Joss Whedon To Write & Direct ABC’s ‘SHIELD’ TV Pilot

Published 3 years ago by , Updated August 29th, 2012 at 5:06 am,

Joss Whedon SHIELD TV Series Joss Whedon To Write & Direct ABCs SHIELD TV Pilot

It only took five days after The Avengers opened in North American theaters for Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger to announce that a sequel would be in development, but it took three months the secure Joss Whedon’s return as the writer and director. As part of the deal, Joss Whedon will be working with Marvel Studios for the next three years where he will help oversee Phase Two of the Marvel cinematic universe.

The unexpected part of the agreement is that Whedon would also be developing a live-action Marvel TV series for ABC, one which we can now safely say will be based on the S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division) organization.

After Disney released the official statement regarding Whedon’s involvement with the future of the franchise, we put together a list of 10 Marvel Comics properties that Whedon could potentially develop for the small screen. Of the suggestions, only two really made sense, one more than the other.

SHIELD Art Phase One Avengers 570x281 Joss Whedon To Write & Direct ABCs SHIELD TV Pilot

There was Runaways, a series Whedon actually wrote several issues for and one that was about ready to begin shooting last spring for a theatrical release this year alongside The Avengers with Peter Sollett directing. And there was our number one choice, SHIELD, a show that would follow the secretive organization that helped rally the superheroes introduced in the films thus far. This is what I said at the time:

With Whedon’s show taking place in the same continuity as the films, and SHIELD being a part of all of them in some way, there are plenty of opportunities to have the show and movies promote each other. Just think of the guest appearance possibilities. Better yet, if the Helicarrier were to be used, Marvel Studios already has the sets and digital assets constructed from The Avengers film production. Adding credence to this rumor is Deadline’s scoop from a few weeks ago indicating that Marvel’s TV division has a “a kernel of an idea” that they’re talking with ABC about, one that would be set in the film universe but wouldn’t star any of its characters. Its described as a “high-concept cop show” and was “referred to as Shield.” Coincidence?

For more discussion and thoughts on the series, check out episode 52 of the Screen Rant Undeground podcast.

Deadline has the confirmation that their initial scoop was correct and SHIELD is on its way to becoming a reality. Production will begin right away with Whedon co-writing the project with his brother Jed Whedon and Jed’s wife Maurissa Tancharoen (sister of Mortal Kombat savior Kevin Tancharoen), both of whom Joss worked with on Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and Dollhouse.

The plan is for Joss Whedon to direct the pilot of SHIELD as well for the series that has a safer bet of lasting more than his previous television endeavors simply due to the nature of his involvement in the bigger picture plans of the studio. The show will not star the core characters of The Avengers but cameo appearances are very likely, especially in positioning the series to be set in the same universe. What this means is that as each of the films leading up to The Avengers debut, we could potentially see the series dealing with the events taking place in each of the film’s stories. Expect Disney to take full advantage of cross-promotional opportunities.

Avengers Character Poster Banner 570x228 Joss Whedon To Write & Direct ABCs SHIELD TV Pilot

While the idea of basing a show around SHIELD allows the series to practically explore all facets of the Marvel Comics universe in terms of characters and stories, we’re very curious as to what Whedon’s specific plans are. By signing the three-year exclusivity deal with Marvel Studios to helm The Avengers 2, it seems that this TV show is Whedon’s reward of sorts for climbing aboard and we are excited at the potential and curious as to how much the show will actually integrate with the films.

SHIELD beats out Guillermo del Toro’s in-development The Incredible Hulk show for ABC as the first live-action Marvel series to get the official green light. The last we heard on the Hulk front, just prior to Whedon’s signing, was that del Toro is waiting on a certain unnamed writer’s schedule to free up before they revise the screenplay.

Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014 and The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: Deadline

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  1. I really hope this works. I really do…
    But, as I’ve ranted about plenty here IMO high concept Sci-Fi doesn’t work on network TV anymore. The ratings needed to justify the costs just never work out. Firefly, Heros, Terra Nova and so on and so on…
    I know I’m being a Debbie Downer here, trust me, I hate it. I’m super excited about SHIELD and I’ll be watching faithfully. I love Weedon’s past TV work and I’m hoping he finally gets a win he deserves but I just see a day coming when we are all ranting here about another Sci-Fi show that showed promise that the network cancels…
    I’ll gladly eat a big plate of crow if I’m wrong though. And I hope I am. :)

  2. I agree with mongoose that Heroes for Hire could have been a more interesting series IMO. But since Marvel has decided on SHIELD, so be it. I feel a SHIELD series may not be a bad idea either depending on how it’s portrayed. Like I said in the earlier related thread, if they go the way of CSI or SWAT, I don’t see it lasting more than a couple of seasons because it won’t be unique. There has to be a reason why SHIELD is called in and not the FBI or CIA. Superhumans and mutants need to be a principal part.

    I’d also recommend that the SHIELD series predate any meeting with any of the Avengers. That puts Coulson back in the mix especially as he most likely won’t be in any future Avengers movies. Coulson could be one of the principal characters. I also believe this might be one of the less-risky (in Marvel’s mind) ways of introducing characters such as Black Panther and Wakanda and probably Namor without spending millions. If fan response for the character is great then they consider a movie. Something they should have done with Ant man IMO. Personally, I don’t want too many links with the Avengers movie because it would leave many movie goers at loss especially if they don’t follow the series. This would be a turn off for many and could affect box office sales. Nobody wants to feel out of touch at the start of a movie. So it seems to make a lot of sense for the SHIELD series to be a sort of prequel.

  3. I hope SHIELD doesnt happen, im not a fan of the OneShots, i find them really boring and i dont care for SHIELD since there will be new characters that will eventually tie up with the Avengers 2

  4. The only snag with a prequel series though is the fact that Nick Fury stated in Avengers that it was only the Recent revelation of the existence of super-beings on the Earth (ie the Avengers)that made them think of getting ‘bigger guns’ so to speak. This indirectly suggests that they had not encountered any super beings prior to them. Hmm, a real bummer for a prequel series. They’d have to think of a way to get round that.

    PS Vic,
    These pop-ups can really get in the way sometimes. Just saying. I know you guys need the ads but…

  5. who ever ssaid it was a prequel series? ^

  6. I still want my black panther movie lol

  7. I still want my black panther movie lol.

  8. This is very exciting. I was sort of hoping for Heroes for Hire, but this is the next best thing IMO. I haven’t read the comments yet b/c I didn’t want to be tainted by those who are already going to bash the idea. To me, this is the same as the movie crossover comics, Fury’s Big Week and the Black Widow one. The first was great and the latter was decent. This takes the pressure off the movies b/c it connects the dots. Basically, they could go any direction they wanted in this show. I think it plays to Whedon’s strength and I’m psyched.

  9. I wonder if Stan Lee will appear in it.

  10. They should have a Wakanda/Black Panther story arc. Ther’s some crisis with the Vibranium, maybe Klaw and/or Hydra, and have SHIELD send in some spies to help with the problem. Maybe even give his back story . That would be awesome.

  11. The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a thirty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube
    sensation. My apple ipad is now destroyed and she has 83 views.

    I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!