Black Bolt is a staple of Marvel's Inhumans and actor Anson Mount says the fact that the character is mute played heavily into his decision to take on the role. Bringing the Inhuman Royal Family to life in live-action for the first time, the Marvel TV show will actually be released in IMAX theaters first, a few weeks before it premieres on ABC. It’s a move that Mount’s fellow Inhumans star Henry Ian Cusick says is “pushing the envelope.”
Though Marvel junkies will be looking forward to seeing the likes of Mount’s Black Bolt come to TV, alongside Medusa (Serinda Swan), Gorgon (Eme Ikwuakor), and Maximus (Iwan Rheon), the characters aren’t as instantly recognizable as other classic Marvel Comics superheroes that have been adapted as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe already. With that said, the hype surrounding Marvel's Inhumans suggests the show should reel in plenty of viewers, including many a fan of the larger MCU franchise.
During our Inhumans set visit in Hawaii earlier this year, Screen Rant spoke to various cast members including Mount, who explained that Black Bolt being a mute was something that really caught his attention:
“Well, that was really my primary interest in the role; was the challenge of playing a leading role not only unable to speak, but I can’t use American sign language because he’s not from here. [Marvel TV boss] Jeph Loeb knew me well enough to know what would be my interest, so he came in on that leg. You know, “We’ll help you find a linguist. We’ll help you anyway.” But he knew what was going to give me juice to get in that role. So yeah, I think I am lucky that I had already met Jeph. I knew Jeph. Jeph knew my work. We have a lot of mutual business acquaintances in common. And it’s the kind of role that you can’t; the role would have been under-serviced if they had held auditions. How do you audition this role? You know, I’m just fortunate enough that he and [creator] Scott [Buck] trusted me enough to say let’s just have a conversation because it’s certainly a role I probably would have gone after anyways, but yeah…”
It’s interesting to hear that zero auditions were held for the role of Black Bolt, with Mount simply being offered the job based on a prior relationship formed with Loeb. Hopefully, it was a wise decision by the Marvel TV head; those who have seen Mount as Cullen Bohannon in Hell on Wheels will likely think so, as he entertained audiences in the show through 55 episodes.
Working with a character whose only interactions come through physicality rather than speaking, however, represents quite a challenge. Translating that on television is certainly a whole other ball game than getting the point across on the pages of a comic book. If it’s something that falls flat with viewers, it could bury the Inhumans TV show altogether.
In saying that, if done correctly, Mount will be able to dig deeper into his talents with Black Bolt than fans have ever seen, showing off a side to his acting chops that he may not have been able to explore before. As a key part of one of Marvel’s most ambitious TV projects to date, we’re sure the actor will be giving it his all.
Inhumans premieres in IMAX on September 1, before heading to ABC on September 29.