Perhaps Marvel’s First Inhumans Trailer Should Have Taken a Character Approach Instead

Marvel’s Inhumans, debuting in IMAX theaters September 1 and then airing on ABC come September 29, attempts an epic approach in its first trailer. But maybe that wasn’t the best idea?

You all know I’m more of a DC than a Marvel but I’ve got a passing knowledge of the Marvel Comics universe. The Inhumans is not their most recognizable brand to be sure, but it features some interesting characters. Marvel decided to introduce the Inhumans as a concept on ABC’s Agents of SHIELD in Season 2 using Terrigen Crystals but they had also had vague plans for a non-related film project. That was originally set for release November 2, 2018, and then pushed back to July 12, 2019.

Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige updated us last year saying, “I think it’s happening on television.” The TV and film portions of Marvel Entertainment don’t really have a working relationship anymore.

That said, the TV project moved ahead pretty quickly. They announced Inhumans would not be a spinoff of SHIELD and that it would air its first two episodes in IMAX theaters before landing on ABC. The hired Scott Buck, who worked on Dexter, Six Feet Under and was the showrunner on Netflix and Marvel’s Iron Fist, to lead. Earlier this year they started announcing actors to play characters lik Black Bolt (Anson Mount), Maximus (Iwan Rheon), Medusa (Serinda Swan), and Karnak (Ken Leung) and fans mostly wondered how the giant dog Lockjaw would work on television.

Now we know and the immediate reaction from fans that I’ve seen has been pretty negative. When we started seeing photos surface from set, and then the first official image, the quality we’ve come to know and expect from Marvel projects just didn’t seem to be there. The first trailer doesn’t help in that regard and it certainly doesn’t do anything to actually introduce these lesser-known characters to the audience. It comes off very dramatic (the music, the reminder of the IMAX debut, etc) but it feels more like something that would have been released in the early 2000s. It would have been nice to give some introductions to these characters first and give us even a small idea of why we should care about one brother usurping another. I won’t bother talking about the CGI just yet because they’ve still got time to work on it.

Speaking of the early 2000s though, considering they filmed in Hawaii I’m getting flashbacks to ABC’s Lost, which was also filmed there. Plus they’ve got a Lost alum in their cast (Leung). I’m not sure how the location will factor into the show as a whole but the look and feel of this trailer probably doesn’t sit well with fans of Agent Carter, which was cancelled last year and looked beautiful. I’ll be interested to see how this actually plays out but I’m certainly not going to pay an IMAX ticket price for what I just saw. What do you think?

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  • torstenadair

    Compare with the Game of Thrones trailer.
    Game Of Thrones “The Game Begins” Preview
    https://youtu.be/BpJYNVhGf1s

    How many characters are named in that?
    How much of that trailer can actually be decoded for plots?
    Mostly, it provides themes, style, mood, setting.

    But I’ll leave it to the GoT fans as an exercise:
    How would you create a trailer which introduces the characters, and is interesting to watch?
    (I suggest a nice theme song, like “The Ballad of Gilligan’s Isle”, or “The Ballad of Jed Clampett”, or “Animaniacs”.)

    • I wasn’t arguing that that approach isn’t used or can’t be successful, just that it felt unsuccessful for this particular project and that another might have helped.

  • WheelchairNinja

    Let’s face it, I’m so invested in the MCU by now there’s so way I’d miss this. Probably not going to go to the effort of going all the way to an IMAX theater, though. Maybe if it was playing at the local cinema…

    • I have given everything Marvel TV a hard pass since…episode…2 of SHIELD. I don’t regret doing so. Netflix, on the other hand…it took me almost five months to get through Luke Cage. I whizzed through Iron Fist because I was hoping for an actual man/dragon showdown, but that was as bad as everyone has said…their track record is slipping imo.

  • torstenadair

    This is the first trailer. It needs to generate buzz, especially among MCU fans who are not familiar with the franchise. (I’m getting a Game of Thrones vibe.)

    Question: for each inaugural movie trailer for the first film of MCU single characters, how much focused on the characters, and how much on the general film?

    • Ooh, that could be your job. I nominate you, buddy. Go look for all the trailers and tell us what you find out.

    • See, my issue is, most of the film characters have at least a passing knowledge in pop culture, whereas most people haven’t even heard of the Inhumans at all. That’s why I feel like a different approach here could have been helpful.

      • torstenadair

        The Avengers? They were developed by Marvel because the rights were clear.

        Previous mass media exposure:
        Iron Man: cartoon series. 1994-96
        Captain America: crappy TV series and movie.
        Hulk: good TV series, turned crap by made-for-tv movies
        Thor: mythology, at best. Pop culture? Aside from that Hulk TV movie…zilch.

        Dr. Strange? Black Panther? Iron Fist? Jessica Jones? Luke Cage?

        For me, I follow the Keaton-Craig rule of casting:
        I do not judge the casting, or the film, until I have seen the actual film.
        It’s an MCU film, marketed like a Fathom Event. Granted, like most series, the early episodes will be a little clunky, but we’ll see how it goes.

  • MrJeremyT

    I’ll watch it just because, but it doesn’t look like a great start. And I agree, I will definitely not be paying for an Imax ticket.

  • Maybe they’re going to CG Medusa’s hair? : /

    • That’s the prevailing thought but the wig is still tremendously bad.

      • It’s the worst, flattest, ugliest…and where’s Blackbolt’s S&M outfit? I always assumed he communicated via angry crunching and wrinkling leather noises.