‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Episode 2 Promo; Showrunners Talk Villains, Sam Jackson & More

Published 2 years ago by

The¬†Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiere aired last night and the critical response so far has been somewhat mixed (read our review). Still, TV shows often start things off a bit rough before pulling it together down the line; indeed, it’s a rare thing when the pilot is one of the better episodes of the series.

Above, we have the promo for episode 2 – titled ’0-8-4′ – which gives us our first glimpse of the mysterious red-masked organization known as the Rising Tide. Meanwhile, showrunners Jed Whedon (brother to Joss) and Maurissa Tancharoen (sister-in-law to Joss) talk about the series format, plot, villains, Agent Coulson’s secret, and not being able to use the word “mutant.”

Courtesy of THR, Whedon and Tancharoen talked about what we can expect from the series format in the coming season:

Whedon: This isn’t about the case of the week. It’s about our people being the case of the week and we’re going to take them on adventures and have cool gadgets. We’re going to have monsters of the week and challenges, but we think it’s about our people more than the case, solving the mystery and the clue.

Tancharoen: The cases will have a beginning, middle and end, but we are focused on the serialized nature of our characters and there will be mythology woven throughout the season with little bits and pieces.

Interestingly, one of the bigger complaints from viewers about the pilot was that the cast of characters was a bit “bland” and “unmemorable.” If you accept that to be true, Whedon indicating that the show will be about developing those characters might come as good news.

Agents of SHIELD TV Commercial Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode 2 Promo; Showrunners Talk Villains, Sam Jackson & More

On when we’ll learn how Agent Coulson survived being impaled by a spear, the showrunners said:

Whedon: We’re going to try to tease [that mystery] out slowly enough to make it thrilling and not drive people crazy. A lot of shows will keep having a hatch within a hatch or keep asking questions without giving answers or payoffs. We’re definitely focused on paying off anything we bring up and making it as rewarding as possible.

Tancharoen: I like to look at Coulson’s journey to the answer as a sort of existential crisis with a Marvel twist.

Nice reference to Lost there with the “hatch” comment. Hearing that there won’t be some prolonged mystery as to why Coulson isn’t dead is supremely good news, in this writer’s opinion. At this point, it still sort of feels like a cop-out. Waiting any longer than a single season for the answers could become very trying indeed.

On the rules of producing a TV show set in Marvel’s shared live-action universe:

Tancharoen: We can’t ever say “mutant.”

Whedon: There’s a database that’s tailored to our show with the properties we can use as well as the properties that are owned by other studios and things that are flagged for major franchises. There are certain areas we can’t go because we don’t want to step on the toes of the movies. We’ve had free reign. There are certain rules in terms of the Marvel brand. Marvel is very focused on being grounded – and it is our world with the one twist that they’re superheroes. There’s no Metropolis, there’s no Gotham. It’s New York City and Chicago, and in the cinematic universe the process of powers is pretty young. They say it’s only been a couple years since Iron Man in terms of our timeline in the universe. So the idea in our world that powers exist is new to the population and SHIELD’s job description. It used to be keeping those things secret and that has now changed, so we’re dealing with some of that.

Regardless of what they said, it’s got to be tough working on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Not only do they have to stay out of the way of the Marvel movies, but they also have to stay out of the way of Sony and Fox who own the live-action rights to the Spider-Man characters and the X-Men/Fantastic Four characters. What comic book villains do you use when all the really, really good ones – Doctor Doom, Norman Osborn, Magneto, Galactus, Loki, and so on – are already taken?

Marvel Villains Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode 2 Promo; Showrunners Talk Villains, Sam Jackson & More

Speaking of villains, the showrunners talked (very vaguely) about the kind of villains we might see in the upcoming episodes:

Tancharoen: Marvel is a very vast and diverse universe.

Whedon: There are gods and aliens. So we have a lot to play with. There’s a spy aspect of the show and SHIELD is some of the most sci-fi in the Marvel universe because it’s about gadgets. So we have a lot of different things to play with. It will be a mixture of both. We will be focusing on having every story having a beginning, middle and end, but some of it will be mythology and some of it will standalone. And our character runs will continue through all of that.

