ABC is set to announce their fall schedule on May 14th so we figured it was about time to round up all the news we could find on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and put it in one handy dandy place.
First, let’s look at confirmed cast members. Of course we all know about Carl Gregg and his Agent Coulson returning from the dead (or was he ever dead?) but there have been quite a few other cast members added, not the least of which is Angel alum and most recently, Arrow assassin, J. August Richards. It hasn’t yet been announced who Richards will play, but I think we can all agree, it doesn’t really matter because he is that good. Maybe it’ll just be the return of Charles Gunn…
In addition to the three cast members we’ve already discussed here, those being Ming-Na Wen, Iain De Caestecker, and Elizabeth Henstridge, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. also includes Chloe Bennett from Nashville and Brett Dalton. Bennett is Skye and Dalton is the up and coming Agent Grant.
While it is nice to hear about these new characters and who will be playing them, we all are asking the same thing… what about Nick Fury and Maria Hill? Well as for Nick Fury, Samuel L. Jackson was asked about it during an interview with MTV and here’s what he had to say.
So Nick Fury as S.H.I.E.L.D.’s version of Charlie? I could live with that. Of course it would be even better if Jackson were to make cameos occasionally, but that might be asking a bit much. As for Maria Hill? Well Joss Whendon told TV Line that we shouldn’t “expect” her because obviously Smulders has a busy schedule with not only How I Met Your Mother, but also various other projects, but that she could make an appearance. In my dream world, Smulders would wrap up HIMYM and immediately take off her Robin Sparkles costume and put on her S.H.I.E.L.D. uniform. Throw in a stop at SNL (how has this not happened yet?) and, well that would just be great.
Of course everyone is looking for more news and insight to the show and who better to go to than Agent Coulson himself, Clark Gregg. Screenrant caught up with Gregg at the Tribeca Film Festival.
It’s always nice to see when an actor has such a fondness for the character they play and Gregg certainly does for Coulson.
So that gets us all caught up and ready for the upfront next Tuesday where it’s pretty much a sure thing that Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be announced. Could ABC finally making a run at beating CBS? They certainly have that potential so we’ll have to wait and see.
What we’ll also have to wait and see? If Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark/Iron Man makes an appearance on the small screen. When asked by EW about it he said, “You know what? There’s no telling. I am open to everything.” which doesn’t mean no. That’s pretty much all fans need to get their hopes up so here’s to Iron Man on S.H.I.E.L.D.!
Hey, remember my one article on how Joss Whedon decided to be awesome and got signed to oversee Marvel Studio’s ‘Phase Two’ of movies, capped off with how he was going to produce a show in the Marvel Universe? Also, how I predicted in said article that it had to be a show based off of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Boom. I just gave myself a pat on the back. According to Entertainment Weekly, Hollywood Reporter, and SuperHeroHype, ABC has officially ordered the pilot for S.H.I.E.L.D. It will be written by Joss Whedon, as well as his brother Jed Whedon and his wife, Maurissa Tanchareon. Joss is also scheduled to direct the pilot, as long as his extremely busy schedule permits.
Of course, we have to start thinking that this had to be in the works for awhile so the big question is who’s the central character tying this all together? Obviously, one would think that Nick Fury has to show up and while Samuel L. Jackson is slated to be in every movie that contains a vowel in its title, I can’t imagine he’d give it all up for a regular TV series gig other than to show up the obligatory appearance on the pilot. How about Cobie Smulders’ Maria Hill character? Well, they haven’t found the mother yet on her show so I doubt CBS would let her go to a rival network before that whole thing is resolved. Regardless, I assume it’s still in the early writing stage so I’m sure something will get resolved and we’ll have more details for everyone out there when they announce them. Let’s face the main fact: Joss Whedon is coming back to TV and that’s reason enough to celebrate. How about we get Felicia Day in on some Marvel/Joss Whedon TV action so everyone can gush about it more?
Speaking of Cobie Smulders, Yahoo! movies also released a new featurette from The Avengers Blu-Ray that shows an alternate opening to the movie. It’s a lot more Debbie Downer actually so I’ll let you view it before I make snarky comments below. This is the link because the stupid Yahoo! site’s embed code is busted it so it’ll have to do until they get it fixed. Let me know when you watched it, I’ll be waiting for you in the next paragraph.
