Joss Whedon – “S.H.I.E.L.D.” development has gotten “very far”, will have all-new characters

Joss Whedon is a man of many projects, and while showcasing his latest cinematic offering with Shakespeare re-imaging Much Ado About Nothing, Whedon has been doing the rounds at the Toronto International Film Festival answering any and every question being thrown his way.

Of course given his recent success with The Avengers and his exclusive contract with Marvel until 2015, there has been a fair amount of Marvel-centric questioning. This is not any different when asked about upcoming ABC television project S.H.I.E.L.D., a show revolving around the agency headed by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

MTV’s Josh Horowitz sought to get the latest bit of information on the project, one that Whedon will write the pilot for alongside brother Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen (who have all previously worked on projects such as Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog), with Joss hoping to direct should he be able to schedule it.

Talking to Horowitz, Joss spoke of how he was getting “very far” in regards to getting the pieces together with the S.H.I.E.L.D. project, mentioning how it has been pitched with a complete framework and completely new characters. This felt like a given, with actors such as Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill in The Avengers and How I Met Your Mother’s Robin) who would fit in the show’s theme being decidedly timetabled to other projects.

Whedon went on to discuss the interesting direction the show would take. With the focus of the show not being on the super-powered heroes of the theatrical releases, S.H.I.E.L.D. would focus on the agency.

He spoke of how “you don’t want to do a show where you’re constantly going, ‘Iron Man just left, but he was totally here a minute ago.’ You want them to go off on their own thing.” By this Joss went on to describe how he saw this as much more of an underdog story, of how S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t have the superpowers of a Thor or a Captain America, yet they exist in the same universe and do things their own way.

S.H.I.E.L.D. certainly sounds more and more promising with each new piece of information. Whedon has a fantastic track record in producing high-quality television before rising with the glory of The Avengers as writer/director. With shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the clut following of Firefly, Whedon has told many compelling stories about the guys who are on the sidelines to the main attractions, doing so without dropping a single ounce of entertainment and focus.

This project is one that feels like an equivalent to the Star Wars Expanded Universe to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Stories that will expand the timeline and give us focus on even more characters, expanding the breadth of the world created on screen. Definitely a television project to watch out for.

S.H.I.E.L.D. is currently a project in the works for ABC alongside Marvel. The pilot is currently being developed by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen as well as being executively produced by Jeffrey Bell and Jeph Loeb.

Source: MTV

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