EXCLUSIVE: After scoring huge at the box office with its Avengers movie, Marvel is looking to explore the mythology on the small screen too. I’ve learned that Marvel’s TV division is in conversation with ABC and ABC Studios about doing a drama series in the Avengers world. I hear that the connection to the Avengers franchise would be light as the project is expected to be set in the universe and feature some of its themes and feel, but may not include any characters from Joss Whedon’s blockbuster. I hear the project is in a nascent stage, described as “a kernel of an idea,” with a number of scenarios being explored, including a high-concept cop show. It is unclear whether Whedon would be involved in the TV project, referred to as Shield. Marvel has already given the Avengers the animated treatment with Disney XD’s The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and the upcoming Avengers Assemble.
Marvel Studios has weighed in with a statement that confirms the 2015 release date that Deadline had heard about the sequel to The Avengers. “Joss Whedon has signed an exclusive deal with Marvel Studios for film and television through the end of June 2015. As part of that deal, Whedon will write and direct Marvel’s The Avengers 2 as well as help develop a new live action series for Marvel Television at ABC. He will also contribute creatively to the next phase of Marvel’s cinematic universe.”
ABC Greenlights ‘S.H.I.E.L.D’ Marvel Pilot, Joss Whedon To Co-Write & Possibly Direct
EXCLUSIVE: ABC has ordered a pilot for S.H.I.E.L.D, a live-action series from The Avengers writer-director Joss Whedon, Marvel TV and ABC Studios. The project is based on Marvel’s peacekeeping organization S.H.I.E.L.D (which stands for Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate or Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division) found in both the Marvel comic book and feature film universes, including the blockbuster 2012 movie The Avengers, in which S.H.I.E.L.D director Nick Fury, recruits Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, and Thor to stop Thor’s adoptive brother Loki from subjugating Earth.
S.H.I.E.L.D. will be written by Whedon and frequent collaborators, his brother Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen. Joss Whedon also is set to direct the pilot, schedule permitting. Production on the pilot, which marks the first live-action Marvel TV project to get a green light, will start immediately. Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon and Tancharoen executive produce with Jeffrey Bell and Marvel TV’s Jeph Loeb.
The project had been in the works at Marvel TV and ABC Studios for some time. Earlier this month, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that it had signed an exclusive film and TV deal with Joss Whedon, which included him writing and directing The Avengers sequel and develop a live-action series for Marvel TV and ABC, both owned by Disney.
This marks a return to series television for Joss Whedon, creator of cult favorites Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Firefly and Dollhouse. Husband and wife writing duo Jed Whedon and Tancharoen co-penned with Joss Whedon Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and also have worked on Dollhouse and Spartacus. In addition to S.H.I.E.L.D, Marvel TV has a couple of other projects in development at ABC Studios, including a Hulk series.
S.H.I.E.L.D. Casting News: Clark Gregg to Reprise His Avengers Role
Clark Gregg will appear in Joss Whedon‘s Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot for ABC, reprising his role as agent Phil Coulson, whom he has previously played on the big screen in the Iron Man movies, Thor and, most recently, Whedon’s The Avengers.
“Did you ever think there would be a S.H.I.E.L.D. show without Agent Phil Coulson?” Marvel Studios President Kevin Feig said in announcing the news Saturday at the New York Comic-Con. (Though the way The Avengers ended raises questions about how the Coulson character could figure into a TV series, Whedon has said the pilot will be “autonomous” from the film franchise.)
Gregg has also voiced Coulson for TV’s Ultimate Spider-Man and the Marvel One-Shot video shorts. His most recent regular on-camera TV role was opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfus on The New Adventures of Old Christine.
Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D., as it is now being listed, is being executive-produced by Joss Whedon, his brother Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, Jeffrey Bell and Jeph Loeb, and written by the Whedons and Tancharoen.
Ming-Na To Star In Joss Whedon’s ABC Pilot ‘Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D.’
EXCLUSIVE: Joss Whedon has recruited ER alumna Ming-Na Wen for one of the leads in his ABC drama pilot Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D., which he is co-writing and directing. The project, from Marvel TV and ABC TV Studios, is based on a peacekeeping group found in both the comic book and feature film universes, including the blockbuster 2012 movie The Avengers. Ming-Na will play Agent Melinda May. Soulful and slightly damaged by her combat experiences, Melinda is an ace pilot, a weapons expert and a soldier who can — and has — gone beyond the call of duty. The character was originally listed on the pilot’s casting breakdown as Agent Althea Rice, aka The Cavalry. Ming-Na is the second actor cast in S.H.I.E.L.D., joining Clark Gregg, who is reprising his Iron Man, Thor and Avengers role as Agent Phil Coulson.
Whedon is co-writing the pilot script with his brother Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen. The three executive produce with Jeffrey Bell and Marvel TV’s Jeph Loeb. Ming-Na, who is reverting to her full name, Ming-Na Wen, comes to S.H.I.E.L.D. with solid sci-fi credentials after recent stints on Syfy’s Eureka and Stargate Universe. She is repped by Innovative Artists, KLWGN and Jackoway Tyerman.
Joss Whedon (MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) shows us not all heroes are super with MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
Fresh from his role in the summer’s box office smash, MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS, Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) returns to the worldwide law enforcement organization S.H.I.E.L.D. He puts together a small, highly trained, team of Agents to tackle the cases that haven’t been classified yet, the new, the strange and the unknown. That team consists of straight arrow Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), an expert in combat and espionage; pilot and martial artist Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen); and brilliant if socially awkward scientists Agent Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Agent Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge). They’ll be joined by civilian new recruit and computer hacker Skye (Chloe Bennet).
Prepare for an epic adventure that showcases the hope and wonder of the human spirit. This is a world of Super Heroes, aliens and the unusual – of action, spectacle and world spanning stories. The show will speak to the human condition through the lens of our very human, non-powered S.H.I.E.L.D agents – that together we are greater than we are apart, and that we can make a difference in the world.
Executive Produced and co-written by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen (Dollhouse, Dr.Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog), Jeffrey Bell (Angel, Alias) and Jeph Loeb (Smallville, Lost, Heroes) comes Marvel’s first live-action TV series, MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
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Iain De Caestecker