It’s been rumored for a while now that Marvel Studios’ initial plans for an Inhumans movie had been scrapped in favor of a television series based on the characters, but now it’s official — and the announcement was accompanied by a bit of a surprise twist, too.
As part of an agreement between Marvel Television, Disney’s ABC Television Group and the IMAX Corporation, the first two episodes of the series will premiere exclusively in IMAX theaters ahead of the show’s television debut. The arrangement will make the live-action series the first of its kind to premiere on the big screen — one of the biggest screens, in fact — before it appears on television.
According to the official announcement of the deal, the first two episodes of The Inhumans will have a two-week, worldwide run in IMAX theaters in September 2017, with the series then making its debut on the ABC network later that year in the fall. The episodes appearing in theaters will be filmed with IMAX digital cameras in order to take advantage of the large-screen format.
First introduced to Marvel’s live-action cinematic universe in the Agents of SHIELD television series, The Inhumans are a genetically enhanced spinoff of humanity that was modified by an alien race many generations ago and manifests powerful abilities through a process called “Terrigenesis.”
The Inhumans were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and made their comics debut in 1965. Various incarnations of The Inhumans and their adventures have often focused on the royal family that leads them, with the powerful mutants Black Bolt and Medusa serving as the Inhumans’ king and queen, respectively. The ruling family has been alluded to in Agents of SHIELD but never actually identified or formally introduced in the show.
According to the official announcement of the Inhumans series, the show will “explore the never-before-told epic adventure of Black Bolt and the royal family.”
There’s no word on whether the series will be connected to Agents of SHIELD, which has caused some concern among fans that Marvel’s live-action universe could be fracturing itself and diverging from the overarching, integrated format that it’s maintained across its movie and television (including Netflix) projects. How much the new series and the existing one overlap will likely depend on how successful of a debut The Inhumans has and how well Agents of SHIELD is doing at that point. The latter show is currently in its fourth season on ABC.