Roel Reine, the director of the 2-part pilot of the ABC series Inhumans, a show set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, says he had "a blast" working with Marvel. He also talked about how his experience in small budget action films helped him to direct the pilot.
Marvel's Inhumans is an eight-episode TV series that will follow the story of Black Bolt and the royal family of Inhumans, who live in isolation from the rest of the world. As the Inhumans make up an integral part of the Marvel Universe, the characters were originally intended to be adapted to a feature film, but those plans were scrapped in favor of an ABC series. The two-part pilot will release first in IMAX theaters, starting at the beginning of September. At the end of the month, the season will begin airing on TV.
To direct the pilot, Marvel brought in Roel Reine, a director known for helming small-budget action films such as The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption, Hard Target 2, Death Race 2, and The Man With the Iron Fists 2. In an interview with CNET, Reine said that he was given a "nerve-wracking" schedule of 20 days to work with, but his experience made it easier to manage:
I think they liked me for the job because I was able with my action movies to shoot in a very short time, or with very low budgets, action that looks like a big-budget movie. It was not a feature film, it was a TV episode, but they still wanted to have the scope.
In regards to the challenges of filming for IMAX, Reine says that they used different set designs and different camera techniques to better fit the towering screens of IMAX theaters with Inhumans. Reine also had high praise for Marvel, though he acknowledges the "horror stories" that are sometimes heard from other directors (with Alan Taylor, Joss Whedon and Edgar Wright having all discussed their experiences concerning Marvel's approach to making movies, in the past).
Some feel that Marvel is too controlling, but Reine calls their working relationship "very collaborative." According to Reine, at least one Marvel executive was always nearby to make sure that Inhumans tied in with other areas of the MCU. He says that though Marvel is "protective" and "passionate" about their characters, they always listened to him and usually liked his ideas, even the radical ones. Other directors, like James Gunn and Ryan Coogler, have also enjoyed the creative freedom given to them by Marvel.
Marvel’s Inhumans premieres in IMAX on September 1; the series begins on ABC on September 29.