Iwan Rheon, famous for his portrayal of the bastard Ramsay Bolton in HBO’s Game of Thrones, has just been cast as a villain in Marvel’s upcoming Inhumans series as a character who pretty much sounds like a villain. So no surprises there.
Rheon will play Maximus the brother to the King of the Inhumans, Black Bolt. Blessed with “psionic” abilities, Maximus is part of the Inhumans race, a species of humans evolved to have fantastical powers through a metamorphic reaction with an alien substance known as the Terrigen Mist. The Inhumans live apart from human society in a monarchist civilization known as Attilan, making Maximus a prince to the Attilans through his relationship with his brother.
As a character, Maximus is described as “Likable, charming, tragic and villainous all in the same moment,” by series showrunner Scott Buck. Buck echoes Marvel Television Head Jeph Loeb when Loeb revealed that they cast the Game of Thrones alumn because of “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.”
Audiences can still probably expect Iwan to bring that tinge of insanity that made Ramsay Bolton such a compelling character because according to the character’s biography, Maximus’s mental state is said to be a little unhinged after an early confrontation with his brother when the two characters were both young. That said, this version of Maximus is described as being “fiercely devoted to the people of Attilan, especially his brother, the King” though there wouldn’t be any drama if Maximus also didn’t dream of being king.
That rival relationship between Maximus and his king brother, Black Bolt, echoes the relationship between Thor and Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If ABC’s Inhumans can capture the same kind of fun in Maximus’ relationship to Black Bolt as Thor has with Loki, the Inhumans royal drama will shape up quite nicely.
The first two episodes of Inhumans will premiere exclusively on Imax theaters for a limited run before airing on TV sometime after.