Soooo yeah, that would’ve killed the whole mood of the movie. It’s interesting though because it shows direct conflict between Maria Hill and Nick Fury, which never really showed itself in the final movie. Hell, it kinda shows that the Avengers…failed? I mean, who’s to say what really happened after a quick peek into this alternate opening but crap man, if we saw this open the movie, I would’ve just looked in the movie for the moment where they all screwed the pooch and been distracted the whole time so I guess good on trashing that opening scene.
Since this whole thing ends on a weird note, I just threw in a Debbie Downer sketch after this paragraph to bring your spirits back up. Unless you don’t live in North America. Then you can’t watch it. Or if you hate ads. Because there’s one in the beginning. So yeah, it might infuriate you more. My bad.
Joss Whedon, come on down! You’ve just been chosen to continue on the path of greatness and while adding to your god-like status amongst the human population! According to several news sources, ranging from the Hollywood Reporter, EW.com, Newsrama etc., Joss Whedon is back in the saddle as your writer and director for Marvel’s The Avengers 2.
In the deal, Mr. Joss “I Own The World, Bow Before My Awesomeness” Whedon, signs a deal with Marvel Studios that keeps in the fold through the end of June 2015. In that, he will cover his duties as director and writer for The Avengers 2, as well as helping develop a live action series for ABC and, according to the Marvel Studios’ press release, “will also contribute creatively to the next phase of Marvel’s cinematic universe.” Basically, as I have read it, he will take the Jon Favreau role in making sure that the universe that Marvel Studios has cultivated will be ushered into the next set of movies, culminating in The Avengers 2 movie. You can bet that the TV show will deal in the Avengers universe and it is safe to say that it is NOT the Guillermo del Toro Hulk series being developed for ABC apparently. Excited much? Yessir. Let us face it, Joss Whedon knows his characters and his television. While not successful all the time in terms of nielsen ratings, his television shows always are great and at least will cater to the cult crowds and die hard geeks his drops his wisdom on. Plus if it’s set in the Marvel Universe, umm, insta-hit?
A live feed from the Whedon household after the deal
From a Hollywood perspective, this should be zero surprise of course. The Avengers has made 1.5 BILLION worldwide. A large part is because not only the commercial acclaim of putting together the most brilliant way to market your movie (uhh, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger? Yeah, those were basically marketing teasers for that movie, profitable ones too at the very least), but the critical acclaim that got people coming back for more. The onus on Whedon and Marvel was making sure the characters were enjoyable to watch and developed to where they both electrified the screen individually AND as a team. Whedon solidified the Marvel Studio’s universe in this movie because he made sure this ambitious project did not implode like a dying star. With egos and sheer enormous size of this project, this could have been an unmitigated disaster with everything that was going on but instead, Mr. Firefly himself controlled the movie and its stars (and the future of this universe) and made sure the next several movies are events flicks that people of all walks and sizes will need to see.
So let’s recap, this will be Joss Whedon’s universe for the next three years and with Iron Man 3 for May 3rd, 2013; Thor: The Dark World in November 8th, 2013; Captain America: The Winter Soldier for April 4th, 2013; Guardians of the Galaxy launching on August 1st, 2014; with possibly Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man figuring into the equation too, this will probably confirm Avengers 2 hitting theaters in 2015, right when the contract ends. Not too mention the TV show that, crossing my fingers and just a hypothetical guess, will probably be S.H.I.E.L.D. related? Excited? You know it baby. So much that this ScarJo pic will be used to match the badassness of this news.
The “Dream Team” was thrown around a lot after the 1992 Olympic US Men’s Basketball team gathered Jordan, Magic, Bird and a gaggle of other superior stars to take on the world. These vastly superior athletes were able to put their egos aside for one goal: to conquer the world. It has come and gone throughout the last few decades ranging from the US Women’s World Cup team in 1999 to even the underwhelming 2011 Philadelphia Eagles when Vince Young destroyed his team’s hopes by raising the expectations. It can apply to movies too, like Christopher Nolan and his Batman team. Scorcese and DeNiro. Heck, Scorcese and Leo. It only seems fitting to talk about Marvel’s The Avengers in the dream team concept. However, in this awesomely epic buddy action film, I think the real Dream Team lies behind the scenes: Joss Whedon and Marvel.
