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Now that James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy has proven itself to be a box office smash, all bets are really off when it comes to Marvel Studios production. The company has proven that their brand is strong enough that their projects can move away from well-known characters and go off in all kinds of crazy directions (all still based on Marvel Comics, of course). Great characters whom fans never dreamed would get their own solo movies now have a real fighting chance. So who could be next? If rumors are to be believed, the answer may be The Inhumans.
This new story comes to us via Collider, which has learned from an unidentified source that an Inhumans movie is starting to move through development at Marvel Studios. In reality, we've been hearing about the possibility of this project happening for years, but only now - thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy's success - is it starting to look like a real possibility. The company has a screenplay written by newcomer Joe Robert Cole that they're reportedly happy with, and the next step looks to be finding a filmmaker whose personal vision gels with the material in an interesting way (similar to what happened when James Gunn started working on Guardians and took over the script from Nicole Perlman).
An interesting detail left buried in the report, however, suggests that Marvel has much bigger plans for the cosmos side of the Cinematic Universe than just Inhumans. As of right now, the Guardians of the Galaxy are the only heroes we're really aware of in that sector, but the studio may not let things stay that way for long. If Collider's source can be believed - and we're not 100% sure they can be - then we may soon see the company start building "a multiple-film cosmic universe" that will, presumably, eventually start bridging all of its pieces together (a la what Marvel did with the Avengers and what they will soon do with The Defenders as part of their Netflix deal).
For those unaware of the Inhumans from the comics, the characters were originally primative Homo sapiens who were experimented on by the Kree (the same alien race as Ronan The Accuser and Korath the Pursuer from Guardians of the Galaxy). The experiments were a success in that the Kree were able to give the newly created Inhumans some incredible gifts and powers, but the subjects were abandoned when a prophecy about them spelled doom for the Kree Supreme Intelligence. Left to their own devices, the Inhumans create their own society. The lead characters in the story are primarily the members of the Inhuman Royal Family, which includes Black Bolt, Medusa, Karnak, Gorgon, Triton, Crystal, Maximus the Mad, and Lockjaw (who is basically an alien bulldog). Many of you will note that Guardians star Vin Diesel recently teased that he might be a part of an Inhumans movie, but let's also not forget that it wasn't long ago when he teased the idea that he might wind up playing Vision (a part that eventually went to Paul Bettany in The Avengers: Age of Ultron).
If this rumor does turn out to be true and Marvel is really looking at making an Inhumans film, it's entirely possible that it could be part of their Phase III plans, which are expected to roll out between now and 2018. If that is the case, stay tuned for more updates.