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S.H.I.E.L.D. TV Series Will Be ‘Autonomous’ From Avengers

Whatever you want to call ABC’s newly greenlit S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot, don’t call it an Avengers spinoff, as co-writer Joss Whedon wants to stress that the series is largely “autonomous” from this year’s $1.5 billion blockbuster and its upcoming sequel.

That said, Variety’s Cynthia Littleton reported from Tuesday night’s Q&A the Writers Guild Theater with Sleepwalk with Me filmmakers Mike Birbiglia and Ira Glass that Whedon “reserves right to pepper in bits here and there.”

Part of Whedon’s new three-year exclusive deal with Marvel Studios, which of course includes The Avengers 2, the pilot centers on the global espionage and law-enforcement agency that’s been a key part of Marvel comics since 1965, and has helped to provide the connective tissue between the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (predominantly through cameos by Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury and Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson before the organization took center stage in The Avengers).

As previously reported, Whedon will co-write the pilot with his brother Jed Whedon and Jed’s wife Maurissa Tancharoen, with whom he previously worked on Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and Dollhouse. Jed Whedon and Tancharoen will serve as showrunners and executive producers along with Jeffrey Bell (Angel, Alias). Jeph Loeb, Marvel’s head of television, will also executive produce.

Whedon, who may also direct the pilot, joked that he’ll show up every now and then “and take credit for everything,”

A live-action television series set in the Avengers universe was first teased nearly a month ago, with a S.H.I.E.L.D. drama seeming the most likely candidate (as we noted at the time, the project blends the ever-popular elements of a police procedural with high-tech espionage, and makes financial sense, as Marvel already has Helicarrier sets, CG models and costumes, would would lower the production costs of a weekly show).

The pilot, which is targeted for ABC’s fall 2013 lineup, would be the first Marvel project picked up by the network since the comic company’s acquisition by corporate parent Disney in 2009. ABC passed on AKA Jessica Jones, a pilot based on Alias by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos, and development of the live-action revival of The Incredible Hulk by Guillermo del Toro and David Eick has been slow moving.


  • Jarrod

    Jeph Loeb should be kept in a galaxy FAR FAR AWAY from this project!  His writing is awful.  Everything he touches turns to crap.  1. The Entire Ultimate Universe.  2. Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon.  3. Thank goodness he didn’t find a way to fumble the Marvel Anime’s, in which he claimed they would be not dubbed, in his opinion, the best version, which was absolutely wrong.

  • Randy Homier

    He did write teen wolf, though. 

  • budman2008

    Oh boy! Just what we need! ANOTHER police procedural type show!

  • Richard Casey

    Really? That’s your reply to this news? Joss Whedon writing a S.H.I.E.L.D show will be nothing less than stellar. If it doesn’t end up being along the lines of FRINGE with Super Heroes I’d be amazed. And by amazed, I mean very, very happy.

  • Richard Casey

    Yeah. I’m hoping Loeb’s involvement is going to be little more than an Exec Producer credit. Of course you’re forgetting the worst thing he’s done recently, making the Weapon X program WOLVERINE’S IDEA. Seriously, how does anyone think that’s anything other than fucking retarded. Not to mention the fact it kinda ruins Logan as a character.

  • Cjorg2

    I can understand his frustration. There are a lot more interesting Marvel properties out there that will never get a theatrical release but might stand a chance of being on TV. And now we get a SHIELD TV show that will only ever feature Sam Jackson once, never feature the Avengers cast, and may likely be as badly written as the short film on SHIELD that`s included on the Avengers bluray release

    I`d have preferred a tv show about Shang Chi, or the Punisher, or different urban heroes than this.

  • Elfap

    He never wrote for Ultimate Spider-Man, that was Paul Dini and Man Of Action guys. It’s also written for pre-teens, not “adults” like us. 

    He also wrote commando, so there.

  • Guydc3

    Could fill that hole in my heart left by 24 ending. Looking forward to learning more.

  • edge

    @Cjorg2who to says they will not appear here,on this SHIELD TV?

  • Lewis4510

    A police procedural blended with high tech espionage by itself doesn’t sound that appealing. But when you set that in the Marvel universe, with superpowered criminals, superheroes, aliens, mad science, well you get the idea.

  • Jonflclarke

    Still hoping it starts Cobie Smulders and Clark Gregg. And I don’t care how they bring Clark Gregg back. 

  • Coruja

    Hope fully DD gets a cameo. It would be awesome to see Matt Murdoch walking in the scene in the helicarrier.

  • Omniaural

    But it also is a good platform for introducing all the lower tier marvel characters who might never get a movie to an audience that knows nothing about them.

    It could be just the thing for a breakout performance on this show to get a movie greenlighted for someone like Luke Cage or Taskmaster or some other cool but publicly anonymous hero/villain.