The "S.H.I.E.L.D." pilot is going to be all about Agent Coulson.
Though Clark Gregg's beloved, by-the-book agent seemingly met his tragic death in the 2012 blockbuster hit "The Avengers," Agent Coulson will be at the center of the new Marvel television show produced by Joss Whedon.
"We all love Clark Gregg, there's no doubt about that," Whedon said via taped message to attendees at New York Comic-Con in October 2012. "From before we made 'The Avengers,' we discussed whether there was a way for him to be a part of the Marvel Universe, perhaps a part of a TV show even after his death."
"The idea of the Little Guy is something that I am very fierce about, and there has never been a better Little Guy than Clark Gregg. That intrigued me, this world around the superhero community. It’s the people whose shop windows get blown up when the Destroyer shows up. It’s the more intimate stories that belong on television that we can really tap into the visual style and ethos, and even some of the mythology, of the Marvel movies. I think we’ve put together another really great ensemble headed by Clark. And how much it’s actually seeding or hinting or reacting to what’s going on in the movies is something we’ll let play out as we go. For me the most important thing is that people fall in love with it on its own merits, rather than constantly asking, 'Is there gonna be an Avenger?' Well, there’s not gonna be a Hulk because that guy’s too expensive."
Should "S.H.I.E.L.D." be ordered to series, Whedon told Deadline, "I will be as involved as I can be –- mostly on a story level. On the TV show I can say, 'No, do it my way.' I’m just trying to keep it exciting and meaningful and surprising."
"S.H.I.E.L.D" is easily one of ABC's most buzzed-about pilots and Paul Lee, the network's entertainment president, said at the 2013 Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in January that he is "very hopeful" about "S.H.I.E.L.D" being picked up to series after fast-tracking the pilot. He praised Whedon's script, noting it had "some great male/female relationships and humor," as well as all the action the superhero genre provides. Lee added that Whedon is "great to work with and very excited to be [back] on television."
ABC is hoping that the show will be accessible to men, women and children, allowing for a co-viewing experience that will "bring the whole family together" the way "Once Upon a Time" has for the network, Lee said.