This all started with the first Iron Man where RDJ took to the screen and carried the movie with his charisma and stage presence overcoming flaws, but it was an entertaining movie that set the stage for the Incredible Hulk, then the fart noise inducing Iron Man 2. What followed were vastly underrated Thor and a solid Captain America: The First Avenger last year, which set the stage for The Avengers movie. An artifact originating in Thor, called the Tesseract, has been taken by Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and he is harnessing its enormous power to set the stage for the conquest of Earth. Giant wormhole portals ensue and that means the big guns must be called in. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) heads up S.H.I.E.L.D., a covert agency charged with taking back what may or may not be rightfully theirs and since puny humans failed to protect the artifact the first time around, it is time to call in the big guns. So Iron Man (RDJ), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) must form the dream team and solve some issues. Did I forget to mention they really have a lot issues to be worked out internally too?
Turns out Iron Man is a narcissist non-follower, Cap has no team to follow his gung ho lead, Thor is just amused at these white boy problems, the Dr. Banner just wants some peace and quiet. But we all knew these things because of the previous movies. Director/Co-Writer Whedon does an amazing job in creating winks and nudges for the geeks that did watch the previous movies, yet remains accessible enough to where new people can follow the adventure. The danger here was incorporating several ideals from five different movies with seven different heroes to make them mesh as well as show off their individual spark that got them their own movies to begin with. Everyone gets their time in the spotlight, especially the Big Four (Cap, Iron Man, Hulk, and Thor) to establish their own paths and how they, for just this one movie and eventual sequels, have their paths intertwine into a solid team. The audience is treated to the banter and the battles with each other before they all come together with their common goal.
The beginning of the movie does feel like exposition and even felt dangerously close to voiceover narrative territory in trying to set up the plot before the fun begins. The dialogue shines from the Zak Penn and Whedon script which feels like a love letter to Marvel fans as well as accessible to the every man with the humor and levity that spills out of the actors’ mouths. None of it feels forced or unoriginal and really shows off the chemistry between these superheroes that could just turned into a giant awful bomb of apathy. RDJ owns as Iron Man and really should because this is not at all possible without what he has brought to the table with the earlier movies and the personality that exudes confidence and sarcasm. Chris Evans conveys his sense of duty in what would be the corniest role this side of Cyclops but develops his want to belong yet remain strong and self-assured as the leader. Hemsworth continues to impress with his observations and sly humor as the demigod and as the third Hulk actor, Ruffalo just enjoys the moment to stay out of fire long enough to steal scenes as his CGI counterpart. Hiddleston continues his great work from Thor and makes his villain memorable. Plus he just loves to chew scenery and you can tell he is just having a blast going against his heroic counterparts. Nick Fury finally gets his time to shine a bit as the hardass leader that brings them all together. Johansson and Renner do not have the same screen time as their super counterparts and feel a bit shoved in there but that might have more to do with the byproduct of dealing with the Big Four as opposed to whether they belong or not because let us face it, they are equal part of this movie.
The last thirty minutes is a spectacular assault on the senses in visual effects. Nothing seems too terribly out of place and that is a testament to not only Whedon, but Marvel Studios themselves. They have carefully ushered these characters into this movie and making sure that every part meshes together to create a fantastic experience for the audience. Whedon had many critics going into this movie on whether he could handle the scope and vast enormity of the movie but he has proved he can handle this mega franchise. This is the perfect movie to start off the summer movie season with because it’s simply pure fun. No one expects a Dark Knight Rises social commentary, this is strictly a boys being boys type of movie where you want to bash Hulk Hands against the toy Captain America shield you bought at the toy store after leaving the movie theater.
It does not take itself too seriously and nor should it. You will walk out amazed and wonder how the almost two and a half hours went by so fast. Again, credit should go to the dream team of actors that had the right chemistry and ego to make this an enjoyable experience but it was Whedon and Marvel Studios that came in with the cape to save us from boredom.