Tuesday, February 21, 2017

MARVEL'S INHUMANS Casts Iwan Rheon as Maximus

Maximus might want to stay away from Lockjaw's kennel.

Marvel has revealed that the upcoming ABC television series Marvel's Inhumans has cast Iwan Rheon as the Inhuman supervillain genius Maximus the Mad.  The 8-episode series will explore the never-before-told epic adventure of Black Bolt and the Inhuman royal family.

Maximus is described in the article as "a clever and charming Inhuman that is fiercely devoted to the people of Attilan, especially his brother, the King – although he harbors an intense desire to wear the crown himself."

Rheon, 31, is best known as the psychopath Ramsay Bolton on the HBO series Game of Thrones.  He has also appeared as Simon Bellamy on the British series Misfits and has appeared in episodes of Residue, Our Girl, Vicious, and Secret Diary of a Call Girl.  In addition, he's appeared in the films Libertador, Wild Bill and Resistance.

"Iwan’s ability to be charming, roguish, and still completely unexpectedly dangerous were all the different sides we needed to bring the character to life," said Jeph Loeb, Head of Marvel Television and Executive Producer.  "We’re thrilled to have him on board."

Scott Buck, executive producer and showrunner, added, "Maximus is a complex character. Likable, charming, tragic and villainous all in the same moment, and I’m very excited to have someone of Iwan’s considerable talent."

Created in 1966 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Maximus the Mad first appeared in Fantastic Four (vol.1) #47 as Maximus Boltagon, the second son of two of Attilan's top geneticists, Agon, the head of the ruling Council of Geneticists, and Rynda, director of the Prenatal Care Center.  Subjected to the DNA-altering Terrigen Mist when he was an infant, Maximus peculiarly showed no outward sign of any mutagenic change.  As he matured, he hid his developing psionic powers from the community, but was less successful at disguising his antisocial tendencies.  When he was about sixteen, his elder brother Black Bolt was released from the protective chamber in which he had been confined since birth due to the destructive nature of his Terrigen mutation. One of Maximus's first responses to his brother's freedom was an unsuccessful attempt to make him release his power and prove Black Bolt could not control his sonic powers, and thus lose his freedom.

A month later, Black Bolt witnessed Maximus making a treacherous pact with an emissary of the Kree, the alien race responsible for genetically accelerating the Inhumans eons before.  In an attempt to stop the fleeing emissary so that he could be questioned by the ruling council, Black Bolt used his forbidden power of the quasi-sonic scream and blasted the alien ship out of the sky.  When the ship crashed to earth, it landed on the parliament building, killing several key members of the Genetics Council, including his parents.  The reverberations of Black Bolt's voice also affected Maximus, who was standing nearby, affecting his sanity and suppressing his nascent mental powers.  When Black Bolt assumed the throne shortly thereafter, Maximus vowed to oppose his brother and eventually usurp his rule.

Maximus staged his first successful coup a few years later.  By performing an illegal experiment on the Alpha Primitives, the subhuman worker clones that once served the Inhumans, Maximus created the Trikon, three bodiless energy beings of great destructive power.  While the Trikon wreaked havoc in Attilan, Maximus was able to drive the Royal Family of the Inhumans out of the city.  Feeling secure in his position, Maximus bade his servant, the Seeker, to locate the Royal Family and bring them back to Attilan.  Immediately upon doing so, Black Bolt seized the crown back, to Maximus' dismay.  Maximus also encountered the Fantastic Four for the first time.  Maximus, hoping to win back the public's affection, activated the Atmo-Gun device he had been working on, a machine he believed would kill the human race and leave all other living beings intact. Maximus miscalculated, however, and the device had no effect.  Out of spite, Maximus used the device to erect a barrier that encased Attilan in a dark force sphere, imprisoning the entire race inside.  Black Bolt liberated his people by using his quasi-sonic voice to destroy the barrier, at the price of devastating Attilan's ancient architecture.

This will be the first time the character has appeared in live action, although he has been in several animated projects, including the 1994 Fantastic Four animated series (voiced by Mark Hamill), Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. and Ultimate Spider-Man (voiced by Nolan North), Guardians of the Galaxy (voiced by Diedrich Bader), and Avengers: Ultron Revolution (voiced by Keith Silverstein).

The first two episodes of Inhumans will first debut in IMAX theaters on September 4, 2017, followed by the ABC television series two weeks later.

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