It has been confirmed that the S.H.I.E.L.D. series will take place after the events of last year’s The Avengers. It will be part of Marvel’s ‘Phase 2’ continuity, (Which includes Iron Man 3, Thor: Dark World, Captain America: the Winter Soldier, and the Guardians of the Galaxy) which bridges the gap between the first Avengers film and the intended 2015 sequel.
Marvel’s creative consultant Joss Whedon (The Avengers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly) directed and co-wrote the pilot. The production is a family affair. He wrote it along with his brother Jed Whedon and Jed’s wife Maurissa Tancharoen, who is one of the producers.
Whedon is very excited about this project. In a recent TVLine interview, he said, “I’m excited about the show because it’s a very hopeful show. It’s not about murder, and it’s not about crime, and it’s not people looking into their own belly buttons. It’s about people who are trying to help each other, and that’s one of the things I loved about comic books. They had costumes and the villains were cool but they stood for something, and I like doing a show that does that. We’re trying very hard to be true to Marvel’s ethos and also to the structure of their universe. So it is definitely a Marvel show.”
There has been quite a lot of discussion and speculation about whether any of the heroes from the Marvel movies—or any other Marvel super-heroes– will make an appearance in the series. Whedon says that there have been some discussions about which characters might eventually appear, however, he says that, “Right now, I want to involve people in the characters that we’ve created for the show and then we’ll worry about the other stuff.”
The show’s regular cast will be; Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, Ming-Na We as Agent Melinda May, Brett Dalton as Agent Grant Ward, Iain De Caestecker as Agent Leo Fitz, Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Gemma Simmons, and Chloe Bennet as Agent Skye.
Actress Cobie Smulders, who played Agent Maria Hill in The Avengers, has so far not been involved in the series, due to scheduling conflicts. Whedon says that any time Smulder’s schedule permits it, they will rework things to have her appear on the show. “If we can use her at any time, we will.” It’s also possible—but unofficial—that Samuel L. Jackson may make occasional appearances on the series, but it’s too early to be sure.
The fact that the show takes place after The Avengers brings up the question of how Agent Coulson (Gregg) is involved. Fans of the film know the sad fate of the Coulson character at the hands of Loki, so we’re left to speculate about how he will be brought back for the show.
If the show is picked up, we’ll find out