The scope and look of the Inhumans television series has been up for debate for awhile now. Originally slated to be a movie and now brought to life in IMAX and on Television, people have questions. Who are the inhumans? Just how will showrunner Scott Buck bring to life the mysterious silent black bolt whose very words can kill? We have some answers thanks to this first image from Entertainment Weekly which gives us a look at everyone from the warrior Gorgon to the mysterious Maximus the mad? It’s a challenge, one that showrunner Scott Buck seemed eager to take on. He stressed however that “It was an exciting proposition.” while adding “we approach these characters are very real people who just happen to have these abilities so they’re all very grounded.”
Along with the above photo, Buck took the time to answers some questions about just what fans can expect from the series. When asked about the challenges of bringing the comic to life, he was daunted but excited by the prospect. Fresh off of Marvel’s Iron Fist he approached it “through the characters”
I had just finished Iron Fist and was looking for a little time off. Then, Jeph Loeb called me and pitched the idea of the Inhumans, the idea of doing a show basically about this family. We discussed each one of the characters, who they are, their personalities, their journeys. I always approach these things through the characters — what’s the story we can tell about Black Bolt, about Medusa and each one of these members of the Royal Family?
The second biggest issue was the comic book stories that inspire these characters. The Inhumans have a long comic book history- one that ties in with some of the first characters in the Marvel Universe, namely The Fantastic Four. While we won’t see Sue Storm and Reed Richards, which stories did inspire the show? Buck hints that it was the classic material that gave the characters life, their backstories if you will.
I was so curious to see what their origins were, so I started at the very beginning. Obviously if you look at those comics from the early ’60s, they’re a very different tone than what we’re doing. It was fun to see how it all began, but I just continued to leap forward. There were so many different incarnations of the Inhumans, though, so it was more a matter of figuring out, what’s the story we want to tell? Going back and then reading the whole backstory of them all was very helpful, but from that, we just pretty much moved forward.
It’s a unique group of people, an alternative to the Marvel fan favorites the X-Men. While the X-Men are a natural consequence of human evolution however the Inhumans have help and as fans of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD can tell you the fantastical elements of the Inhumans make for half the fun. Buck stresses however that these are simply “people with abilities” this gives off an almost Logan as Wolverine like vibe and that makes some sense.
To a certain extent, yes, but again, we approach these all as real people who just happen to have these abilities, so they’re all very grounded people. We try to write them as real as possible, and then have fun with the powers when we can. We want their powers to seem like a very natural part of their personality.
Of course what sort of story can we expect from a group of “powered people” in a grounded realistic show? At it’s heart, The Inhumans is about family.
we’re telling a story about a family at a very critical juncture in their lives. When we meet up with them, we’re going to find that pretty much everything they’ve ever known is at risk.
Buck continued that we’ll see both Earth and Attlian, and that while a crossover with Agents of SHIELD – which originated The Inhumans in the MCU is possible – “We’re just trying to get launched.” Laughs Buck. Carrying a family drama forward as opposed to the traditional procedural inhuman based show. It’s unique and something we haven’t seen yet. How will a family drama fit with the partnership with IMAX? certainly the larger format is perfect for bringing these characters to life.
Yes, I would say the first two episodes do, because it gave us a lot more freedom and pushed and encouraged us to think a little bit bigger than we would if it was just a normal network show. We just wanted to think bigger in terms of scope, and what we were seeing, and how we bring these characters to the audience. I think it’s something that absolutely stands on its own, but hopefully it’ll intrigue people enough to make them want to watch the rest of the show.
With all this news about the format, news about the characters is icing on the cake but we at last know some of how Black Bolt and the others will interact with the world. Black Bolt especially. The silent hero is one of the most dangerous characters in Marvel comics and for such a visual medium like film – one might call the challenge of bringing to life a character who doesn’t talk – who literally can’t impossible. Scott Buck has nothing but praise for Anson Mount however.
