‘Inhumans’ Creators and Cast Talk about Filming in IMAX and More at SDCC

Inhumans might be the biggest risk that ABC and Marvel have taken, but if successful, the payoff premiering a television series on IMAX screens would be unprecedented. Unlike Game of Thrones, Inhumans does not have a ready built fan base to rely on, so the show will have to pull out all the stops to really show audiences what it can do. Based on a comic series about a race of technologically advanced, super-powered people who’ve been secretly living on the moon, they certainly have a lot to work with.

Today at San Diego Comic Con, Marvel and ABC brought audiences a little taste of what to look forward for in the IMAX event. Attending the panel were Executive Producers Jeph Loeb and Scott Buck, Director Roel Reine, and cast Anson Mount (Black Bolt), Serinda Swan (Medusa), Iwan Rheon (Maximus), Ken Leung (Karnak,), Eme Ikwuakor (Gorgon), Isabelle Cornish (Crystal), Mike Moh (Triton), Ellen Woglom (Louise), and Sonya Balmores (Auran).

“I think the best approach for a show like this,” Buck said when asked about what kind of show he set out to make, “is not to see these people as superheroes, but as people – or Inhumans – who happen to have a super power. And as people watch the show they will see the super powers are not always necessarily and asset, and sometimes can actually be a crutch that they’ve depended on their whole lives, and be a cause to their problems.”

Roel Reine spoke a little about testing the IMAX cameras to get a feel of them before shooting, as “shooting in IMAX, kinda scares everyone you know. I thought IMAX cameras were still like big refrigerators.” The new digital IMAX cameras are smaller and more versatile. Ultimately he asked for bigger lenses, not finding the IMAX lenses big enough for the scope of the show, and IMAX created a new lens for shooting this show.

Ellen Woglom’s character is a brand new character created for the series named Louise. She plays a roll of introducing the Inhuman of Attilan to earth culture, as the Inhumans don’t have more then an academic knowledge of what the earth is like. She has no superpowers, though Woglom has made it her goal to have powers sometime in the future.

Each actor got to speak a little about playing their character, learning to do stunts, working with a CGI 2,000 pound bulldog, how much time it took to do the special effects make-up (3-5 hours for Mike Moh to get Triton’s characteristic green skin), and what it was like playing with these new superpowers.

Image via ABC

Iwan Rheon spoke about how he was nervous to play Maximus at first, as he feared he was too similar a character to his character from Game of Thrones. “As we discussed it more and more I realized that that wasn’t at all what we were trying to create in this show” and how came to realize that they could “tell the story from a different perspective of this young man who went through his Terrigenesis and he became… nothing. To be where he is, the lowest of the low, and the only reason he’s not working down in the mines is he is the bother of the king.” He describes the weird situation Maximus is in living in Attlian, being ignored, and overlooked because of his supposed lack of power. He went on to describe how his character wants to “further himself as well as save the people that he feels so sorry for. So in a way he is a revolutionary. He thinks he can genuinely change the world for the better for the people. […] He’s ruthless, if he can believe that in order to make this happen, these are the things he has to do. And he doesn’t like it, he loves his family, they are the only family he has, it’s a lonely world. […] He’s just trying to stop suffering. The cost of what he’s doing corrupt him. It’s a very Shakespearian story.”

Anson Mount talked about developing Black Bolt’s sign language, as because of his powers he cannot use his voice without destroying everything around him. “I wanted to take it very seriously and not just at face value. I knew I was going to begin by learning how sign systems worked, I started watching not just signers, but orchestra conductors, and I started building a lexicon.” He worked with an ASL consultant to go over the rules of ASL and ways to make the language more efficient. He spoke about collaborating on the signs with Serinda Swan, who’s character Medusa is not just Black Bolt’s wife, but also his interpreter, as Black Bolt created the language originally to speak with her. In deference to the deaf and ASL community, Mount spoke about how he would check his signs against ASL (American Sign Language) to make sure he was not overlapping. Swan also talked about her role as Black Bolt’s interpreter, “it was much easier when I’m speaking for him to everyone else […] but a more intimate scene between the two of us, I’m just talking to myself, so it was a challenge.” She went on to say, though, that Medusa does not always speak exactly what Black Bolt is signing, and will sometimes interject some of her own opinion, and how that is a type of grind between the two.

Image via ABC

They showed the audience four clips from the first episode. The first depicting Triton trying to save a newly powered Inhuman from Earth and failing, ultimately being shot and falling into the ocean.

The second, which Loeb referred to as “the dinner scene” had most of the characters discussing why Black Bolt sent Triton to Earth and set the stage for the conflicted between Maximus and Black Bolt as well as discussed the situation Attilan faces with dwindling resources and over population.

The next clip showcased the powers of Gorgon, super strength and creating seismic waves, and Karnak, who has the ability to solve any problem. Buck spoke a little about the way they filmed Karnak utilizing his power, “[it] creates this point of view where he immediately understands everything around him and how to deal with that situation. So the challenge was to try to create that in a very visual way that the audience could also see.” We also saw some of Maximus’s outright treachery as he is seen pulling the strings for the conflict on earth.

The last clip finally let audiences see Medusa’s hair in action, as well as added a bit of character interaction and conflict with Maximus. Overall, the clips showed a very political, if also very super-powered, type of story to look forward to.

Inhumans will premiere on IMAX screens on September 1st, with the first two episodes. On September 29th, the first tow episodes will be released on ABC with additional footage. The rest of the season will continue Fridays at 9pm.

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