Earlier in the month, it was announced that Joss Whedon, in addition to being on board for The Avengers 2, was also working on a television program for ABC based on a Marvel Comics property. Now Entertainment Weekly is reporting just which property that is: Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D., the paramilitary organization run by Nick Fury, as seen in The Avengers. ABC has officially ordered the pilot, which is being written by Joss Whedon, brother Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen. Joss Whedon is expected to direct the pilot episode.
To a certain extent, S.H.I.E.L.D. is a logical choice for a television series. It would fit in with the cop dramas that are always popular on TV, but would have a different feel as it would have more of a science-fiction comic book scope. They could reasonably stay within budget by having only a few superhuman elements per episode, such as a supervillain the S.H.I.E.L.D. team needs to track down. And it would allow Marvel Studios to flesh out the organization without taking time away from any of the big heroes on the big screen.
The one question I have is, who is going to be leading them? Nick Fury is in charge in the comics and the movies, but I don’t see Samuel L. Jackson signing on for a television program, and even if everybody involved was OK with the idea of a substitute Sam, I don’t think the audience would go for it.