That fracas between Captain America and Iron Man is not the only civil war going on over at Marvel, and one side in this engagement may just have dropped a bomb. Marvel’s Inhumans movie, which not too long after it was announced was already pushed back a year to the post-Infinity War unknown of 2019, has officially been removed from the studios’ line-up.
According to Marvel President Kevin Feige, this removal is just temporary and mostly came about as a result of the comic book movie studio being cordial to some other big productions from themselves and their parent company Disney.
Since we made our initial phase three announcement, we added Spider-Man, which was a big joyous coup for us. We added Ant-Man and the Wasp, which was a big fun continuation of that story for us. Walt Disney Company has announced an Indiana Jones film for right around that same time. So I think it will shuffle off the current date that it’s on right now. How far down it shuffles, I’m not sure yet.
That all sounds reasonable, but there may actually be a lot of behind-the-scenes wrangling that led to this. If you recall, Marvel Studios endured a huge shakeup last year as Feige managed to get out from under the iron thumb of the infamously difficult and extremely reclusive Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter and is instead now accountable only to the top brass at Disney, giving him unprecedented creative freedom to tell the stories and work with the filmmakers that he wants to.
Perlmutter was once Marvel’s hero as he steered them from the brink of bankruptcy in the mid 90’s, but the cutthroat business acumen that made that possible would see him turn into a bit of a villain during their most recent box office boom. He nickel-and-dimed their biggest stars almost causing them to lose Robert Downey Jr. – who also had to use his threat of leaving to leverage better pay for his Avengers co-stars. Perlmutter famously refused to replace the old furniture in the Marvel offices and allegedly once even insisted on just serving cheap potato chips at press events and got rankled at any journos consuming more than one soda.
Most damagingly though was the fact that Perlmutter often butted heads with Feige and his team of directors and screenwriters, only looking at the bottom line and curbing them from making the movies they wanted. But with Feige now gaining his independence, those days are gone. But there’s a problem.
Perlmutter may no longer have sway over Feige’s movie division, but he still controls what happens on the TV side. If you’ve ever wondered why the Marvel movie characters pretty much never reference the events on ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., this is it. And if you’ve been watching AoS – which you should because it’s been incredible for the last two seasons – then you would know that a huge part of the story is the development of… yep… the Inhumans.
By removing the Inhumans movie from the lineup, Feige may just have cut off Perlmutter’s last official overt ties to the movie universe. Whether that is actually just a temporary thing, as Feige claims, or whether we’re never going to get an Inhumans movie, is still very 50-50 right now, but it seems pretty clear that this is the result of some aggressive politicking.
Of course, fans of the Inhumans who have desperately been holding out to see King Black Bolt, Medusa and the rest of the alien Kree-created race on the big screen – and yes, I most assuredly count myself in this number – still have some hope. When Perlmutter first began pushing the Inhuman agenda on the MCU, he had the comic book side of the business follow suit. With Fox seemingly never willing to give up the rights or sign a co-producing deal for the X-Men characters, Marvel Comics started pushing the mutants back just a tad in their major story events – why promote a rival studio’s movie for free, right?
All of a sudden, stepping into that gap, it was the Inhumans – also a super-powered mutated race evolved from humans – who were all in the limelight. And a hell of a lot of effort has been put in by Marvel Comics over the last two years to make the Inhumans about as popular and prevalent as they have ever been in their 60+ year existence. And I highly doubt they would just squander all of that.
So in my opinion, things are going to go one of two ways here. Feige and co have been hinting that The Avengers: Infinity War – the culmination of the MCU’s overarching story up until this point – will see a much changed universe in its wake. And in that new world there may very well be a place again for an Inhumans movie, but one that is probably retooled slightly from whatever initial ideas they had.
Either that or this finally allows Agents of SHIELD to stop pussyfooting around with third tier characters in deference to the movies and instead bring the most famous Inhumans, the Royal Family of Black Bolt and co, into their story properly. The problem with this is that these are such gigantic names with such huge ramifications, that if they get brought into the TV show but never get referenced in the movies – as is currently happening – it will not only undermine Agent of SHIELD’s relevance but also completely ruin the entire shared universe concept that Marvel Studios is built on. And as a fan of the MCU, I really don’t want to see that happen.
So what do you guys think? Should Marvel still pursue an Inhuman movie, or would just rather see them showing up on the small screen where all the setup work has already been done?
Last Updated: April 25, 2016