It was announced on Monday, November 14, that instead of capping of Phase 3 of the Cinematic Universe, the Inhumans will be taking the royal family to ABC for a television series. This is an interesting decision on behalf of Marvel Entertainment and it left many fans disappointed that they would not get to see Black Bolt and company on the big screen. There are a lot of reasons for this disappointment, most of which revolve around the quality of production that stories receive on a big screen due to the larger budgets that movies receive. Well, fear no more. After research was conducted by the folks at The Hollywood Reporter, it was revealed that IMAX is co-funding the project to bring the undisclosed budget to a number that will allow for cinematic quality.
Why would IMAX get involved? Well, as it turns out, Marvel is once again changing ‘the game’ around how fans get to see their favorite characters and stories play out on screen. Inhumans is going to be an 8 episode series, not unlike the pilot season of Marvel’s Agent Carter. However, the difference resides in IMAX’s role. The first two episodes are going to air, at least initially, as an IMAX cinematic event. Then, the following 6 episodes will be broadcast on ABC as Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D does weekly.
It’s worth nothing that after seasons of build up around the “Inhumans” branding on those on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, this will absolutely not be a direct spin-off. Of course, everything in the MCU is connected, but don’t expect Quake or Agent Phil Coulson to make an appearance in the 8-episode series.
The larger question that remains to be seen is whether or not this is the best decision for the Inhumans franchise. Marvel has certainly never stopped bringing their best since the debut of Ironman in 2008, so it is difficult to question their judgment. However, there are certainly many benefits to this cinematic-television hybrid, especially with the additional funding from IMAX. The Inhumans franchise was long thought to be a stand-in for the X-Men while Marvel did not have the cinematic rights. The biggest issue that has long stood in the way in the X-Men franchise, under Fox’s development, is that there are an insane number of characters to develop strongly in a 2-hour movie. Inhumans will, instead, have 8 hours to develop their characters over the series arch. Could this be a recipe for success for massive team series’ in the future?
Another major advantage is ironic on the heels of Doctor Strange: Time. Initially, Marvel fans were not anticipating to see Doctor Strange until the very end of Phase 3; long after Thanos’ destructive reign. With the change of plans, fans only have to wait 10 months. Inhumans will hit IMAX theaters in September 2017. Prepare your pockets because Marvel’s 2017 IMAX lineup has now grown to include Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spiderman: Homecoming, Inhumans, and Thor Ragnarok.