on ABC. The network will show the eight-episode first season of Inhumans in its entirety, including content from the first two episodes not seen in the IMAX run. 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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