It wasn't long after Marvel's The Avengers wowed many a critic and became the highest-grossing superhero blockbuster of all time (over $1.5 billion worldwide), that the comic book movie studio officially set Joss Whedon to be the head creative supervisor on Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe - with his duties including writing and directing The Avengers 2, in addition to producing a live-action television series that , as our Rob Keyes predicted, will revolve around S.H.I.E.L.D. (and the organization's non-superpowered, but heroic employees).
Production on the S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot wrapped nearly two months ago, but ABC has yet to formally pick it up to series (though, the network is expected to do so in the foreseeable future). In the meantime, we can offer additional plot details and a fresh character breakdown for the pilot - in addition to a potential new title, in the form of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (or just Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for short).
The new title and synopsis first appeared on ABC's website for advertisers, but EW thereafter learned from a network representative that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is not the official title (... yet, anyway). Marvel is giving wordier titles to its upcoming Phase 2 movie sequels like Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier - as opposed to the numerically-marked Iron Man installments - but it might be hesitant to do likewise with a S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show, especially given the tendency for hit series to have one or two-word titles (with obvious exceptions, such as How I Met Your Mother).
By letting the cat out of the bag early, ABC and Marvel now have an opportunity to survey general responses to the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. title - and find out if people tend to prefer either that or the original S.H.I.E.L.D. title. Either way, it won't have an impact on the quality of the show; not to mention, unwieldy titles haven't been a problem for Whedon's previous small-screen hits (be it Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the web sensation Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog).
Here is the new (but, for now, unofficial) synopsis and character breakdown for the series:
Joss Whedon 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."
Which title do you prefer: Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D. or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Let us know in the comments section!
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