Earlier this month, alongside the great rejoicing that came with the news that Avengers writer-director Joss Whedon would return for the sequel, there was the announcement that part of the creative maestro’s big deal with Marvel was to oversee a long-gestating TV series set in the studio’s universe. Well, we now know that the show will be focused on S.H.I.E.L.D and US network ABC has ordered a pilot.
The show will, as many have predicted, follow what the movies call the "Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division" and will chronicle the organisation’s activity, albeit on a lower budget (think X-Files instead of X-Men) and almost certainly without appearances from the super-powered likes of Captain America (though some of the characters may crop up come ratings sweeps time). Is it too much to hope that it’ll take place in a pre-Avengers universe so Clark Gregg’s Coulson will enjoy some more screen time? The plot specifics, however, remain under wraps.
To say that Whedon has some experience with TV is sort of like saying Usain Bolt knows how to run a bit. So it’s heartening to hear that the Buffy / Angel / Firefly mastermind will be involved as much as he can, given that he’s also going to be busy overseeing phase 2 of the Marvel cinematic master plan and the Avengers’ next adventure. The show's early details currently call for him to direct the pilot, but that’s assuming he has time.
He’ll have some truly qualified help on the scripting front, with Dr Horrible co-writers (and brother / sister-in-law) Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancheroen on board to act as writer-producers along with Jeffrey Bell (who has worked on Alias and V, but was also a part of the Angel staff). Marvel’s Jeph Loeb, himself no stranger to the Whedonverse having worked on the short-lived Buffy animated series, is also overseeing things.