Joss Whedon’s ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Could Become ABC’S Next Big Series; Comic Con Appearance Possible?

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Joss Whedon is riding high following the massive success of “The Avengers.” His next project, the “S.H.I.E.L.D” series that will air on ABC, has not even begun shooting its pilot episode but it is already getting rave reviews from ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee.

As part of the Television Critics Association press tour, Lee discussed all things ABC but there was no doubt that what most people wanted to discuss was Whedon’s “S.H.I.E.L.D.”

ABC had signed “S.H.I.E.L.D.” to pilot with Whedon attached to direct and write the pilot episode. Whedon wrote the “S.H.I.E.L.D.” script with Jed Whedon and Maurisa Tancharoen. “S.H.I.E.L.D.” stands for Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate. Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson in “The Avengers,” commands the agency and answers to shadow committee of 12 members whose identities are not revealed.

“S.H.I.E.L.D.” will star Ming Na, Clark Gregg, Bret Dalton, Elizabeth Henstridge, Ian De Castecker and Chloe Bennet, notes The Hollywood Reporter. Gregg will be reprising the role of S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Caulson. Gregg played Agent Caulson in “The Avengers,” “Thor,” "Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2.”

“S.H.I.E.L.D.” is only signed to pilot, which means its fate as a series is to be determined. Despite the fact that not a single take has been filmed, it looks like “S.H.I.E.L.D.” is almost guaranteed to become a series thanks to Whedon’s strong script.

Marvel is certainly the biggest winner with the success of “The Avengers” as well as the upcoming “Iron Man 3” and “Thor: The Dark World,” along with “S.H.I.E.L.D.” in production as well as a possible "The Incredible Hulk" television series. Whedon is set to oversee all upcoming Marvel films including “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which is scheduled for a 2014 release. All of these films lead up to the sequel to “The Avengers,” which Whedon will direct.

Whedon is certainly busy but it seems Marvel’s commitment to him will pay off in a big way. During the press tour, Lee was ecstatic about “S.H.I.E.L.D.” and heaped tremendous praise on Whedon and the script.

Speaking to the press Lee said, “We're very hopeful that's going to go to series. … It's a great script.” Part of the appeal of “S.H.I.E.L.D.,” he said, is that it can attract a broad audience, not just young males or comic book fans, but the whole family and it could be a crossover success for ABC. ABC is unsure where “S.H.I.E.L.D.” would be scheduled but did not rule out a Sunday slot, pairing it with "Once Upon a Time," or a prime Thursday timeslot.

Speaking of Whedon’s script, Lee says, “Joss has great relationships around it. There's a lot of real funny male-female relationships and flirtations but it's also Joss and Marvel, so there's a lot of action to it,” reports THR.

Whedon is known for his humor, as displayed in “The Avengers” but also in his television projects “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Firefly,” and “S.H.I.E.L.D.” is shaping up to have plenty of those moments as well as strong characters. 

“It’s just very Joss. You know how Joss is so high-low? And he’s able to be intense and epic and suddenly funny and silly? He’s just got that ability to be super entertaining and sort of super educated,” said Lee, reports Entertainment Weekly. Whedon is also writing scripts for “S.H.I.E.L.D.” episodes beyond the pilot, notes Lee.

No word on the general plot of “S.H.I.E.L.D.,” but there is some news about when it will begin shooting.  Lee said the pilot will begin shooting in March and it seems there will be enough to reveal “S.H.I.E.L.D.” to the rabid fans of Comic Con. It’s too early to speculate but the idea of Whedon at a Comic Con panel discussing “S.H.I.E.L.D.” and other Marvel projects should have fans salivating.

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