The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been expanding ever since the release of Iron Man in 2008; over the last eight years, a total of 14 films have debuted within the superhero shared universe, most recently being Doctor Strange. In 2013, Marvel launched the TV side of the MCU when ABC premiered the first television spinoff in the form of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — which entered its fourth season this fall. Streaming service Netflix houses another corner of the MCU that includes Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, with another three shows in various stages of production.
Earlier this year, it seemed ABC was cutting down on its Marvel content, cancelling Agent Carter after two seasons and failing to move forward with a number of other projects, including Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff Marvel’s Most Wanted and the comedy series Damage Control. Now, though, it seems Marvel and ABC are reteaming for a different kind of series within the MCU: Marvel’s The Inhumans.
Marvel and ABC have announced plans to launch a new show based on the Inhumans, debuting the first two episodes in IMAX at the beginning of September 2017. The episodes will screen worldwide for two weeks ahead of a TV premiere. However, rather than follow Inhuman characters already established on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — the MCU show has dealt with Inhumans since season 2 — the new series will “explore the never-before-told epic adventure of Black Bolt and the royal family.”
Of course, The Inhumans was originally planned as part of the movie side of the MCU, with it slated for for release in 2018 — before it was pushed to 2019 when Marvel Studios and Sony struck the deal to welcome Spider-Man into the MCU. However, during the fall of 2015 reports arose that Marvel Studios quietly cancelled Inhumans due to a feud with Marvel TV. Although the reports were refuted at the time, the Inhumans film was officially pulled from Marvel Studios’ release slate earlier this year.
Now, it appears The Inhumans’ release date was nixed because Marvel decided to develop the property into a television series. Certainly, it seems Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige may have been hinting at such a change in his comments after The Inhumans was removed from the movie release slate. Feige said at the time, “when and where and how [The Inhumans] pops up remains to be seen,” but that Marvel was very much invested in the characters of Black Bolt and the Royal Family.
That said, it’s unclear how successful Marvel’s The Inhumans will be on ABC. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. managed to find its footing midway through season 1 — after the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier — and has since continually improved. But, Agent Carter didn’t quite find a large enough audience at ABC, even if the series starring Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter did inspire a devoted fanbase. Certainly, the IMAX release of The Inhumans will help drum up excitement for the series, as well as the added benefit of being part of the MCU, but it remains to be seen if the series will find success with fans and critics.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 returns Tuesday November 29 at 10pm on ABC. Marvel’s The Inhumans will premiere its first two episodes in IMAX in September 2017 before debuting on ABC.
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