Joss Whedon’s attachment to a small screen Marvel Comics-related project is only a few weeks old and already the proverbial ball is picking up steam.
ABC has greenlit a pilot episode of S.H.I.E.L.D. with Whedon tapped to co-write and possibly direct. Joining Whedon to flesh out the S.H.I.E.L.D. narrative are his brother Jed Whedon, and his wife, Maurissa Tancharoen. The trio previously teamed up to create the hit web series Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and Dollhouse, and will all serve as producers on the S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot.
S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistic Directorate and was introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Iron Man with the agency’s director, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) appearing in the after-credits scene. Since then, S.H.I.E.L.D. has figured into all the Marvel Cinematic Universe films and played a big role in assembling The Avengers for this summer’s big hit.
Next month’s release of The Avengers on Blu-ray and DVD will include a new Marvel One-Shot short film that also features the secretive S.H.I.E.L.D. agency.
There are four prominent members of S.H.I.E.L.D. that would make for big league cameos in the S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot or potential series. They include the aforementioned Jackson along with Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders).
Whedon and ABC would get a huge boost if Robert Downey Jr. or one of the other superheroes made a brief cameo appearance in the S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot. With the Helicarrier already rendered from The Avengers film, it could theoretically make an appearance as well.
Production on S.H.I.E.L.D. is said to be getting underway “immediately” or as fast as Whedon and his team can get the script up to snuff. Assuming the pilot works and ABC orders up a series, S.H.I.E.L.D. could be ready to hit the small screen in time for the fall 2013 season.