Today at the TCA panel for Marvel’s Inhumans, showrunner Scott Buck, EP Jeph Loeb, and cast members Anson Mount, Iwan Rheon, Serinda Swan and Ellen Woglom were on hand to answer questions about the new ABC series. And there were many questions from my fellow critics and reporters about the direction and execution of the show. Here are some things we learned:
- The series will premiere in IMAX theaters before moving to ABC later in September, with a cinematic version that is a 75 minute version of the first two episodes. The televised version will air with additional content totaling 84 minutes.
- As far as its connections to other Marvel shows: “They are aware of the continuity of S.H.I.E.L.D., but it exists on its own” said Loeb. “The inhumans of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are their own story.”
There was some confusion about human and inhuman interactions in the series (which critics viewed the first hour of). Buck said that the inhumans fear humanity, which is why they fled Earth “because they could not peacefully co-exist with humans, so they encounter humans with fear and reluctance.” However, humans are also subjugated on the moon kingdom of Attilan …
- Both Mount and Rheon spoke about the show as being one really about two brothers. And though Rheon’s Maximus is (as a human) planning a coup against his brother, his brother can’t get rid of him because he’s a trusted advisor and the smartest member of the family. As Mount put it, “what’s stronger, politics or blood?”
- Because of that, Maximus is not just a straight antagonist. “The antagonist is the protagonist, and the hero is on the wrong side of the argument. If you look at some of the classic Shakespeare stories, some of the people who should be the best people to listen to are not, and may have something to learn,” Loeb said about on the brothers’ dynamic.
- Serinda Swan spoke about her character, Medusa, and that now infamous wig. Apparently it weighs about 4lbs, and there are practical difficulties with it (like it getting stuck on other people’s costumes). But acting with it is also a challenge; she referred to the wig as “a serious roommate who is always up in your business.”
- Apparently Medusa was close with Maximus as a girl, but later grew close to Black Bolt. “She trusted him not to kill her, and he trusts her with his communication. She’s the translator,” Swan explained how how their relationship developed. “But she’s not just his translator, she’s her own character too.” She added that sometimes Medusa switches words here and there with what Black Bolt says, to add her own spin on it.
Mount created his own sign language for the role, and keeps a Google doc that’s over 50 pages now so that it all stays consistent. He said that though he used ASL as a reference point, Black Bolt would naturally “speak” something else since he’s on the moon.
- Swan also noted that in the script sometimes Black Bolt doesn’t have any lines at all when he’s communicating, so she and Mount have had to work together to make the communication between them feel real.
- Loeb clarified Karnak’s powers in saying: “he has the ability to see the flaw in anything and everything; a person, a plan, a building, a fortress. Unfortunately what this does to him as a person is that everything he sees is flawed, so nothing is quite good enough for him. It’s at the point where the glass isn’t half empty, it’s shattered.”
- When asked if there was a concern that viewers may be getting tired of these kinds of mutant series (with The Gifted debuting soon on Fox, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. already having tackled the inhuman story), Loeb said no. “It’s an important story to tell; it’s about the difference between perception and how people really are.”
Inhumans’ premieres on September 1st in IMAX, and on September 29th on ABC.