Marvel's Inhumans works better as a TV show than a movie because it emphasizes family drama over spectacle, according to Marvel TV head honcho Jeph Loeb. The Inhumans TV show premiere is now showing in IMAX theaters - a first for a Marvel TV show. Unfortunately, the buzz around the live-action version of Inhumans has so far been poor, at least for the first few episodes in the series. This development arrives after Inhumans spent years on Marvel Studios' release schedule as a movie, before ultimately morphing into a television show instead.
The TV series revolves around the members of the Inhumans Royal Family that are banished from their own home (following a coup) and have to resettle in Hawaii, where they must co-exist with regular humans. The property was originally a film announced by Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige in 2014 as part of the ongoing Phase 3 of the big screen pocket of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, in 2016, it was removed from MCU's official movie slate and was later reworked as a small screen venture instead.
Speaking to CBR while promoting the project, Leob has explained why he believes that bringing Inhumans to life via a TV show feels more suitable for the character-driven, family-themed property than a movie adaptation would have:
"I certainly felt that it was something that we could tell a compelling story about because it was a story about a family. We never really approached it as something that was going to be spectacle first and family second, and so I think one of the things that we do well is to ground our characters, to be able to take the time in order to get to know our villains — if that’s what Maximus is — and to be able to have an opportunity where you’re not entirely reliant on epic and spectacle and the rollercoaster ride which are the Marvel movies; which I absolutely love and there is no bigger fan."
While Leob does have a point that with a series format comes more time to develop and evolve characters, it does not mean that Inhumans can't be done justice on the big screen with a balance of character work and big epic action sequences under limited runtime. The long-running X-Men franchise has done a pretty decent job of grounding its world and characters, as has Marvel Studios' very own family drama-fueled Guardians of the Galaxy franchise.
Now that Inhumans has officially become part of the larger MCU as a TV series, the odds are stacked against the property getting a big screen adaptation anytime soon. Further, given the initial bad reviews that it continues to generate, odds are that Marvel Studios would steer clear of carrying over elements of the ABC Inhumans TV show into a movie version, so as to not be hounded by the negative buzz currently sounding the project.
That said, Marvel's Inhumans season 1 still has several episodes left to unveil when it begins airing on ABC later this month, following its limited IMAX run. This means that the show will soon have an opportunity to improve the word of mouth around it. By then, we will have a better idea of whether or not the show, as a whole, delivered on Loeb's promise of compelling character-driven drama.
Inhumans is now playing in IMAX theaters. It begins airing on ABC on Friday, September 29th.