The Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement Logistics Division (or, as Agent Coulson once told Pepper Potts, "Just call us S.H.I.E.L.D.") is the glue that holds Marvel's Avengers universe together. Hence, although it barely even got a mention during Iron Man 3, the organization will be in the middle of the action in upcoming Phase II installments (especially in next year's sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier) However, before then, its employees are going to be featured in their own television series, called Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..
ABC officially picked up Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. late last week before it premiered the teaser trailer, which highlights the return of Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson (see the clip below) after his faked demise in The Avengers. The network has since then confirmed that Joss Whedon's superhero/secret law-enforcement agents TV series will air at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday nights, beginning in the Fall 2013 TV season.
We have brand-new images depicting the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. cast in the show, in addition to character profiles and a behind-the-scenes look at Whedon filming the pilot. You can inspect those at your leisure in the gallery below, following the official synopsis and character rundown for the TV series:
Clark Gregg reprises his role of Agent Phil Coulson from Marvel’s feature films as he assembles a small, highly select group of Agents from the worldwide law-enforcement organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D. Together they investigate the new, the strange, and the unknown across the globe, protecting the ordinary from the extraordinary.
Coulson’s team consists of Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), highly trained in combat and espionage, Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) expert pilot and martial artist, Agent Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker); brilliant engineer and Agent Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) genius bio-chemist. Joining them on their journey into mystery is new recruit and computer hacker Skye (Chloe Bennet).
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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. appears to feature Whedon's hallmark witty dialogue, character-driven storytelling and overall sense of fun, similar to that which earned his previous genre TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly loyal cult followings. However, the Marvel series has much improved production values and a larger effects budget, when compared to either of those series; not to mention, it seems Whedon has much more creative control than on his last show, Dollhouse (though, on the flip side, that means network interference can't be blamed if the final result this time is another mixed bag).
The filmmaker has completed the first script draft for The Avengers 2 and will start pre-production/filming while Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s first season is still just part-way done. Co-showrunners Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen (Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog), Jeffrey Bell (Angel) and Jeph Loeb (Smallville) will be in charge of keeping everything running smoothly while Joss is away. Best of luck to them, in that endeavor.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. begins airing on ABC this fall on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET.