Leading a show with someone who can not speak is less than ideal, but Inhumans has cleverly found a way to allow Black Bolt to communicate. As the king of the Inhumans, Black Bolt's powers can make it quite difficult to rule. With the smallest sound of his voice having the destructive power to wipe out anything near by, he often has to find other ways of communication to relay his thoughts. This is what made him such an interesting character to lead Marvel, IMAX, and ABC's first partnership, as it leaves their lead character without any chances for dialogue.
This would seemingly beef up the roles of all supporting characters, and many of their voices can be heard in the series' first teaser. However, it was still unclear how the show would allow Black Bolt to "speak," if at all. Those concerns can now be vanquished thanks to the use of sign language.
EW has revealed that Anson Mount will use sign language to bring the character's thoughts to life on the big and small screen. While it is unclear if these gestures will be accompanied by subtitles or simply have another Inhuman translate, this is a smart change for the series and offers up the first signing superhero, but Mount says those that know real sign language won't understand these signs.
"I actually have to do more preparation when it comes to scenes in which I sign, and I can’t use American Sign Language. Because he’s not from Earth, he wouldn’t know American Sign Language, so I’m making my own sign system."
The utilization of sign language is unique on its own, but constructing an entire alien version of it is even more impressive. Signing can be rather straightforward at times or extremely complex, but this requires much more than just moving hands for Mount. His facial expressions and body language/movement will also play big parts in unpacking what he is trying to communicate.
Mount also went on to discuss the extreme measures Black Bolt goes to to ensure he will not speak at any point. He says his journey is about controlling and understanding these abilities, and the king will meditate for hours before sleep so he will not accidentally talk in his sleep. After all, he still has the ability to speak, but the results will not be good for anyone if he does so these precautionary measures are necessary. Now, fans will have to wait and see if he ever gets a chance to let his voice be heard or if signing will be his only form of communication throughout the show.
Inhumans screens in IMAX theaters for two weeks starting Friday, September 1, prior to its television debut on Tuesday, September 26 on ABC.