Marvel officially removes Inhumans from release schedule

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Apr 25, 2016, 11:19 AM EDT

Following recent hints from Marvel head Kevin Feige, the Inhumans movie has lost its Phase 3 release date.

It was just last week that Feige suggested in an interview that Inhumans would probably miss its planned arrival on July 12, 2019, after already being moved out of a November 2, 2018, berth. But while Feige said at the time that the movie would merely be pushed back, the latest news -- announced quietly by Marvel on Friday -- is that Inhumans no longer has a release date at all.

Coming after Feige's comments last week, the disappearance of Inhumans from Marvel's schedule isn't a total surprise -- but there's probably a good chance it isn't coming back. Inhumans was originally supposed to close out Phase 3 (following Avengers: Infinity War), but Marvel already has three unnamed movies on the slate for 2020, and it has not moved Inhumans into any of those slots. It has just wiped the movie off the calendar, a first for the superhero studio.

No director or cast was ever attached to Inhumans, although Vin Diesel hinted a while back -- as he likes to do -- that he was in line to play Black Bolt, the head of the Inhumans' Royal Family of Attilan. A script was also commissioned, but that's about as far as the project got.

So, why has the movie been bumped, perhaps permanently? For one thing, Marvel has added two films to the Phase 3 schedule -- Ant-Man and the Wasp and Spider-Man: Homecoming -- since Inhumans was unveiled as part of the original slate in October 2014. It could simply be that the studio does not have the time or resources to develop Inhumans properly at this point and really will revive it later.

But there's another possibility: The Inhumans -- a race of human beings given superpowers by aliens long ago, who have kept themselves largely hidden from the world -- already exist on ABC and Marvel TV's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and their ongoing storyline has been the dominant narrative on that show for the past year. That was apparently at the behest of Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter, and it's possible that the introduction of the Inhumans on the series interfered with the film division's plans for them.

When Kevin Feige staged a bit of a power play last year, getting himself removed from Perlmutter's influence (a good thing for the film division) and reporting directly to the heads of Disney, relations between the movie and TV divisions of Marvel reportedly grew even chillier than they were, and the cancellation of the Inhumans movie may be the final break in that chain.

It would be a shame if the picture was scrapped completely, because the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. version isn't particularly interesting. It's the Royal Family -- characters like Black Bolt, Gorgon, Medusa, Crystal, Karnak and the amazing dog Lockjaw -- that most comic-book fans know, and it would be cool to see them on the screen at some point. Are you bummed to see Inhumans removed from the Marvel schedule? Should they give it another go at some point in Phase 4?


(via The Wrap)