We’re still waiting until we get a look at the full series to pass judgment, but early buzz around Marvel's Inhumans series has not been great. Now the director of the first two episodes has opened up about why he was hired — and it all goes back to his low-budget bona fides.
In an interview with CNET, director Roel Reiné (who directed the pilot) said it was the fast, low-budget projects on his resume that interested Marvel in locking him in for Inhumans (which some have complained is looking a bit, ahem, low-budget). Reiné has previously worked on lowish-budget, straight-to-DVD fare like The Scorpion King 3, Death Race 2, and 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded, plus some television episodes in between. He said it’s those projects that likely landed him the job. Reiné clarifies it’s his perceived skill set to make low-budget look good, but still, the fact that Marvel wanted a low-budget expert doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence.
Here’s an excerpt from his comments:
"I think they liked me for the job because I was able with my action movies to shoot in a very short time, or with very low budgets, action that looks like a big-budget movie. It was not a feature film, it was a TV episode, but they still wanted to have the scope. The schedule was super-tight. I had TV schedule time to shoot it with IMAX cameras, 20 days to shoot two episodes. It's nerve-wracking but I come from a low-budget film world, so 20 days for me is luxury.
There was always a Marvel executive around me, just to make sure that whatever I did, or whatever we did together, would tie in with other characters in other universes, in other comics, in other series or movies. They're very protective. … These people are very passionate about their product and about characters and about doing the best version of everything. I heard all of these horror stories of working with Marvel, but I didn't feel that way. It was very collaborative. … Nine out of ten times they liked what I pitched -- even radical things.”
It sounds like Inhumans was shot on a tight and typical TV schedule, which (as Reiné notes) is a bit odd for something Marvel is lining up for an IMAX release. Not uncommon for TV, but still, you’d think he’d have gotten a little more time and money to blow things out of the water for the pilot, considering the circumstances. We’re still holding out hope this project does the Royal Family justice, but yeah, the clock is ticking ever closer to that September 1 IMAX premiere date.
An extended cut of the pilot is set to premiere September 29 on ABC.