Whedon, Marvel to do S.H.I.E.L.D TV series

Breaking news and, well, duh.

Deadline.com is reporting that ABC has ordered a pilot for a live-action TV series that follows the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – the super spy agency headed up by Nick Fury – that brought together “The Avengers” in this year’s biggest movie.

Of course.

For months there’s been speculation on what Marvel might do in its foray into live-action TV. A Jessica Jones/Heroes for Hire series was apparently sidelined and a live-action Hulk remains ill-defined.

So when news broke a few weeks ago that Joss Whedon had, in addition to his “Avengers” sequel directing duties, agreed to develop the big live-action Marvel TV series set in the Avengers universe, all of us went a little meshugana.

And we started talking about possibilities, including a Black Panther series, a Daredevil series, one featuring the Marvel cleanup crew Damage Control and any number of other possibilities.

Of course, a SHIELD (forgive me, I’m dropping the abbreviation practice until further notice) series was proposed and seemed like a natural.

Marvel has spent several movies setting up the workings of SHIELD, introducing us to characters like Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders).

While we don’t know what kind of series SHIELD  will be (well, presumably not a sitcom) and we don’t know if Jackson or any of the established actors will show up – please, please, please give us Tony Stark and Bruce Banner cameos – the flashy spy stuff that’s a natural part of the SHIELD universe makes this the most likely Marvel TV vehicle.

And since in the comics SHIELD is pervasive throughout the Marvel universe, we still could see meaty roles for fan favorites: Not just Fury and Coulson (yes, I know, I know) and Hill but others from the comics. Matt Murdock could represent Hill on a bogus murder charge. Fury could recruit the Punisher for a mission.

While the series will certainly be set in the present day, wouldn’t it be cool if it had some of the trippy feel of writer/artist Jim Steranko’s ground-breaking work on the comic a generation ago?

Yep, SHIELD is a no-brainer. And with Whedon behind the scenes and his frequent collaborators Jed Whedon and  Maurissa Tancharoen working on the series too, I think we’re going to get more of the Marvel goodness we enjoyed in “The Avengers.”

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