For the stars of Inhumans, working with IMAX for a television show is like nothing they've ever experienced before. When rumors began circulating that Marvel's long-planned Inhumans movie was no more, fans began to worry that they'd never see the Royal Family in the MCU. Then things took an interesting twist. The show was not only revived as an ABC TV series, but would become the first television show to take advantage of the IMAX format so many blockbuster films utilize.
With IMAX picking up the tab and helping to craft the first two hours of the series, fans of the characters will get to see the show premiere in theaters before things jump to TV. Still, it's not quite clear if the final product will work. With the reveal of the first trailer for the show, we have a better idea of how the series will look. That said, many feel that the series is playing it too safe. Until Inhumans arrives in theaters, however, we won't know the full breadth and size of the series and its visual effects. According to the show's stars, though, the final product will be something truly unique.
While visiting the Inhumans set, we were able to speak with a number of the stars of the show and delve into just what working with IMAX was like. For Serinda Swan, who plays Queen Medusa, the scope of the IMAX format was something she couldn't even imagine.
"I don’t even think I know how large this is. I surely didn’t when I got it. It was one of those things that, you know, obviously with the Marvel world it is very secretive. Everything is held very close. That’s why these interviews sometimes I’m like, 'I can’t wait to talk to people, but what can I say?' You know, I want to share everything that we are doing because it is so exciting, because it is so rich and there is so much going on. But there is definitely a buzz around set because this is the first time that anything has been done in this capacity, to have IMAX come on board, to have it shown in that way for our first two episodes because, you know, there’s a lot of people who are going to be like, 'It’s a movie!' No. It’s a TV show done this way. Because a movie, yeah, there is IMAX movies. There are Marvel IMAX movies, but this is a television show in that scope, which is so exciting to see. But you can definitely feel it on set. From the sets to everybody involved to everybody at this table that is interested, you can definitely tell that it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s going to be a lot of fun."
Given that TV shows aren't usually known for their spectacle, the idea of such a huge undertaking from a visual effects and production standpoint could seem daunting for a series that will need to live beyond its IMAX premiere. Luckily, the core of the series will focus on relatable characters dealing with a crisis. Still, the bold new direction of the show was something the actors had no real experience dealing with.
For Isabelle Cornish, who plays the elemental-powered Crystal, the entire process was something truly special.
"It was really different and fun. We got to do a lot of like beautiful shots. We used cranes and things like that, which again will really add to the experience for the viewer to see and it’s the first time that a show has ever premiered in IMAX, which I think is really cool. And the cameras were a lot larger and a lot heavier. The poor cameramen. But, yeah, it was just different to see and watch and just really adding to the whole experience of the show."
Not every actor felt so daunted by the approach, however. Ken Leung, who plays the warrior Karnak, enjoyed the atmosphere the IMAX set-up created but wasn't distracted by the scale.
"Just the knowledge that it’s going to be done in this unprecedented, or released in this unprecedented way gives it a buzz and an electricity on set shooting with them. I, personally, didn’t feel any, a camera is a camera, and you are doing what you are doing, but just to know that we are doing it in a way that has never been done is thrilling."
With Comic-Con just around the corner, we should learn a lot more about the show in the coming weeks. And with the IMAX and television premiere of the show kicking off the fall TV season, fans won't have to wait much longer to experience the fruits of Marvel's newest labor.
Inhumans premieres in IMAX on September 1, and on ABC on September 29.