Marvel’s TV Project Announced
After Marvel’s recent announcement that Joss Whedon was locked in with the studio for Avengers 2 and an unnamed TV project, we knew it was just a matter of time until more good news came forth from Marvel and Whedon’s production relationship. Now we have that news! According to information first reported at Deadline, Whedon’s Marvel TV project will be a series focusing on the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization for ABC.
What we currently know is that a pilot was ordered for the project which will be written by Whedon, his brother Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen (Jed’s wife). Jed and Maurissa collaborated with Joss on Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog and Dollhouse, but were also writers for Starz’s Spartacus. Right now the official word is that Joss himself will direct the pilot as long as his schedule allows for it.
The S.H.I.E.L.D. series will begin production immediately, with casting, scripts, and all the technical issues beginning to be worked out now. I would expect a fast track for the project with ABC trying to push a big promotion during next summer with a Fall 2013 premiere on the network. Right now Joss, Jed, and Maurissa are all being credited as Executive Producers alongside Marvel writer Jeph Loeb (who is working in TV development) and Whedonverse alum Jeffrey Bell. Bell is most notable for taking over many of the showrunning duties from Joss on Angel as Whedon had to step back to focus on his other projects. I would suspect it likely that, should the series run, Bell is likely to take the showrunning reins.
Although no casting has been announced as of this writing rumors are already circulating that Cobie Smulders could be up to star in the series as her Avengers character Maria Hill should she decide not to re-up her contract with How I Met Your Mother after this TV season.