So, nothing definitive, but perhaps we’ll see some villainous gods and aliens (though aren’t those the same thing in the Marvel Movie Universe?). I wouldn’t count on seeing anyone less obscure than, say, Taskmaster, and even that might be pushing it.

And finally, on the possibility of seeing Samuel L. Jackson appear on the show sometime in the future – as the actor has indicated he would like to do – the showrunners said:

Tancharoen: If he wants to come and play with us he is more than welcome!

Whedon: I sent him my phone number (laughs).

Tancharoen: We’re open to those opportunities, but we just don’t want to set that precedent. We don’t want that to be an expectation that somebody is always going to show up. We want our show to exist on our own. But the opportunity for synergy is always welcome.

Whedon: We’re in contact with the features people, and we’re hoping to tie in with storylines since we have stuff in their films and play with the fallout of their films. But we are focused on establishing ourselves as our own franchise and getting people to fall in love with our characters instead of just wondering when Iron Man is going to fly in.

Then again, if Robert Downey Jr. made himself available, I can’t imagine they’d turn him down.

To read the full interview, GO HERE.

What do you think about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. so far, Screen Ranters? Did you enjoy the first episode? Which villains do you want to see appear in the future? Drop us a line in the comments.


Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays @8pm on ABC.

Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

Source: THR

Follow Ben Moore on Twitter @benandrewmoore
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  1. I just want to see an arc with Moon Knight going all anti-hero on them.

    • Put him in his cool mysterious white comics costume and I’m in!

      • or have him as “Marc Spector” w/ the MK outfit being just one of his tools.

    • +1
      Great idea.

  2. Leader will be main villain IMO

    • +1
      They never tied up what happened to the Doc in The Incredible Hulk and this would be a nice way to both tie that up and introduce a new character. Though I’m kinda bummed that the dude wasn’t Luke Cage ;-; I was really hoping for that

      • Hmmm…lauch=pad for Luke Cage and Iron Fist?

        • Maybe Michael Peterson’s new identity (since Skye deleted his old one) will be Luke Cage.

          • I could see that working

          • I still think he’s Rage…

  3. It was a bit watered down and family friendly. Kind of what I expected from Disney/ABC. I liked it and will continue to watch, I just hope it gets even better… and I think it will.

  4. i thought it was decent enough for an origin episode. son of coul had some good lines, es. the one about getting shanked by the asgardian mussolini. i think the show has potential, and i hope they get into things like people talking about the alien invasion and how it has changed things. it was cool that they mentioned thor by name and referenced stark tower. lola turning into the BTTFmobile was a bit much. was it the perfected tech howard stark showed off at the expo in CA:TFA?

    • Good catch on Lola being Stark tech!

    • Since Howard was one of the founding members of SHIELD, I think Lola is definitely Starktech, only from Stark Senior.

  5. Not a fan of the pilot, it was stale and didnt have a wow factor. But it was a pilot so we will see

  6. What I don’t understand about film vs tv rights, is there also a difference between live action and animated shows? I’m asking because the animated marvel shows have no problem using mutants and other characters like Doctor Doom.

    • Good point. Hydra is all over the animated Avengers show on Disney XD. Does that mean it is off-limits as well?

    • Think of it as if the animated shows we’re of another world, because if they factor stuff in the TV show that they could consider putting it in a movie, it would create a lot of logistic problems for casting and plot scenarios. As for he animated shows, they are less limited because they do no share the same “universe”.

    • @Tristan

      Marvel Animation Studios is a separate entity. It is not included in the fil;m contracts but the executives are still more or less the same minus the TV execs from whatever station the shows are on. The big execs decide which shows are going to be produced and by whom.

  7. Two things. SR should keep a running tally of what movies tie into the series. We know already that Avengers ties into the pilot. According to the “play with the fallout” comment above, will Thor’s destruction in Dark World cause the agents to have to “deal with that fallout”? The big issue I see is that AoS has the same budgetary issue that another ABC series, “Alias”, had where they never left LA or Vegas to shoot their actors in the series. I think it would be tough for Marvel to remain financially viable and deal with the fallout of Iron Man in Virginia or wherever he landed in IM3 without having a locale “fill in” for the real location. Supernatural, anyone?

    Second thing. TV makes great villians. AoS can easily take lesser-knowns and make the next Mayor of Sunnydale, Alpha, or even Angelus… oh wait, wrong Whedon…. Still, it could happen.

    • They did shoot scenes in Paris for the pilot, so maybe they can have a few different locations in their budget. It’s not like shooting in London for a few days (if we’re talking about Thor: The Dark World fallout) would be that expensive for them, especially since Marvel is doing lots of films there recently.

    • Their base is a plane. I think it’s pretty safe to say they are planning to have the “characters” move around, at least in the United States. With current CG technology it’s likely they will shoot the actor against a greenscreen and put them in Washington DC, or New York city digitally whenever possible, since people will never know the difference.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the Paris scene was done this way in the Pilot.

  8. I thought the pilot was pretty good, it has it’s faults but has lots if potential. My question is when does this series take place I know it’s post avengers but was this after iron man 3 I kept waiting to see them tie the extremis to the “events tony was dealing with” or something along those lines. But it almost seemed like this pilot was pre ironman 3

    • Its after iron man 3, Extremis was present and was said and referenced by Coulson and other members of the team

  9. I liked the part where the girl pushed her boobs together and flirted with the other guy. She’s pretty

    • yeah, she’s hot. I thought she was going to get on my nerves, but she actually turned out to be one of the more interesting characters on the show.

      • yeah most women get on my nerves too. Even this one is better seen then heard but she was alright. Killer body too, firm where she needs to be and squishy where she needs to be. I’d take her for a spin

        • … There are no words. While I agree that scene was… enjyable, I don’t think this variety of sexism is called for.

    • Well, that bears further inspection!

  10. Terrax, The High Evolutionary, The Beyonder, Grim Reaper, Baron Zemo… to name a few cool villains available and previously unused.

    And Coulson is one of three things… 1) a clone, made by stolen alien tech, he’ll have Kree dna mixed or something, 2) an android, he’s the vision… simple. or 3) he was brought back by sorcery, Dr. Strange is in Tahiti.

    • A Beyonder storyline would be ludicrous and awesome.


    coulson did die in avengers, thats a fact…….. this agent coulson is an prodeut of that good ol super-advanced SHIELD science AKA he is a ‘replica’

  12. I thought the episode was a lot of fun but it wasn’t really anything special. A lot of quips and banter and very little substance. The parts that did have substance were well done, like the little hints about Coulson probably being a clone. Interesting that agent Ward has been to Tahiti as well. I think there’s plenty of room to grow with these characters but moments like “Grammsie???” came across as silly. I was enjoying the intrigue and then they threw in dumb stuff like that. I’m looking forward to the next episode but I was not encouraged by the line, “We have 0-8-4 and you all know what that means…it means we don’t know what that means.” I think I’m going to quickly tire of them being totally out of the loop. I get that they’re new to all this but if they’re all as good as they are presented to be, I hope they end the “we have no idea what’s going on” crap soon.

    • The ‘Skye’ character is basically there as an audience surrogate. She’s a superhero fangirl and wants to know more about SHIELD. When Coulson asked if she wanted to learn what an 0-8-4 was, he was effectively asking us too. “Join us next time to find out!” Cheesy pilot stuff, but I didn’t mind it too much.

      There will be some things that we don’t get told for awhile (Coulson’s miraculous recovery, for example) but the people writing the show sort-of alluded to the fact that they won’t make it too much like Lost in that respect.

      • I don’t mind mystery. I mind the characters not knowing what’s going on. The preview for the next episode literally said “We don’t know what an 0-8-4 is.” I get the cheesy pilot trick. I liked that. What I hope the characters grow out of is not knowing how to deal with these things or even what they’re called. I would have preferred Coulson knowing what an 0-8-4 is and not telling us yet. But he doesn’t even know what it is. It’s just the designation they use for “we don’t know what we’re talking about.” Kinda dumb.

        • Really? I thought he meant an O-8-4 was something that they didn’t know hwere it came or what it did. The last one, after all, was Thor’s hammer(according to TvTropes)…

  13. Looks good! I’ll watch this for sure!!

  14. Even if they don’t appear in all their super-glory, maybe a good place to reference daredevil (even if just his lawyer persona) to launch another movie down the line. Same thing with Janet Van Dyne and Hank Pym (Wasp, Goliath). And I keep thinking this is where Heroes For Hire could start germinating.

    • In one hand I want to see Iron Fist but in the other I really want to see him on a Movie :/

  15. Spoiler*****

    1. The main superhero of Eps. 1 is most definitely Luke Cage.
    2. Coulson is most likely a clone or Life Model Decoy who was worked on in Tahiti by Dr. Strange or Scarlet Witch
    3. The show has lots of potential (reminds me of CSI mixed with X-Files)

  16. Cool show!! really liked the first episode and I think the potential of spinoff tv shows and story lines and use of characters could be awesome!! Sure would like to see Deadpool show up in some fashion but then again if they actually used the most underused antihero in Marvels catalog…our heads would explode!

    • I think the X-Men people (Fox, if I remember correctly) still have the rights to a live-action Deadpool after bagsying him in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I don’t think a ‘proper’ anti-hero like Deadpool or Punisher would fit in the show.

      • yes they do reno

  17. Tony Stark: 1 episode was uninspiring. They have 5 episodes to make it good or else I won’t watch.

  18. marvel’s s.h.i.e.l.d rip of back to the future

    • because back to the future had a flying car? you do realize the SHIELD flying car has been around since the 60′s, like 30 years before back to the future even came out

    • Back to the Future ripped off Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

  19. I loved the pilot, yes it wasn’t the greatest hour of tv I’ve ever seen, but it had that equal parts camp and wit that Wheadon does so well. for those who might not be convinced yet i encourage them to hang in the Wheadons are notorious for starting slow and building to a big finale. pretty sure Coulson is a replica, it would fit within the SHIELD mythology. Ward was a little stiff as was Melinda May but i’m patient. i was fully prepared to hate Sky, but was pleasantly surprised when she turned out to be one of the better characters. as for villians there are a lot to choose from i could see it being possible Baron Zemo appears in some capacity, does any one see a version of Cabal appearing, i know Norman Osborne is involved which makes it unlikly cuz of Sony, but maybe adapt it (maybe that’s rising tide). I agree with Goldilocks i can totally see this being the start of Heroes for Hire.

  20. I want to see an episode where The LEADER escapes S.H.I.E.L.D’S PRISON and causes some major problems, and to see another dark version of Hulk show up would be awesome.

  21. How can the Director of Shield not be involve. no matter how good Coulson is, he still has to answer to Fury and brief Nick on what just happened or is about to.

    • You think Fury is getting personally briefed on EVERYTHING? There’s a chain of hierarchy and Fury is the top dog. Lots of reports end up on his desk, but he’s not gonna personally supervise everything.

      I think Hill, who is second-in-command, is already a pretty big deal.

      And we saw in Item 47 that Coulson used to get assignments from Agent Black and that Agent Sitwell took that position after Coulson “died”.

      So probably Black was also someone Coulson reported to. SHIELD is enormous after all.

      If they can get Sam Jackson for a season finale or something that’s great, but Agents Hill supervising Coulson’s team is just as well, only Fury is above her after all.

  22. I liked the Pilot, but of course it had a “Pilot” feeling. I’m going to watch, because I want to find out more about the characters and see if I get invested in them.

    I definitely liked Melinda May and Fitz-Simmons, and of course Coulson.

    So yeah, this show has so much potential, I can’t wait to see where it goes. You can’t judge a show by its Pilot alone, we’ll see more after 5-6 eps. We barely scratched the surface.

    Also, I loved that there were plenty of MCU references without it being overdone. Like the Stark Industries ad on the bus and things like that. It makes it feel grounded in the marvel universe without it feeling like it’s showed down our throats.

    The fangirls around Stark Tower was my favourite XD

  23. would love to see sam jackson come on to the show

  24. I just now realized that in Captain America the first avenger, Howard Stark tried to make a floating car, but it malfunctioned and now Coulson has floating car that perfectly works

  25. Frank Castle needs to show up

    • He’d either not really be all that violent, ruining the character, or he’d make the show a violent, gory mess, ruining the show. Lose-lose.

      • you mean that doesn’t fit into Disney’s wheelhouse

        • Basically, yeah. Not as child-friendly. Maybe they can have a spin-off from the spin-off with more ‘rugged’ heroes and anti-heroes? Effectively create a Marvel Knights series…?

  26. They could bring Daredevil in as well as Frank Castle,King Pin, The Leader,Bulls Eye, Inhumans, Namor, Mrs Marvel,(etc).

  27. They could bring Daredevil in as well as Frank Castle,King Pin, The Leader,Bulls Eye,Enchantress, Inhumans, Namor, Mrs Marvel,(etc).

    • They don’t own the rights to any “Mutant” characters like Inhumans, or to Punisher. I think they just bought the right back to Daredevil though. :) Would be nice to see Heroes for Hire.

      • Inhumans are not mutants, and I’m pretty sure Marvel has their live-action rights. Also, Marvel definitely has the rights to Punisher. They reverted in the past year or so.

  28. I don’t know. The pilot kinda sucked. The only good thing was Coulson.

    • Don’t forget the eye candy – Cobie Smulders and Chloe Bennet. It did feel a bit like MCU-lite.

  29. What the Whedon clan needs to get through their heads is that people WANT to see Iron Man, Nick Fury, Thor, Captain America, etc, while building your characters on SHIELD. Very few people you ask will tell you their favorite thing about Marvel is the Agents of SHIELD, therefore it is the job of the writers to incorporate fun extensions and entanglements with the supers the fans love and their equally super villains. If Marvel and ABC can’t pull that off, this show is doomed, which is what it’s looking like right now.

    • Since most of those characters aren’t agents of SHIELD, you’ll be very disappointed. I mean, it’s even called Agents of SHIELD. What were you expecting?

      Very few people ‘like’ the Agents of SHIELD because they haven’t been a focus up until now. They have their own TV show now. It’s called Agents of SHIELD. It features the agents that work for SHIELD. Not the Avengers. Just SHIELD agents. It’s called Agents of SHIELD. Once more, Agents of SHIELD. If you think that’s patronising, imagine how much worse it would’ve been if I’d added in all the .s between the letters of SHIELD.

      • It’s irrelevant what the title of the show is, what matters is that the characters are great and grow and since we know now that they are not great, that only leaves growing. If you want people to stick around through the growing pains, you have to give the audience something else to nibble on, that is where Iron Man comes in with a smirky scene showing irritating Skye who’s boss, or Thor accidentally throws his hammer through one of AT&T’s satellites, or Captain America needs help operating an iphone, anything to help out this messy series. I personally don’t know if a series about proverbial superhero butlers, will please or appease cravings when it comes to the Marvel fan base, much less the average TV viewer. I want to like this show, but Marvel and ABC better hurry and pull that rabbit out of the magic hat.

      • It’s irrelevant what the title of the show is, what matters is that the characters are great and grow and since we know now that they are not great, that only leaves growing. If you want people to stick around through the growing pains, you have to give the audience something else to nibble on, that is where Iron Man comes in with a snarky scene showing irritating Skye who’s boss, or Thor accidentally throws his hammer through one of AT&T’s satellites, or Captain America needs help operating an iphone, anything to help out this messy series. I personally don’t know if a series about proverbial superhero butlers, will please or appease cravings when it comes to the Marvel fan base, much less the average TV viewer. I want to like this show, but Marvel and ABC better hurry and pull that rabbit out of the magic hat.

        • The title is completely relevant. You wouldn’t expect Thor: The Dark World to feature Captain America as a character throughout because it’s a Thor film. Agents of SHIELD may have massive Disney/Marvel backing, but it’s still a TV show, so you can’t expect the CGI-heavy Avengers like Iron Man, Thor or Hulk dropping by.

          Aside from the not-really-SHIELD-agents thing, there’s the amount it would cost for people like Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson to make an appearance as Fury, Cap and Black Widow and the fact that their inclusion would massively overshadow the rest of the cast, though I can imagine them being at least mentioned in episodes airing around April, given The Winter Soldier’s release date. I think your idea an Avengers live-action TV show is just not feasible.

          If you want to know what’s going on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you need to see every film and watch every episode of the TV show. Financially, it’s worked out alright so far. With Agents of SHIELD and Guardians of the Galaxy, Disney/Marvel are going into uncharted territory. Will a non-super TV show work? Will people buy into the sci-fi of Guardians? It’s going to be an interesting year for them.