Is Anybody Going to Watch INHUMANS at Theaters?
Guys, guys! There’s a new Marvel superhero movie coming out this Friday! Haven’t you heard? Haven’t you bought your tickets yet?
No. The answer is no, you haven’t heard, and you haven’t bought tickets.
As the above Reddit thread suggests, pretty much no one is even aware of Friday’s IMAX premiere of Inhumans. Out of all of the superhero properties entering and dominating pop culture in the early 21st century, Inhumans has surely had the weirdest trajectory:
- The titular heroes are supporting characters to the Fantastic Four, and have rarely functioned successfully when anchoring their own stories (despite recent efforts in the comics).
- The main character does not communicate verbally, and he hangs out with a giant teleporting bulldog.
- Originally announced by Kevin Feige in 2014 as a full-fledged entry in the third phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a 2018 release date, the film was shuffled around and eventually thrown into movie limbo due to additions to the MCU film slate and, later, the corporate restructuring of the film and TV divisions at Marvel.
- When IMAX came to Marvel looking to fill a hole in their fall 2017 schedule (and even help finance the production), Marvel Television thought Inhumans was a winner, and gave it to Scott Buck (now practically a household name, but for the wrong reasons, after Iron Fist’s release earlier this year) to showrun.
- The first two episodes were shot in IMAX, and will premiere in theaters Sept. 1. Then, at the end of the month, those two episodes (with additional footage) will broadcast on ABC, to be followed by the remainder of the 8-episode season.
If you thought the history behind the production was exhausting, just wait until you actually watch it: Trailers and early reactions indicate that it misses the point of high-concept superhero sci-fi completely, instead operating as a “grounded” soap opera. Except, you know, set on the Moon, and also Hawaii. It does not look promising.
And I say all this as a member of the target audience for this! In addition to enjoying the Marvel movies, I’m one of the seemingly few people into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., ABC’s other Marvel show. That show started off disastrously bad, but has vastly improved in quality — in part due to their introduction of the broader concept of Inhumans (which does not include the royal family from the upcoming show). The most recent season was especially strong, with consistently good character-based drama inside conceptually interesting sci-fi scenarios, occasionally accompanied by Ghost Rider and his flaming skull.
That said, will I check out Inhumans? I’ll probably give it a shot when it airs on ABC. But it’s not out of fear of crowds that I’m sitting out the theatrical release.