Deadline are reporting that ABC have ordered a pilot for a new TV series from Joss Whedon and Marvel Studios, set around the SHIELD intelligence agency. Featured strongly in the Avengers movie earlier this year, SHIELD is run by Nick Fury and was responsible for first assembling the superhero team. According to reports, Whedon is not only signed on to write the pilot, called simply ‘SHIELD’, but may also sit in the director’s chair as well.
Whedon will write the series with frequent collaborators Jed Whedon (his brother) and Maurissa Tancharoen (his sister-in-law), who both also worked on his previous show Dollhouse. All three will serve as executive producers for the pilot, which starts production immediately, along with Jeffrey Bell and Jeph Loeb. This marks the first greenlit TV project from Marvel Studios, following reports that a number of other series – ranging from Mockingbird to Hulk – are all at various degrees of pre-production.
With Samuel L. Jackson somewhat unlikely to appear in an ongoing TV series, it will be interesting to see who Whedon has in mind for the show. A number of Marvel characters have ties to the organisation, including Spider-Woman, Jimmy Woo, Dum Dum Dugan, Skids, the aforementioned Mockingbird, and Falcon. Will Whedon focus on old-school Howling Commandos-style stories, or will this be a more contemporary, Alias-esque take featuring characters like Daisy Johnson?