‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ TV Series Is Moving Forward With Casting & Filming Announcements

We reported on the announcement that nerd king Joss Whedon would be crafting a new Marvel TV series based off of the super spy organization S.H.I.E.L.D. which you can check out here. ABC ordered the pilot, and there has been a bit of news dropped since then that it’s time for us to take a look at. Because right now as we wait for Marvel’s Phase 2 to come out I need to fill my head with anything Marvel related that I can. Which means you are coming along for the ride as I wildly speculate on where this show could be going.

We already discussed the first piece of news, with the announcement that Clark Gregg will be reprising his role of Agent Coulson. This is great news, as he was easily one of the most fan loved characters of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). I can’t help but wonder if Coulson’s reappearance and new role in the show has anything to do with his mysterious romance with the cellist in Portland. Oh, you didn’t catch that subplot in The Avengers? It was a kind of behind the scenes storyline between Coulson, Stark, and Pepper Potts and I’ve been wondering for a while now what it could mean.

Remember all that conjecture about Coulson returning as The Vision? While that was purely a fan reaction, here’s an interesting note. There’s really only one character ‘known’ for being a cellist in the Marvel Universe, at least to my knowledge. Wanda Maximoff AKA The Scarlet Witch. Guess who Wanda ends up marrying in the comics? The Vision. Mind blown.

But… this is purely some fan fiction working its way into the article, so let’s move on.

Then came the announcement of the characters Whedon was featuring in the show alongside Coulson, which is kind of a typical sampling of Whedon-like characters. Here are the character summaries:

[box_dark]SKYE | This late-20s woman sounds like a dream: fun, smart, caring and confident – with an ability to get the upper hand by using her wit and charm.

AGENT GRANT WARD | Quite the physical specimen and “cool under fire,” he sometimes botches interpersonal relations. He’s a quiet one with a bit of a temper, but he’s the kind of guy that grows on you.
AGENT ALTHEA RICE | Also known as “The Calvary,” this hard-core soldier has crazy skills when it comes to weapons and being a pilot. But her experiences have left her very quiet and a little damaged.
AGENT LEO FITZ and AGENT JEMMA SIMMONS | These two came through training together and still choose to spend most of their time in each other’s company. Their sibling-like relationship is reinforced by their shared nerd tendencies – she deals with biology and chemistry, he’s a whiz at the technical side of weaponry.[/box_dark]

So it looks like the show will be focusing on one splinter team of the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization, which makes it a bit more financially viable for TV, seeing as how you don’t need to have the helicarrier show up in every other scene. Following a team of agents fighting the good fight makes a lot more sense for TV, I just hope we still get to see a ton of Coulson as well as these characters. Which leads us to some of the casting announcements…

Three agents have been cast so far; Jemma Simmons, Leo Fitz, and top-notch pilot and weapons expert Agent Melinda May (formerly Althea Rice in the character descriptions). Ming-Na Wen will be portraying Melinda May, and was the first actor attached to the project besides Clark Gregg. Elizabeth Henstridge (The Thompsons) will be playing Jemma Simmons, which is a pretty big part for her and one I am excited to see her portray. Playing her sibling-like fellow agent Leo Fitz will be Iain De Caestecker, who I have to admit I’m not that aware of.

Grizzly Bomb

And on to the final piece of news, it looks like the pilot might begin filming as early as January 2013, which fits into Whedon’s schedule nicely, furthering the chances of him directing the pilot. While he was already planning to do so, it really depended on how his Avengers schedule worked out. I think that would really help sell the pilot so I hope it works out for him and us.

Now, let’s talk about the show itself. It’s obvious that we will be seeing a small scale version of the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization, which may fit strangely into the MCU’s timeline. Will it take place before The Avengers or will it reveal how Agent Coulson is still alive? My thoughts were that he never died in the first place, and was used by Fury to get the team together while he was spirited away (to Portland?) to run this squad of agents.

Now what kind of threats would we be seeing the team face? Obviously they are a counter-terrorism agency, so it’s easy to assume the antagonists being typical terrorists. However, their are so many options from the Marvel Universe to use for this that I don’t even know where to begin. Hydra was already introduced in Captain America: The First Avenger, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. We could talk about A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics), who are a group of scientists trying to take over the world through science. There is the Secret Empire, a conspiratorial organization who relies on infiltration and secrecy to influence the world. The Shadow Council, a relatively ‘new’ organization that is led by an evil version of Nick Fury would also make an interesting nemesis.

Like I said, the options are vast for exactly who the team of S.H.I.E.L.D agents will be taking on so we will have to wait for more info before we can speculate any further. I can say that I am excited for the series and I think it will be a great little companion piece to the films Marvel Studios will be bringing us over the next 5 years. And as for the one character I hope we get a chance to see in all his huge headed glory?

M.O.D.O.K.

Yeah, that’s right.

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