SDCC ’17: Marvel’s Inhumans Is A ‘Shakespearian Story With A MacBeth Vibe’ – The Cast Introduces The Show At Comic-Con
by Hannah Means Shannon
Jeph Loeb introduced the Marvel’s Inhumans Panel at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday night, teasing the full cast was present and would soon join the panel.
Loeb described the airing of the first two episodes with iMax and the first two episodes with extra footage on ABC as like “having a variant cover” in comics. The rest of the episodes will then be shown on ABC. September 1st and September 29th are their air dates respectively.
Loeb confessed to writing fan letters in Marvel Comics columns to Stan Lee, and some of his favorite characters were Inhumans.
Roel Reine, Sonya Balmores, Iwan Rheon, Ellen Woglom, Mike Moh, Isabelle Cornish, Eme Ikwuakor, Ken Leung, and Serinda Swan, and Anson Mount joined the panel to great fanfare, along with Scott Buck. And they were all given giant bulldog stuffed animals, which they were delighted by.
Promising the panel they’d see things that “no one has ever seen before”, Loeb said that there’s also a screening at Horton Plaza in IMAX tonight in San Diego.
Reine talked about how difficult it was to use IMAX cameras, but the funny moment of asking if IMAX could make even “wider lenses”, resulting in something that was “mindbogglinly beautiful”.
Rheon said that it was interesting to try something “different with Maximus” where he feels he wants to “free” people living in a caste system. He believes his brother isn’t doing anything, and he needs to do something himself. He’s more “antagonist than villain” in that way.
Balmores said she enjoyed working on stunts and stunt training, including “serious boxing lessons”. She was asked if she was athletic in her audition, and she said yes, but this has been more than she anticipated. Especially fighting in leather in the jungle in Hawaii.
Moh has a massive Taekwondo background, and to do it “legitimately” in the show is great. He guarantees that fans will be happy with the action from himself and the other actors.
Cornish has to “act to the air” in place of Lockjaw, the CGI bulldog. Cornish was asked to audition as if she was talking to an invisible creature, even though she had no idea what it was. Developing that unusual relationship has been something she’s really enjoyed.
The audience was shown a sequence where Triton has gone to earth because Inhumans have been “popping up there” and it has not gone unnoticed. It was an opening scene.
Moh was asked what it was like putting on makeup to become Triton, and he said it was 3-4 hours in the chair each morning for application. It wasn’t comfortable, and it was something “to get used to”, but using his martial arts training in zen helped him get through it.
Loeb says a character named Louise is an original character, and played by Woglom, and she is the only one with no powers among the main cast members. Woglom said Louise is determined to someday “get” powers, but she gets by.
The audience was shown another clip featuring the “grand hall” where people don’t always have agreement on how things should be, called the “dinner sequence”.
It was the first time audiences have seen how Black Bolt “speaks”. This is through sign language with interpretation by Medusa.
Mount said it’s hard to imagine a bigger acting challenge than this, and Jeph Loeb immediately offered to provide help within the signing community. Mount wanted to take it seriously, learning how sign systems worked, but also reached more widely, looking at orchestry conductors and “building a lexicon”.
Swan, who plays Medusa, said it creates quite a duality to be playing her own scenes and also, in a way, Mount’s scenes, interpreting him to others. It’s easy when she’s speaking “for him” but if they are by themselves, she’s just talking to herself.
She doesn’t always say what he signs “word for word” because she has “strong opinions” and there’s an interesting friction between them in this way.
Loeb clarified that this is Bolt’s language created to talk with Medusa, and intentionally didn’t overlap with ASL since this is not actually sign language and doesn’t intend to be.
Reine was asked about the settings and filming, and he said that they had to determine what would work and not work on IMAX, and then what would also work on television, a unique situation. Moving cameras in different ways than you usually see on TV creates an interesting difference in scope and perception in the show. He used many “low angles” to develop that, he said.
Asked what it was like to play Gorgon, and whether this personality was essentially himself, Ikwuakor said that the opportunity to act “off of impulse” is very “exhilarating” and he recommends it. He said he’s discovered that he actually doesn’t know his own strength. The other actors confirmed that he’s an “aggressive hugger” who can inadvertently hurt people.
Leung said that there has been a casual debate over “What is your favorite superpower” with Ikwuakor, and it’s ongoing with Leung saying flight is best. Ikwuakor thinks he has the answer, and said that not being super strong but being able to fly is a bad idea.
The audience was shown a scene of Karnak and Gorgon fighting in their respective battles using their powers after “Maximus has made his move”.
Scott Buck said that Karnak has a “narrow vision of how he sees life” but he immediately understands everything around him. The challenge was creating those different things visually in a way that would make sense to the audience.
The audience was shown a clip that highlighted the CGI effects of Medusa’s hair, and showed off the conflicts between Maximus and Medusa.
Loeb said that in the first 2 hours of the show, there are 600 special effects scenes, not least of which are for Lockjaw who can teleport in and out of scenes.
When asked by Loeb, Rheon said at first he was a little worried that this part was similar to his role in Game of Thrones, but upon exploration, he realized he could bring a “different perspective” of a young man without powers who is the “lowest of the low”. Being the brother of the King keeps him in a certain lifestyle, and he believes he could be a better king.
Maximus feels ignored, and that motivates his desire to “further himself” and save the people he “feels so sorry for”. He believes, genuinely, that he can change the world. He’s ruthless, and he believes he must do certain things to reach his goal. It’s a Shakespearian story, Rheon said, with a “MacBeth Vibe”.
The audience were reminded that tonight for one night only on July 20th, 2017, Inhumans is being shown in Horton Plaza in San Diego at 7:30, including free food.
The audience were shown the full extended trailer for Inhumans that will be shown with the airing of the film Dunkirk in IMAX.
You can now watch that video here, too: