Following the announcement that Joss Whedon would not only be directing The Avengers 2, but also be developing a TV series for Marvel Studios, much speculation began as to the nature of that series. It has now been revealed by Deadline that ABC has ordered a pilot for S.H.I.E.L.D., a live action television series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The source says that the series will be written by Whedon and previous collaborators, his brother Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, who not only worked on The Avengers with Joss, but on his web-based and TV outings Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and Dollhouse. The trio are also said to be executive producing the series, along Jeffrey Bell and Marvel TV’s Jeph Loeb, who is also known for his excellent work in the comic book world. If all goes to plan, Joss Whedon is also said to be directing the pilot episode, which could well mean a mini-Avengers film before the official sequel.
This puts to bed our previous theory that the TV show would be the long-mooted AKA Jessicia Jones, based on the comic book series Alias. At the time, that made sense, due to the presence of a strong female lead and the connections the book had with every facet of the Marvel Universe. A S.H.I.E.L.D makes even more sense, tying in the activities of the ubiquitous planetary defence organisation to the wider universe. Marvel is also said to have other projects in development, including a Hulk TV series.
It is unlikely that any of the major cast of the films will have significant roles to play beyond the pilot and/or special episodes, especially given Cobie Smulders ongoing commitments with How I Met Your Mother. Yet it is conceivable that some of the cast members of the extended Marvel Universe One-Shots, such as Item 47, could make their way to the small screen as part of this ambitious project. You better believe we’ll be bringing you more on this as it comes to light.