It’s been a rocky road for fans of Marvel’s somewhat popular but underrated proto-mutant series, the Inhumans. The film was long-rumored to be a begrudging exchange between Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige and TV universe director Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter, whereby Inhumans would hit the big screen and Feige could make his Captain Marvel project. After it changed release dates several times, then disappeared from the Phase 3 production slate, many feared the series lost in the tug-of-war between the two sides of Marvel’s Audio/Visual division.
Recent rumors claimed the Inhumans film was a non-entity in the MCU. However, Feige says the reports of the Inhumans’ demise have been greatly exaggerated.
The Marvel maestro recently spoke with Empire (via Screen Crush), allaying the fears of devotees of the superhuman hybrids clutch. Feige insists it's only a matter of time before Inhumans is back on the docket. In addition, the film’s departure from the Phase 3 schedule wasn’t sounding the death knell for Black Bolt and crew. Rather, the reshuffled schedule was the result of an overstuffed production slate. Feige says:
“The only situation right now is that [Inhumans] is not gonna be a part of Phase 3 because Phase 3 increased in a very good way since we initially announced. When and where and how it pops up remains to be seen, but it’s characters we love, it’s a storyline we love, and we just didn’t want to cram it into an already quite full Phase 3.”
Feige and Marvel’s move is certainly understandable. With the addition of the Sony co-venture Spider-Man: Homecoming and the Ant-Man and the Wasp sequel, the MCU will pack a whopping nine films into the next three years. Compared to the dozen films split evenly between Phases 1 and 2, Marvel could be worried about over-saturating their own wildly successful cinematic realm.
So, the good news is that Inhumans will finally get their time to shine on the big screen in Phase 4 – where several unnamed films are queued up. The bad news is, fans waiting for an Inhumans presence in the MCU before then may be disappointed. Of course, they’ll still be able to catch up on all the groups' fascinating backstory on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. But the real question is, with a Phase 4 release for Inhumans, will they make an appearance in the movies-formerly-known-as Infinity War?
All signs point to maybe. Even if Marvel’s film and television divisions seem to be moving further apart, the Inhumans TV story arc could still tie into the upcoming movie event. The Infinity War screenwriters have noted the challenges in integrating the various timelines. But with Thanos potentially meddling in the timeline and a Sorcerer Supreme at their behest, it would be surprising if we didn’t see a few S.H.I.E.L.D.-related elements enter into the fold again.
Captain America: Civil War is in theaters now. Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2– May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020. Inhumans is currently without a release date.