It’s no secret that the Marvel Entertainment Group has been pushing their Inhumans brand for years (some would argue at the expense of one of their other properties, the X-Men – but that’s for another article). Now, after a seeming cinematic setback, the Inhumans will rise on screen once again.
Originally created through genetic experiments by the alien race the Kree (well it was truly Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1965 but whose counting), the current core group of Inhumans has seen a resurgence in prominence during the last few years. Black Bolt, Medusa, Karnak, Triton, Lockjaw and even new Inhumans such as Mosaic have been prominent in the pages of Marvel’s slew of title-wide events.
In fact, at one time, the Inhumans were scheduled to have their own feature film. Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, initially had the film slated for November of 2018 as a release date which would have made it one of Marvel Studios’ releases in-between Infinity War parts 1 and 2. Instead, the movie was pushed back the next year to make way for T’challa and Peter Parker and eventually the movie was dropped off the schedule all-together. But why?
The answer may be surprising. It was television. In 2014, ABC’s second season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. introduced the Inhumans to the world. This was four years prior to when the movie was initially scheduled to be released (2018). In a crowded and yet rapidly expanding cinematic universe, it made sense to leave the Inhumans to ABC to make way for the new characters such as Spider-man Black Panther and Antman & The Wasp to have their silver screen time and drive the MCU meta plot forward (something the Inhumans movie wouldn’t necessarily accomplish).
But all is not lost for a Inhumans solo title. Fret not, Inhumans fans, for now you have sometime for which you can look forward.
Marvel and ABC have green-lighted an Inhumans television show that is set to debut in 2017 on ABC via the Disney/ABC television group. One aspect of this deal that is truly unique is the agreement with IMAX. The first two episodes will debut, according to the release “exclusively in IMAX® theatres for two-week window in late Summer 2017 prior to network run” The series will be produced by ABC and Marvel however it will be shot using IMAX’s Digital Media Remastering. It is also confirmed that this is a standalone series and not a spin-off of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
IMAX Corp. (NYSE: IMAX), Marvel Television, a unit of Marvel Entertainment, and Disney|ABC Television Group today announced an innovative agreement to exclusively premiere the new ABC series “Marvel’s The Inhumans” in IMAX commercial theatres, marking the first time a live-action television series has debuted in this manner.
Under the agreement, a version of the first two episodes of Marvel Television’s new series “Marvel’s The Inhumans”–produced in conjunction with ABC Studios and filmed entirely with IMAX digital cameras–will run worldwide exclusively in IMAX for two weeks at the beginning of September 2017. ABC plans to then premiere the weekly series in fall, with additional exclusive content that can only be seen on the network.
The Inhumans, a race of superhumans with diverse and singularly unique powers, were first introduced in Marvel Comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1965. Since that time, they have grown in prominence and become some of the most popular and iconic characters in the Marvel Universe. “Marvel’s The Inhumans” will explore the never-before-told epic adventure of Black Bolt and the royal family.
ABC, IMAX and Marvel Television also intend to work together to create a joint marketing and promotion plan for the series across their proprietary media platforms–which would be the first such cross-platform marketing launch of a television series. Today’s agreement also marks IMAX’s first time as a financing participant in a TV pilot and series.
“This unprecedented alliance represents a bold, innovative approach to launching great TV content for a worldwide audience,” said Ben Sherwood, co-chairman, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney|ABC Television Group. “It highlights Disney|ABC’s unrelenting commitment to finding new and creative ways to showcasing our very best programming and increasing global engagement and reach.”
“This first-of-its-kind multi-platform production, distribution and marketing agreement brings together Marvel Television’s unique brand of entertainment, ABC’s unparalleled audience and IMAX’s brand and global fanboy demographic,” said IMAX CEO, Rich Gelfond. “It also takes our decades-long relationship with The Walt Disney Company to a whole new level, jointly breaking new ground in the industry. We are confident our exhibition partners will be excited to work with us on this innovative launch of a series across the IMAX network.”
“We’re happy to see this unique deal come together, working with our partners,” said Dan Buckley, President, Marvel Television, Publishing & Brand. “In an ever-changing world of distribution and consumption, it’s very exciting to be part of a groundbreaking initiative that takes us to the forefront of this evolution.”
This deal also provides audiences with high-quality, compelling entertainment options during what have traditionally been lulls in the summer blockbuster season. These IMAX audiences also tend to have high engagement and positive response to comic book fare.