The world is bracing itself for the manifestation of a new Royal family, the Inhumans.
Marvel’s fictional race of superhumans first materialized together in December 1965 in the 45th edition of the Fantastic Four comic book series although members of the regal ensemble, Medusa, and Gorgon, appeared in earlier issues.
Having also already been brought from page to screen in animated series and video games, Marvel’s Inhumans make their debut on IMAX screens on September 1, 2017, for two weeks before premiering on ABC on September 29, 2017.
After a military coup, the eight-episode series sees the Royal Family leave their home, the lunar city of Attilan, and escape to Hawaii where they must save themselves and the world. Marvel’s Inhumans promises to be a television event where innovation and creativity are at its heart.
Anson Mount plays Black Bolt, the head of the Royal Family and King of Attilan, whose voice can cause unfathomable levels of destruction with the slightest whisper.
“If he sneezes he blows half the world away, he is that powerful,” he explained on the show’s Hawaii set. “That’s what attracted me to the role, the obstacle of playing a character, the lead of the show who doesn’t speak.”
As a result, Mount had to come up with a new way of communicating that was otherworldly but also believable. He explained: “It’s not American Sign Language, he can’t do that because Black Bolt’s not from here so he wouldn’t know ASL. I’m building my own sign system, my own lexicon.”
He added: “It’s not going to be 15 or 16 signs that we can just repeat, it’s going to be an actual language.”
On the subject of language, actor Iwan Rheon, who plays Maximus, Black Bolt’s brother, an Inhuman with a strong devotion to the people of Attilan but who also dreams of being King himself, decided against using his natural Welsh accent for the role.
He said: “I’m afraid not because I think that would have been weird on the moon. That was kind of a challenge because I had to ask myself how he would speak. Obviously it would be an incredible coincidence if everyone on the Moon had American accents but I’m not really worried too much about that. He’s got an American-ish twang but as he grew up on the Moon I’ve gone a bit Moon-ish with this one too.”
Something else that was new to Rheon and his cast mates was shooting the first two episodes of Marvel’s Inhumans in IMAX for the show’s theatrical debut, an industry first. He explained on set: “It’s been uncharted territory for us. It’s exciting because we don’t know what it’s going to look like.”
Isabelle Cornish plays Crystal the sister of Medusa, Attilan’s Queen and the wife of Black Bolt. The youngest member of the Royal Family, she has the ability to control the elements. She believes that IMAX will bring the show’s design and effects to life in a spectacular way.
“What I’m really excited about is the way that the IMAX cameras can really capture how beautiful our sets are, our costumes and really capture our show in great detail that the audience is going to love.”
“With the IMAX cameras, and in the show in general, I think the audience is really going to get a sense of television that they haven’t had before.”
Ken Leung, who plays Karnak, Black Bolt’s cousin and closest adviser, added: “Just being able to capture Hawaii in its lush, vast splendor is thrilling.”
Bringing Marvel’s Inhumans to the small and IMAX screens has been a ground-breaking experience for the cast and crew, but Leung thinks that exploring the Inhumans as a collective will be a new experience for audiences in itself.
“A lot about Inhumans is about change, about evolution. We don’t start off with our abilities. Our abilities come from a process that happens when you are 15 years old. So we’re human, but we’re not, we’re human but genetically evolved.”
Auran, the head of the Royal Guards on Attilan and who has a fierce loyalty to Black Bolt, is played by Sonya Balmores, a Hawaii native.
For her, her involvement in Marvel’s Inhumans brought a mix of excitement and trepidation. She explained: “I just enjoy being part of the Marvel Universe and especially with the show’s first two episodes being shown in IMAX.
“The only thing about that though is whenever I was filming a scene I thought, ‘Oh no, now my head is six feet high!’ so the whole thing is kind of crazy for me.”
“It’s a great partnership with IMAX though,” she added. “There are lots of great people that we’re working with so I feel very lucky to be part of this.
That is a sentiment shared by Eme Ilkwauakor, who plays Gorgon, Black Bolt’s cousin and leader of Attilan’s military, who can generate seismic waves with his hooves.
“Getting the call saying that you’re now part of the Marvel Universe is probably one of the greatest feelings that I could have as a person, not even as an actor,” he explained.
“I love doing projects that want to push the boundaries and do stuff that they’ve never done before.
“The fact that the show is doing something with IMAX, the chances that they are talking with this and not holding back is a beautiful thing so, as an actor, you’ve got to kind of pinch yourself.”
Marvel’s Inhumans debuts on IMAX screens on September 1, 2017, for two weeks before premiering on ABC on September 29.