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ABC Gives Greenlight to a “S.H.I.E.L.D” Series from Marvel

You gotta love synergy.

Disney owns both Marvel and ABC.  Marvel provides characters and concepts for movies which makes billions for “the Mouse,” and now moves them onto ABC for our weekly consumption.

And this appears to be what will be the project which gets Joss Whedon back to television after directing the blockbuster film, “The Avengers,” this summer.

ABC has ordered a pilot for S.H.I.E.L.D, a live-action series from The Avengers writer-director Joss Whedon, Marvel TV and ABC Studios. The project is based on Marvel’s peacekeeping organization S.H.I.E.L.D (which stands for Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate or Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division) found in both the Marvel comic book and feature film universes, including the blockbuster 2012 movie The Avengers, in which S.H.I.E.L.D director Nick Fury, recruits Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, and Thor to stop Thor’s adoptive brother Loki from subjugating Earth.

S.H.I.E.L.D. will be written by Whedon and frequent collaborators, his brother Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen. Joss Whedon also is set to direct the pilot, schedule permitting. Production on the pilot, which marks the first live-action Marvel TV project to get a green light, will start immediately. Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon and Tancharoen executive produce with Jeffrey Bell and Marvel TV’s Jeph Loeb.

The project had been in the works at Marvel TV and ABC Studios for some time. Earlier this month, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that it had signed an exclusive film and TV deal with Joss Whedon, which included him writing and directing The Avengers sequel and develop a live-action series for Marvel TV and ABC, both owned by Disney.

Few things first.

1) The Whedons (Joss, Jed, and Tancharoen, since she’s Jed’s wife) are busy working on and wrapping up the sequel to “Dr. Horrible” the successful web musical they produced during the 2008 Writer’s Strike.  TV shows (which “Horrible” stars Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion have for day jobs) are back in production for the upcoming fall season, so the project is rumored to be in production in the Spring of 2013.

2) There’s going to be a hang-up over Samuel L. Jackson.  He’s “Nick Fury” in Marvel’s movie universe, so not having him appear once or twice in the beginning of the series would seem strange.  No one knows if Jackson has the rights to reprise the character or is contracted to do so.  That’s going to be a problem.

3) If I were advising Whedon — which every comic book geek on the planet will think they’re doing anyway — I’d suggest revolving the show around Daisy “Quake” Johnson, an established character in the comic books, but one that has never been in any of the movies.  Daisy has a complicated past (she’s a mutant, a S.H.I.E.L.D agent, the personal protegee of Fury, and she’s the illegitimate daughter of a super-villain), but she’s a tough as nails agent who gets the job done.  If you’re looking for a comparison of what the show could be like, think something along the lines of the USA show “Covert Affairs,” but with much more explosions.

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