TCA17: Marvel Inhuman's executive producers defend work in progress pilot

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Aug 6, 2017

The Beverly Hilton ballroom got chillier than normal on Sunday at the Television Critics Association press tour talk with the executive producers and cast of ABC's Marvel's Inhumans.

When executive producers Scott Buck and Jeph Loeb were asked by a reporter if the unfinished pilot provided to TCA reporters was the show they always intended to make, or if it was compromised by the challenges of using IMAX, Loeb responded that the question sounded more like an editorial comment and he wasn't clear of what was being asked. The reporter clarified the query, asking if what was screened was the version of the show intended, Loeb responded icily that, "The show you have seen is not the finished product."

Set to premiere in IMAX theaters on September 1st with a 75-minute version of the first two episodes, and then drop with an expanded 84-minute premiere with new footage on September 29th on ABC, Marvel's Inhumans is the first-of-its-kind partnership between a broadcast TV series and IMAX. With less than a month before the series drops in theaters, there's been plenty of speculation by press and fans if the ambitious alien characters (including a giant time-traveling dog and a character with prehensile hair) would be doable on a TV budget and time crunch.

In the meantime, Loeb did confirm that because of the Inhumans storyline on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., "You do know [the Marvel's Inhumans characters] are aware of what is happening in the continuity of S.H.I.E.L.D. But this series has its own story. And the Inhumans part of S.H.I.E.L.D. are their own story."

Loeb reiterated Inhumans is a story "about two brothers, told in a Shakespearean way, and the woman in between them." He is referring to the brothers of Black Bolt (Anson Mount) and Maximus (Iwan Rheon), who have diametrically opposing ideas of how to deal with Earth. Plus there's a very complicated relationship with Bolt's wife, Medusa, (Serinda Swan), who functions as her husband's interpreter, and her childhood friendship with Maximus that creates tension to this day amongst the trio.

As to Medusa, who sports flaming red hair that comes to life via CGI and can grab and fight independently, actress Swan admitted it's been a learning process to figure out how to make it work. "The wig is very heavy. People say I have such good posture but it's my head being pulled backward," she laughed. "[Hair like this] has never been done before so there are going to be issues. Software had to be built for it. But there are definitely days shooting in Hawaii that a four-pound wig felt like a cat cuddling on my head. Then sometimes, you feel Cher-like and fabulous as it also changes her stature. Her hair is prehensile. Everyday Medusa with straight hair is relaxing." Swan characterized her active hair as "a second character. It's a serious roommate that is always in your business."