Black Bolt is a very difficult character I would think for Anson, but for any actor to play. But Anson is tackling it in a hugely fantastic way. It’s a little bit difficult to write him, because Black Bolt does not speak, but yet he is our hero and he is the center of the show, so it does certainly present challenges in how you tell his story, but fortunately we came up with a really good story. Anson is terrific. I think everyone’s going to be very pleased and excited by his Black Bolt. We’re not doing voice over. If you read the comics, you see Black Bolt does find a way to communicate to people, but he’s also a very enigmatic character as well, and he keeps a lot inside. That’s part of what’s so fascinating about him is that a lot of times, we don’t know what he’s thinking.
Second to Black Bolt is his loki-like brother Maximus. Fans were excited to learn that Iwan Rheon, formerly Ramsey Bolton on Game of Thrones would bring the brother who wants to be king to life.
We were so thrilled to get him because he’s such a super talented actor. Obviously we knew him well through Game of Thrones, but he can do a lot more than that. We didn’t want to create just a simple villain who’s evil for the sake of being evil. He’s a very real, three-dimensional character. Iwan is more than capable. Every time we watch dailies of him, we’re just more and more excited about what he’s bringing to the screen.
Our Maximus is a different, more complicated, more real, more compelling version of Maximus that has been seen in most of the comics, and it’s just because we have the opportunity to do so much more on the screen than you would in a comic book.
Given that The Inhumans is a show about family it sounds like Maximus and his brother are going to be one of the core emotional components of the show. The other? Medusa. The inhuman queen has taken center stage in marvel comics, often ruling her people when her husband was incapacitated or unable to perform his duties. She’s a strong woman and Serinda Swan’s casting is a perfect choice for the role but her power might leave Marvel in a hairy situation when it comes to her abilities. When asked about Medusa’s hair, Scott Buck called it “difficult”
It is very difficult. Even now, it’s still a process. It takes quite a long time in post to make that effect work. We have some of the best visual effects people available working on our show. We still haven’t seen the final version of it; it’s very much a work in process.
He added that even with some of the more fantastic elements like Mike Moh’s fish like Triton character each actor will be just that – an actor with none of the special effects one might expect. While this seems unusual, the first real inhumans we interacted with who had some of the more…unique effects of Terragenesis happen to them were also make up. Oscar nominee Ruth Negga donned a make up prosthetic to play the final incarnation of antagonist Raina on Agents of SHIELD after all.
The biggest star however (and the one we’re the most excited for) is Crystal and the Inhuman Royal Family’s Dog Lockjaw. Lockjaw will be a key part of the show and he is apparently one of the most fun characters to write. The dog’s an important MCU character and one hopes that he’ll stick around so that he can join his current comic partner – Kamala Khan.
Lockjaw is probably going to end up being the audience’s favorite character. We certainly enjoy working with him. He’s fun to write, he’s fun to shoot. There’s not too much more detail than that that I can give, but he is going to be a standout on the show.
Dismissing rumors of a film where the inhuman royal family might happen, Buck and Marvel have continued to stress all of this takes place in the same universe which means Lockjaw making the teleporting rounds couldn’t be that difficult.
With new characters being added like Ellen Woglom’s character (who does not have a comic counterpart according to Buck) Marvel’s The Inhumans is shaping up to be incredible television. Does the prospect of working on such a pivotal group of characters make Scott Buck nervous?
It’s big. I’m used to writing — and what I’m best at — slightly smaller character dramas. This is a show that I have to stretch myself and think a little bit bigger at times, so that’s been the biggest challenge for me.
We believe in you sir!
Are you excited about The Inhumans? Ready to see them join the MCU? Hit the comments below and tell us what you think true believers! And Don’t forget Marvel will air Marvel’s The Inhumans in IMAX beginning September 1rst for 2 weeks. Then, the remaining 6 episodes will be aired fall on ABC.