Yesterday it became public knowledge that Marvel Studios had unscheduled The Inhumans. Once dated for 2019, the movie has now been banished to the cornfield, and I suspect that it will never come back. And why would it? The film itself was a remnant of the old days when Ike Perlmutter was still the phantom menace overseeing Marvel Studios.
With the X-Men languishing at Fox, Ike decided to fight genetically enhanced superheroes with genetically enhanced superheroes. The Inhumans, a group of people who were granted super powers (and often super deformities) thanks to ancient alien tinkering with their DNA, would step into the role the mutants had long occupied in the Marvel Universe. Publishing fell right into line, pushing the Inhumans in a big way - and even, it seems, exiling most of the mutants from the Earth in the wake of an outbreak that is killing them. And Studios bowed to the pressure as well, putting The Inhumans on their long movie schedule.
But then there was a corporate coup. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige was able to appeal to the ultimate overlords at Disney and his division was removed from the yoke of Ike. That change, my sources tell me, has coincided with something of a golden age at Marvel Studios, a new era where the meddling from the Creative Committee is over and Feige is left to work directly with the filmmakers and foster a more creative, positive atmosphere.
Still, The Inhumans hung on to the schedule. It got moved back, away from the fray of Infinity War, but it was still there. Until this week, and it seems to me that the disappearing of The Inhumans represents Feige cutting the final ties with Ike.
What does this mean for the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe? Well, it's very telling that amidst all the talk of 'enhanced' people in Captain America: CIvil War not one person talks about Inhumans or people with alien DNA, despite that being the big, driving storyline on red-headed stepchild show Agents of SHIELD. The movie didn't even throw the show a bone. It might as well take place in an alternate universe, and now that there probably will never be any Inhumans in the movies that alternate universe grows more distant.
Here's my question: by taking The inhumans off the schedule does Feige give Marvel TV the opportunity to finally use name characters like Black Bolt and Medusa? Or will he continue to squat on the characters, denying the TV shows superheroes of any consequence whatsoever? I guess it all depends on how deep the divide is over there.
Of course it's always possible that The Inhumans could come back - maybe a filmmaker with a vision for it will show up. But for now, I think this project is essentially dead.