Weeks ago, Marvel Studios and Disney announced that they would create a live-action Marvel Comics based television program for ABC. It has been confirmed that a pilot based on Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistic Directorate) organization has been ordered. Writer/director Joss Whedon will co-pen the pilot alongside his brother Jed Whedon, and his wife, Maurissa Tancharoen, who all previously teamed on the three-part web series “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.” With time permitting, Joss Whedon will direct the pilot.
Production on the live-action project will begin immediately, with Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen executive producing alongside Jeffrey Bell and Marvel Television’s Jeph Loeb.
“S.H.I.E.L.D.” marks Whedon’s return to television. He most recently served as showrunner on “Dollhouse,” in addition to cult favorites “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel,” and “Firefly.” Tancharoen and Jed Whedon were writer-producers on “Dollhouse” as well as Starz’s “Spartacus.”
In the comics, S.H.I.E.L.D. revolves around unit director Nick Fury, who recruits Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk, and Thor to form a team to stop Thor’s adopted brother Loki. The organization first made its debut in the comic book Strange Tales #135, which was published in August of 1965.
For his part, Whedon signed a three-year exclusive deal with Marvel Studios for film and television this month, under which he’d help develop a new live-action series for Marvel Television at ABC. For its part, ABC is still developing another Marvel property based on The Hulk.
A very busy Whedon will also write and direct the sequel to “The Avengers.”
One wonders why S.H.I.E.L.D. was the comic and license of choice. Could it be because of budget constraints? After all, creating a program of this magnitude for the small screen can cost the same amount as some low budget features. Choosing one superhero or even a superhero team could skyrocket the production costs and knock the program out of any chance of making it into the network lineup. S.H.I.E.L.D. would give a stable base of operations aboard their famous flying fortress known as the Helicarrier, which would avoid a lot of location shooting. Some superheroes and supervillains could make guest appearances from time to time. Also, the show could be done in the same format as “Mission Impossible.” Will Samuel L. Jackson reprise his role as S.H.I.E.L.D. leader Nick Fury? What do you think?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter