Why Marvel tried to make an Inhumans flick 14 years ago ... and failed

Contributed by
May 1, 2020, 12:50 PM EDT (Updated)

Hot on the heels of the awesome news that The Inhumans may finally be the next big entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (thank you, Guardians of the Galaxy!) comes word that it’s not the first time Marvel tried to bring those superhuman superheroes to the big screen.

Bleeding Cool reports that back in 2000 -- yep, that’s way before the 2011 rumblings -- Marvel Studios' then-head honcho Avi Arad tried to sell an Inhumans flick to Paramount based on the Paul Jenkins/Jae Lee Eisner award-winning Marvel Knights series.

However, Paramount didn’t like the idea and passed on it. Then Marvel’s Dave Elliott pitched the Neal Adams and Jack Kirby plot about Black Bolt (the ruler of the Inhumans) coming to New York as the basis for the flick. Artist Mike Mignola was going to do some redesigns, there was an animated spinoff planned, the flick was financed, a director was attached, and the contracts were signed on the dotted line.

Elliott says that he told Arad to check their license contracts, but Arad apparently replied that they didn’t need to. You know where this is going, right?

Well, it just so happened that Fox had the rights to use the Inhumans in movies since their first appearance was in ...The Fantastic Four. And, as we know, Fox owns the rights to both Marvel’s First Family and everyone's uncanny mutants the X-Men.

Paramount wanted to buy the comic-book flick, but Marvel could no longer sell it to them. And what did Fox do when they brought the fully-funded and patently ready The Inhumans to them? They said NOPE.

So what can Marvel do? Will they have to use Inhumans other than Black Bolt, Medusa, Gorgon, Lockjaw and some of the other original characters? Has Marvel Studios managed to reclaim the rights to those very characters, or will they have to use the ones they've created since?

Or can Marvel actually pull off a Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch a la X-Men: Days of Future Past and Avengers: Age of Ultron since, thanks to some loophole-y stuff, both characters belong to Fox AND Marvel Studios? What do you guys think? Is now the right time for an Inhumans film?

(via Bleeding Cool)