04/05/2013 11:34 pm ET

'S.H.I.E.L.D.': J. August Richards Cast In Joss Whedon's 'Avengers' Spin-Off Series For ABC (REPORT)

Joss Whedon is apparently still loyal to his Whedonverse alums and has reportedly cast "Angel" star J. August Richards in ABC's "Avengers" spinoff series, "S.H.I.E.L.D." According to TVLine, Richards has been tapped for a "super top-secret role," but no further details are available at this time.

Since the "S.H.I.E.L.D." pilot finished shooting in February, it remains to be seen whether Richards was secretly involved throughout the production, was brought in to film pickups or reshoots after production wrapped, or has already been contracted to appear in future episodes if and when the show inevitably earns a full-season pick-up from ABC (likely around the network's annual upfront presentation to advertisers in mid-May).

He'll join Clark Gregg as Marvel movie mainstay Agent Phil Coulson, Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Jemma Simmons, a master in biology and chemistry; Iain De Caestecker as Agent Leo Fitz, a technology and weapons guru; Ming-Na Wen as Agent Melinda May, an expert pilot; Chloe Bennet as the "witty and charming" Skye and Brett Dalton as "cool under fire" Agent Grant Ward.

Despite the show's place in the Marvel universe, Whedon is on record as stressing the need for "S.H.I.E.L.D." to feature new characters. "It needs to be its own thing," Whedon said. "It needs to be adjacent [to the MCU] but you don't want to do a show where you're constantly going, 'Iron Man just left, but he was totally here a minute ago.'"

Check out the slideshow below for some of our casting suggestions for "S.H.I.E.L.D."

Our Dream Cast For "S.H.I.E.L.D."

Who do you think Richards is playing?