Yesterday it was officially annouced that Marvel/ABC would be producing a Joss Whedon TV pilot based on S.H.I.E.L.D. (the Marvel film universe’s acronym is Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division). This is extremely awesome for a few reasons:
1. Whedon is getting back into TV, to some degree.
With the success of The Avengers and news that Whedon is returning to helm The Avengers 2, he has now established himself as a major A-list Hollywood director. But Whedon has been a gem for serial TV in the past. While at times not successful in terms of viewership, his shows have gone on to be huge cult favorites with dedicated fan bases (Firefly, Buffy, Angel . . . ). If S.H.I.E.L.D. allows him to get back to the small screen, even if he only has a limited role (like J.J. Abrams with Lost), it provides an exciting outlet for the man who writes so well for TV.
2. This is an exciting opportunity to tie TV and film together—and do it well.
There have been plenty of successful tie-ins for TV and film previously (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Wars: The Clone Wars), but no live action series come to mind, especially when they come after the release of the film upon which they’re based. Marvel has expertly guided phase one in the film medium. By utilizing TV, they can advance the excitement of TV, production value, and—even cooler—extend story lines between the mediums. It’s also a great place to have small cameos from our Marvel film universe heroes. Imagine seeing Nick Fury kick ass on the big and small screen multiple times a year!
3. Extension of stories from the films/short films.
With Guardians of the Galaxy on tap, imagine the possibilities of extending a space story to Earth and our other heroes without the need for character introductions. Generating stories on a show that then lead directly into the release of a feature film? Awesome!
4. The return of Agent Coulson?
Most people want to see the return of Agent Phil Coulson. The guy was a treat for all the Marvel films and became a fan favorite. His death in The Avengers wasn’t surprising, but it still stung. This could be a great opportunity to give us background on his character, or even allow us to see him in short cameos or extended storylines.
5. Revamping or increasing interest in the original comics.
Marvel is ultimately a comic book company. The films are now the dominant aspect of the company, but comics will always be their legacy and basis for the stories they tell. A TV show that works in conjunction with the films would be a huge opportunity to extend the stories back to comics as well as increase interest for a struggling medium.
Outside of the fact that we know the series will be based on S.H.I.E.L.D., the remaining aspects of the show are a mystery, but I’m ok with that. Knowing that the creative force is in the hands of Joss Whedon is enough for me. Now we just get to wait . . .