Joss Whedon To Write, Direct S.H.I.E.L.D. TV Series Pilot For ABC


US network ABC has just green-lit the pilot of a brand-new TV series set in the Avengers universe, entitled S.H.I.E.L.D., that ought to bridge the gap between this summer's billion dollar-grossing mega Marvel hit and its sequel, pencilled in for a May 1 2015 release.

According to Deadline, Avengers Assemble director and geek God Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly) – who for his part recently signed a three-year deal with Marvel Studios for film and TV work – will be on hand to co-write the pilot with brother Jed Whedon and wife Maurissa Tancharoen, while it is assumed Joss himself will direct the pilot. News on the directors likely to take his place were ABC to green-light the entire series will surely follow.

As the title implies, the TV series will largely focus on the inner-workings, politics and activities surrounding Marvel Comics' peacekeeping organisation S.H.I.E.L.D. (or Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division), most recently taking centre stage in bringing together some of Marvel's most recognisable cultural icons in Avengers Assemble, but otherwise a staple fixture in Marvel comics since debuting in Strange Tales #135 in 1965.

Variety quotes Whedon as saying S.H.I.E.L.D. should not be seen a spin-off to The Avengers, rather the storyline will be “autonomous” to the sequel currently in the works. The Hollywood Reporter, meanwhile, states the live-action project will begin “immediately”, with Whedon also credited as executive producer.

Richard Birkett