Consider this a case of typecasting I think we can all get behind: According to The Hollywood Reporter, former Game of Thrones star Iwan Rheon, who (Game of Thrones spoilers ahead) played the despicable Ramsay Bolton until his long awaited "death by hungry dogs" last season, has joined the cast of Marvel's Inhumans as Maximus the Mad. For those unfamiliar with the original Marvel comics on which this series is going to be based on, Maximus has earned his madman title several times over the years, working alone as well as with other Marvel villains.
For this new series, Maximus is being described as "a clever and charming Inhuman that is fiercely devoted to the people of Attilan, especially his brother, the King—though he harbors an intense desire to wear the crown himself." Yup, sounds like a pretty accurate description of the comic book character to me. No other main cast member for the series has been announced yet, although rumors still abound that Vin Diesel will play King Black Bolt.
In a statement, Marvel Television's Jeph Loeb said "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. We’re thrilled to have him on board." Inhumans executive producer Scott Buck 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 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in their Fantastic Four run back in the sixties, Maximus was the prototypical jealous brother, drawn in the Loki mold, but probably a lot more unsympathetic. Subjected to the DNA-altering Terrigen Mist when he was a baby (as are all Inhumans), Maximus Boltagon seemed to show no outward signs of any changes or powers. He did develop mental powers eventually, but as he grew older, he hid them from his family and the rest of his people. Although he has a genius level intellect, he's no Professor X or Phoenix with his powers. His mental powers have a limited range, and he can only affect minds in a certain radius. The limits on his powers are said to be due to his own mental instability. Over the years, in an effort to steal the crown from his brother Black Bolt, he stages several coups against the throne, some successful for years, and some just for days.
In the comics, Maximus has not only tangled with his family the Inhumans and the Fantastic Four, but also the Hulk and the Silver Surfer on several occasions. In one notable comic book story, Maximus made a deal with the alien Kree race behind his people's back, in another effort to steal the throne from his brother. The Kree were responsible for creating the Inhuman race eons ago, when they tampered with the genetic makeup of a tribe of early humans. Maximus had reestablished contact with the Kree and had negotiated a deal where the Kree would take all of the Inhumans with extraordinary abilities, leaving him the other half of the population to rule. With the Kree introduced on both Agents of SHIELD and Guardians of the Galaxy, this is a storyline we could see play out in some form in the series.
Despite the several attempts at his brother's throne, much like Thor and Loki, Black Bolt has a soft spot for his brother Maximus, and keeps giving him another chance to prove himself. In the fairly recent War of Kings storyline, Maximus is once again free and serves as Black Bolt's science advisor, devising war machines for the Kree to use against their adversaries, the Shi'ar. Of course, it was only a matter of time before Maximus stabbed his family in the back one more time, and in the recent Civil War II, he destroyed several facilities belonging to Tony Stark, making it look like his family was responsible for Iron Man's woes. If the Inhumans ever crossed over into the movie side of the MCU, this is maybe another comics storyline that could play out in some form.
In an unprecedented move, Marvel will debut The Inhumans as a special two hour movie on Imax screens over Labor Day weekend, with the rest of the eight episodes following two weeks later on ABC. Iwan Rheon is the first major vast member to be announced for the series, but expect the roles of Black Bolt, Medusa, Gorgon, Karnak, Triton, and Crystal to be announced soon. Oh, and the Inhumans' loyal giant bulldog, the teleporting Lockjaw, had better be in this show too, or there are going to be a lot of disappointed fans out there. Because who doesn't love a giant puppy??
Are you stoked for this first perfect casting choice for Marvel's Inhumans? And who would you like to see fill out the ranks of the rest of the royal family? Let us know your thoughts down below in the comments.
Images: HBO / Marvel Comics