In the new ABC Friday-night series INHUMANS, a hidden kingdom on our moon pits superpowered royalty against ordinary humans led by the king’s ambitious brother Maximus (Iwan Rheon). Meanwhile, ruler Black Bolt (Anson Mount), who refrains from speech because of the destructive power of his voice, finds new alliances on Earth in Hawaii.

INHUMANS is based on a series of Marvel Comics, and is part of the Marvel Comics Universe. Jeph Loeb, Marvel Executive Vice-President, head of the company’s television division, talks about the new show, how the company came to choose Scott Buck as show runner, why its production is based in Hawaii, and more.

ASSIGNMENT X: Marvel and ABC took the uncommon step of having the first INHUMANS episode premiere in IMAX in movie theatres before its television debut …

JEPH LOEB: The opportunity to merge with IMAX was certainly something that was very exciting to them. IMAX and Disney [which encompasses both ABC and Marvel] have a very longstanding relationship. So I think it was in many ways, both creatively and from a business product, when you look at it from the point of view of, you’ve got these companies, IMAX and Marvel and Disney and ABC, it all was the perfect fit at the right time.

ASSIGNMENT X: In the comic books, do the Inhumans go to Hawaii, or was that something where you thought, “Hawaii would be a good place to set this”?

JEPH LOEB: Certainly, they appeared on Earth. We just had to decide where they were going to appear, and Hawaii offered us an enormous number of things that worked really well, both creatively, in the idea that when you think about how sparse the Moon is, to go someplace that’s so lush and so green that automatically you would be in a different world for our heroes to be in. And then secondarily, we were also thinking about what it was going to look like in IMAX. In IMAX, you have an enormous city, and in Honolulu, you’ve got the beaches, you’ve got volcanoes, you’ve got the jungle, so it just lent itself enormously to a way of creating – not unlike how I’ve said the fifth Defender has always been New York City, the idea was to find an environment where we could put the Inhumans, where the environment itself could be a character, and that’s what Hawaii becomes.

AX: Does ABC have any infrastructure in Hawaii left over from when LOST was being made there, or has that all been absorbed by other productions since then?

LOEB: The short answer is, we got a terrific crew, we actually built a studio there in order to work out of, and it’s been nothing short of an extraordinary experience.

AX: At this point, obviously, Marvel has so much going on, shooting in so many different places, was working in Hawaii like, “Oh, God, we’re adding another place and another time zone,” or just like, “Eh, we juggle these balls all the time”?

LOEB: I’m not going to tell you that it’s not a challenge to have a show in New York, Hawaii, Atlanta, Austin, New Orleans, Vancouver, Los Angeles all at some various moments shooting. It’s certainly been the year of living dangerously.

AX: Scott Buck is your show runner on INHUMANS. Was that partly because he’d been the show runner on DEXTER, where he’d been juggling so many people with hidden, different agendas?

LOEB: It certainly was one of the many reasons. We’d also had a terrific experience with him on IRON FIST and his understanding of how different cultures interact with one another was something that we really keyed into. And also, just to be fair, Scott came in and told us a story and that story got us very excited in terms of where he wanted to go with the characters and his understanding of the characters. So every time we bring on a new show runner, or a show runner that we’ve worked with in the past, we always have a number of things that we want to be able to check off on a checklist and Scott was the perfect person.

AX: Can you talk at all about how INHUMANS wound up on ABC versus Netflix, where Marvel has a lot of properties? Did it just seem like a more ABC sort of show, or did ABC say, “Hey, we’d really like another Marvel property,” or …?

LOEB: First of all, it was never considered for anything other than for ABC, and it grew out of a conversation we were having with them that we have every year, which is, what would be the next property that we’d like to do?

AX: INHUMANS is currently in the time slot that AGENTS OF SHIELD Season 5 will take over once INHUMANS’ first season concludes. Both shows have Inhuman characters. If either INHUMANS or AGENTS OF SHIELD doesn’t make it past this season, might you fold characters from the one into the other?

LOEB: I don’t think in those terms. I’m much more excited about the possibility that perhaps we could be the new Friday night and that they could both coexist and that we’ll have more INHUMANS. I don’t know that INHUMANS would be twenty-two [episodes], given the size of the show and the number of special effects, that it might live more in a thirteen kind of way. But this is the future. I don’t really know. Both shows have yet to premiere, and we’re super-excited about it.

AX: And what would you most like people to know about INHUMANS?

LOEB: That there are certainly going to be things on the show that no one has ever seen before, and you can start with a 2,000-pound bulldog by the name of Lockjaw.

This interview was conducted during ABC’s portion of the Summer 2017 Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour.

Related: Exclusive Interview: Iwan Rheon chats Marvel’s INHUMANS and GAME OF THRONES

Related: Exclusive Interview: Showrunner Scott Buck talks Marvel’s INHUMANS – Season 1

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Article: Exclusive Interview: Marvel executive Jeph Loeb on Season 1 of INHUMANS

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