Superhero show “Marvel’s Inhumans” will make history on Friday when it becomes the first television series to debut in IMAX theaters before its broadcast premiere.
The first two episodes of ABC’s collaboration with the Disney-owned movie studio have been converted into a 75-minute feature that includes scenes shot on IMAX cameras “that are simply extraordinary and should be seen on that screen,” according to executive producer Jeph Loeb.
The episodes will then air on small screens on September 29 at their full length for a combined running time of 84 minutes.
“Marvel’s Inhumans” is based on the comic book series by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby about a royal family of super-powered aliens from the Moon who are exiled to Hawaii.
It stars Anson Mount (“Straw Dogs,” “Seal Team Six”) as Black Bolt, the enigmatic, commanding king of the species who has a voice so powerful that even the slightest whisper can level a city.
Loeb was speaking at last month’s Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills, where studio executives were forced to defend themselves against criticism of the show’s look.
Based on an early version of the first episode made available to reviewers, journalists voiced concerns that it did not match Marvel’s usually high standards.
Among the complaints was the observation that the abilities of Ken Leung’s character Karnak were not clear, and that the visuals did not merit an IMAX release.
The criticism came after fans voiced disappointment on social media over the lackluster appearance of the wig worn by Medusa (Serinda Swan), shown in a trailer that dropped in June.
In the comics, Medusa’s hair moves independently of her body and can be used as extra limbs, but detractors have complained that the CGI used to depict it in the live action show just isn’t up to the job.
“I can tell you that… the show that you have seen is not the finished product,” Loeb said during a terse exchange with critics.
“So if you’re asking me whether or not it was done, it’s not.”
ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey also defended the show, referring to the episode screened for critics as “a bit of a work in progress.”
Based on characters from Marvel Comics, the series was filmed in Hawaii earlier this year and shares continuity with the movies and other television series of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The focus is on the relationship between two brothers — Mount’s Black Bolt, and Maximus, portrayed by Iwan Rheon, who was the sadistic Ramsay Bolton in “Game of Thrones.”
More visually ostentatious than the grittier, more mature Marvel shows aired by Netflix — such as “Luke Cage” and “Jessica Jones” — “Inhumans” features a giant computer-generated dog which teleports its masters wherever they need to go.