It seems that Joss Whedon may be the new Marvel Studios auteur. If you aren’t as dialed in to the internets and entertainment blogospheres as yours truly, then you might not have heard that ABC has ordered a pilot from Marvel Studios for a S.H.I.E.L.D. television series, produced by none other than The Avengers-helmer Joss Whedon. Whedon will also be writing the script for the pilot along with his brother Jed; both having previously worked together on Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and the ill-fated Dollhouse.
That is all anyone knows about S.H.I.E.L.D., and therefore that is where this post should end. BUT we live in a world where even the smallest of details are scrutinized and criticized, so…LET THE GREAT SPECULATION BEGIN!
When I read that there was going to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series I found myself in a state of blasé , ennui and general indifference. I mean, the best parts of The Avengers were…The Avengers; I know it, you know it. The thought of Nick Fury and Maria Hill running around a TV Marvel Universe didn’t excite me because odds are that our Avengers (or at least their movie incarnations) will be MIA. However, now that I have digested this information a little more I can see a lot of potential in the idea. The Avengers 2 is slated for a 2015 release, with Whedon still behind the wheel. He has gone on the record saying that he’d like the sequel to be “smaller, more personal, more painful.”
The chances of a billion-dollar-blockbuster sequel being “smaller” are slim-to-none. That withstanding, I have always found that television is the best place to tell long form, more personal stories. Whedon knows this too; he’s made a career out of it. Now it could very well be that Whedon will just set the stage for S.H.I.E.L.D. and then move on, but I really think the series would benefit from his advisement; even more than The Avengers 2 would. Television has certainly been unkind to Whedon’s pet projects in recent memory, with the short life of shows like Dollhouse and Firefly. But when I think of shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, two of Whedon’s years-long epics that built upon its own mythology; I can’t help but hope that S.H.I.E.L.D. holds that kind of emotional weight too.
Whedon has also stated that it is tough working on something that is “ultimately somebody else’s story”, (not his original creations.) Regardless there are plenty of characters in Marvel’s cache for him to explore; not all being the cape and tights variety either. If Whedon is in need of some excellent S.H.I.E.L.D. stories in the past decade, look no further than Jonathan Hickman’s series Secret Warriors, which is full of complex story arcs of super-spy double-crossing and intrigue (because what is a super-spy story WITHOUT intrigue?!?)
Alright I shall take off my speculation cap and settle down. Like I said, we don’t know anything about this show except that it is called S.H.I.E.L.D. and that Joss Whedon is writing and directing the pilot. Who knows, it might not even get picked up, like poor Wonder Woman. Part of me hopes it doesn’t get picked up; (merely so I can stop using excessive punctuation in long acronyms.) S.H.I.E.L.D. could mark the future of live-action comic book adaptations. It also could end up to be a disaster, maybe a little something like this…