For many years, The Inhumans was being considered as a feature installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Long rumored to star Vin Diesel as the Inhuman King Black Bolt, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige was constantly talking up the potential of the characters without ever indicating that there was any real movement on actively putting the project into development. Then, in November of last year, Marvel announced that Inhumans wouldn’t be a movie, but would instead be coming to TV screens on ABC, after a special premiere in IMAX.
Now, with The Inhumans IMAX debut behind us and the TV premiere only a few weeks away, we’ve gotten an answer on how the transition from movie to TV show happened. Speaking with Marvel TV executive producer Jeph Loeb at the Inhumans red carpet IMAX premiere, our own Kelly Bohart had the chance to ask Loeb how the property came into his hands from Marvel Studios:
Kelly: Originally Inhumans was intended to be a movie. How did it transition into a TV show?
Jeph Loeb: Well, as you know Marvel is one big giant company, and this was a property that was in movie division, and when they looked at their schedule and realized what they wanted to be doing, [Inhumans] was something that was gonna push very far out. So we started having a conversation with them about, “well, maybe this is something that would work as a television series.” And that worked out really well.
Pretty straightforward. By this point it’s not news that Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios are very nimble in pivoting away from some projects in favor of others if they find a story that excites them. We know that Feige and Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn have built up ambitious plans for the cosmic side of the MCU, ideas that will serve as the foundation for the next decade of stories in the MCU. It’s entirely possible that those plans didn’t include the Inhumans, and when Loeb heard about this he stepped in to see if the Feige and co. would be open to giving the characters to Marvel TV, rather than waiting who knows how long to see them on the big screen.
What’s most notable from Loeb’s answer is how apparently easy the process was. Rumors frequently circulate about an adversarial relationship between Marvel’s film and TV divisions, but there’s no hint of conflict in Loeb’s description of events. It’s still entirely possible that there was, but if so, Loeb isn’t letting on here.