Marvel Studios has long planned a feature film adaptation of the Marvel Comics series The Inhumans, with the project having a release date of November 2018 before being pushed back to July 2019 and eventually being taken off Marvel’s film schedule entirely. While Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, has insisted that the project will still be produced, Marvel have now announced the project will instead find life in a television series produced by ABC.
The Inhumans will be a live-action series that is set to debut on ABC in 2017. Marvel and ABC have a strong working relationship already, with the two having partnered up on the now-cancelled series Agent Carter, and are still working together on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is currently in its fourth season. Inhumans in comic-book mythology are a race of superhumans who find themselves bestowed with power due to alien intervention. The race has actually appeared within the Marvel Cinematic Universe already, within Marvel and ABC’s Agents of SHIELD. However, while SHIELD has introduced various Marvel Comics characters as Inhumans such as Quake and Hellfire, the new planned series will instead focus on the Inhuman Royal Family, the main focus within Inhuman comics. While Marvel only specifically announced Inhuman leader Black Bolt to star, fans can expect characters such as Medusa and Gorgon to join him.
Marvel’s announcement of The Inhumans comes with the reveal that the first two episodes are filmed entirely with IMAX digital cameras, and will run worldwide in IMAX cinemas for two weeks in September 2017. While a television series being showcased in IMAX isn’t a new idea, with Games of Thrones previously making $1.5 million through screening the final two episodes of Season 4 in the format, The Inhumans is notable for being the first time has debuted this way. Following the IMAX release, the show will debut on ABC in Autumn 2017, with a UK broadcaster yet to be announced.
Marvel have been working hard at expanding their television presence within the last few years. A strong partnership with Netflix has led to three Marvel shows premiering on the streaming service, alongside the two shows that aired on ABC. In 2017, Marvel will debut four new television shows: Iron Fist, The Defenders, The Punisher and now The Inhumans. Marvel additionally recently prepared a pilot for a show entitled Marvel’s Most Wanted, set to star two characters from Agents of SHIELD, but it wasn’t picked up for a full run by ABC. With Inhumans being an important aspect of Agents of SHIELD‘s later seasons, it is unsure if characters from that show will make an appearance on The Inhumans. Marvel made no comment on whether fans could expect the two shows to run simultaneously or whether this season will mark the end for Agents of SHIELD, which recently strayed from science-fiction to supernatural by introducing the Marvel Comics hero Ghost Rider into the series. With Gabriel Luna, the actor portraying Ghost Rider, confirming that Marvel are considering giving the character his own show or even film too, perhaps SHIELD‘s days are numbered.
No word has been made from Marvel whether The Inhumans television project means an end to the feature film project that was long in development from Marvel Studios. While that likely is the case, it’s also possible Marvel plan to introduce the characters in television before using them in film, although notably no characters introduced in Marvel’s TV shows have made the transition to film as of yet. It’s possible the Inhumans, along with several other TV characters such as Daredevil and Luke Cage could appear in a crossover film such as the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War, so time will tell whether The Inhumans’ IMAX debut will be their only foray onto the big screen.
The Inhumans debuts in September 2017 in IMAX theatres and on ABC in America, with a UK broadcaster to be determined.
UPDATE: It has since been confirmed that The Inhumans has been picked up for an initial eight episode run, with six episodes debuting on ABC following the first two episodes’ release in IMAX, and that the show is neither an adaptation of the planned film or a spin-off from Agents of SHIELD. The show is said to have an impact on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but in what way or how much of an impact remains to be seen.