This September sees Marvel’s ‘Inhumans’ finally brought to the big and small screens as it hits IMAX cinemas (exclusively for 2 weeks) before transferring to TV.
For those unfamiliar with the comics, ‘Inhumans’ follows the trials and tribulations of a superhuman Royal Family with incredible powers ranging from a supersonic voice that can destroy planets to a giant teleporting dog.
Part of the sprawling Marvel Universe, the Inhumans started life as homosapiens millions of years ago, but were transformed into their mutant namesake by the Kree (as featured in Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.) when the alien race decided to experiment on humans with a substance called Terrigen Mist through a process called terrigenesis. The Kree abandoned their experiments and left the Inhumans to fend for themselves against a fearful and volatile human military.
After fleeing to the moon for safety and building a home city called Attilan, the Inhumans are back on Earth.
Filming of the show took place in Hawaii and Yahoo was invited over to find out a little bit more about what fans and newcomers can expect when it lands in cinemas and the small screen.
The Inhumans have some insane superpowers
Fans will be thrilled to learn that all the big players have made the transfer from comic book page to screen. It’s fair to say that they have some of the craziest superpowers we’ve seen for a long time. If you thought the X-Men abilities were out there, the Inhumans go even further.
Leading the pack is Black Bolt (played by Anson Mount), the enigmatic, commanding King of the Inhumans with a voice so powerful that even the slightest whisper can destroy a city. He communicates through a form of sign language that only his nearest and dearest can understand.
His wife and Queen of the Inhumans, Medusa (Serinda Swan) has an equally big role, much to the delight and challenge for the VFX team who have had a big task in bringing her dexterous hair (which she can use as extra hands and fingers) to life.
Black Bolt’s mischievous brother, Maximus (played by Game of Thrones’ Iwan Rheon), who had the ability to control people’s minds in the comics also features. However, in a swerve away from the comics, Rheon told us that this version of Maximus doesn’t have any superpowers. Unfortunately for him, the terrigenisis turned him human (a big embarrassment for an Inhuman). Historically, Maximus has always had his eyes on Black Bolt’s crown and has attempted multiple coups, but this seems a bit of a long-shot given he’s already at a super disadvantage.
Rounding out the rest of the characters are Karnak (played by Star Wars’ Ken Leung) who is a master analyser and can see the fault in any building, situation, plan or person. Gorgon (Eme Ikwuakor), Attilan’s hooved military leader with legs so powerful they can cause seismic shockwaves and Crystal (Isabelle Cornish) who can control the elements (earth, wind, fire and water) also made the cut. Triton, a fish-like man who can live underwater (played by Mike Moh) and Auran (Sonya Balmores), a yellow-skinned, big-eared super hearer and a currently undisclosed character played by Ellen Woglom round out the characters confirmed thus far.
There’s a giant teleporting dog
Lockjaw is far and away the most popular character in the franchise and therefore deserves his own entry in this article. That and the fact that he’s an adorable 2000lb British bulldog-like animal that can teleport. Fans love him and newcomers will learn to love him just as much as Bradley Cooper’s Rocket Raccoon or even Vin Diesel’s mono-sentenced plant creature from ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ (and the cute little sapling in ‘Volume 2’ of course).
As the loyal pet of the Royal Family and Crystal’s BFF, Lockjaw does all the things a faithful dog does including guarding Attilan from intruders, tracking down missing family members and transporting friends and family around the Universe via his teleporting abilities (obviously).
Lockjaw can’t speak as Groot (kind of) can, but according to VFX supervisor Eric Grenaudier, the amount of time and effort dedicated to bring Lockjaw to the big screen will hopefully please fans hoping for a live action version of the giant super-pooch.
It’s an original story inspired by the comics
Although the cast and crew we spoke to kept very tight lipped around any specific plot details, we did learn that the story is only loosely based on the comic books. For this writer, it’s always the most sensible route to take as it will avoid any major direct comparison with the much-loved comics while simultaneously giving fans a brand new story to follow.
It also will help introduce this relatively complicated world to new fans without having to commit hours of content to bringing the relatively convoluted backstories featured in the three comic book series to life.
The cast described it as “a very different take using the same core ideals of Marvel’s ‘Inhumans’”. Our questioning all referenced Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee’s 1998-1999 version of ‘Inhumans’ as the source material and we weren’t corrected, so if you want to get some idea of what might happen, maybe take a look at that for some thought starters.
It links in with the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe (kind of)
Although this version of ‘Inhumans’ is an original take on the source material and the team were adamant that the plot didn’t incorporate any other Marvel characters or references, the story still fits into the wider Marvel Universe. It’s set in the present day and features a few nods to other Marvel Properties.
For example, the Kree alien race is a must-mention as it’s integral to the origins of the characters. This extends to the alien language that we saw scrawled into different sets, especially Attilan. In addition, the blue crystals we saw in ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ make an appearance and were made to look the same to keep consistency.
Clearly the project is designed to be a standalone entity with the option to integrate at a later date. This may well be due to box office and rights challenges when it comes to their comic book crossovers.
The Inhumans were first featured in ‘Fantastic Four #45’. The latest Fox theatrical reboot didn’t set the box office alight and any follow-up seems to be stalling. The Inhumas also featured alongside the ‘X-Men’, a property that has had no problem at the box office, but is still under management of Fox since their 1999 Hollywood debut.
The Inhumans have popped up in episodes of the Spider-Man, Hulk and Avengers animated TV shows but for now, either through choice, box office return or rights reasons, fans hoping for explicit crossovers might be in for a bit of a wait.
The first two episodes will be shown in IMAX
In a world first for a TV show, the first two episodes of ‘Inhumans’ will be screened exclusively in IMAX cinemas for two weeks before hitting the small screen. Shot entirely on ALEXA IMAX 2D cameras, the ‘Inhumans’ premiere showings will be truly cinematic in scale, but with the ongoing narrative of a TV series.
Better yet, it’s not just a marketing gimmick. The team behind the show has taken the IMAX element really seriously. Contrary to most Hollywood films that mostly select key scenes to shoot on IMAX, the ENTIRE first two episodes of ‘Inhumans’ have been shot on IMAX cameras.
The whole production was geared towards the IMAX experience to make sure they got the most out of the technology. Sets were designed and built more vertically than usual to fill the IMAX cinema screens and create maximum immersion for audiences. The VFX team spent even more man-hours to make sure they lived up to the crystal clear imagery audiences expect from IMAX screens. It took a lot more work and a lot more money, but the team is confidant fans will see the difference come September 1st.
‘Inhumans’ hits IMAX cinemas on 1st September exclusively for two weeks before transferring to TV.