Marvel and ABC announced late Monday that they’re teaming up on an “Inhumans” series that will run for an initial eight episodes in fall 2017. Imax will partner with the studio and network on the series, and the first two episodes will run exclusively in Imax theaters in September before making their on-air debut.
That’s what we know the show will be at this point. There are also a number of things “Inhumans” won’t be, which makes the series pickup a bit of a curiosity for ABC and Marvel. Here are some of the things you can expect the show not to be:
A longer version of the scuttled “Inhumans” film. Earlier this year, Marvel Studios removed an “Inhumans” movie from its release schedule; it had been set for a July 2019 release (after initially getting bumped from fall 2018 to make room for “Spider-Man: Homecoming”). Marvel at the time cited the planned release of a fifth Indiana Jones movie a week after the “Inhumans” opening as the reason for pulling it, but the studio hasn’t said when (or if) the movie is still going forward. Marvel says the series will tell the story of Inhumans leader Black Bolt and his royal family.
A spinoff of “Agents of SHIELD.” ABC’s current Marvel property has delved into the Inhumans mythos already, presumably to lay some groundwork for the movie. But you can’t lay groundwork for a movie that doesn’t exist, and per several reports the series won’t have a direct link to “SHIELD” either.
Weighed down by a hefty episode order. At the moment ABC and Marvel are making only eight episodes of “The Inhumans.” Success would presumably lead to more, but the short initial run could mean that the show’s writers — who, incidentally, haven’t been hired yet — will be able to tell a fairly tight story. “Agents of SHIELD” has done 22 episodes in each of its first three seasons, and Marvel’s Netflix series have all had 13 episodes per season thus far.
All those factors may also mean that ABC and Marvel may not be done with “Agents of SHIELD” quite yet. The show isn’t performing especially well in the ratings this season, but “SHIELD” and its 0.9 same-day rating in adults 18-49 has marginally improved ABC’s woeful 10 p.m. Tuesday spot. Squeezing at least one more season out of the show after this year doesn’t seem too farfetched, particularly if “The Inhumans” is only set up for a short run.