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While many Marvel fans mine the Internet for details about ABC’s newly greenlit S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot, one group is making an early pitch to co-creator Joss Whedon to film the project in California.
In a letter sent last week, FilmL.A. President Paul Audley urged The Avengers director to use crews in Los Angeles County, where network-television filming has declined, and industry employment has fallen by more than 12 percent since 2005. FilmL.A. is a not-for-profit organization that helps to coordinate on-location filming permits in the Los Angeles area.
“On behalf of the hard-working men and women in California’s film and television industry, we hope you consider filming the pilot and subsequent episodes in the state,” Audley wrote to Whedon. “As you know, when you insisted on filming your 2005 movie Serenity in Los Angeles, you became a hero to film and television crews struggling to find work because of runaway production. […] California has the most talented film crews on the planet and boasts an entertainment industry infrastructure second to none. We hope you consider utilizing these incredible resources, because now more than ever, the California film and television industry needs a hero. A television show about heroes, directed and written by a hero, would be a perfect place to start.”
Although The Avengers was filmed primarily in Albuquerque (the Helicarrier sets were at Albuquerque Studios), Cleveland and New York City, it seems likely the S.H.I.E.L.D. series would be shot predominantly in the L.A. area — either at Raleigh Studios Manhattan Beach, where Marvel Studios is based, or at ABC Studios in Burbank.
Announced just last week, the S.H.I.E.L.D. series is being targeted for ABC’s fall 2013 lineup, with Whedon co-writing 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).
Joss Whedon said the project will be “autonomous” from The Avengers and its 2015 sequel, promising, “It’s gotta be a show that works for people who haven’t seen the Marvel movies. It will please Marvel fans, I think.”