Earlier this month, we learned that Joss Whedon's S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot would start production early next year, and at that time, word was that further casting updates would be coming soon. Sure enough, two actors have boarded the Marvel TV adaptation, playing very intelligent sounding characters.
ABC's S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot is set to focus n the organization more fully referred to as Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, which has been a part of the Marvel universe for decades and was more recently featured in some of Marvel's recent films, including Iron Man, Thor and the recent Joss Whedon directed hit film The Avengers.
Among the casting details that emerged last month were descriptions for a duo of characters called Agent Leo Fitz and Agent Jenna Simmons. Here's how they were described at the time:
AGENT LEO FITZ and AGENT JEMMA SIMMONS - These two came through training together and still choose to spend most of their time in each other’s company. Their sibling-like relationship is reinforced by their shared nerd tendencies – she deals with biology and chemistry, he’s a whiz at the technical side of weaponry.
The Hollywood Reporter shared the news today that Elizabeth Henstridge and Iain De Caestecker have joined the pilot, playing Leo and Gemma (they're going with a "G" instead of a "J" here). Gemma is described as a science whiz, while Leo is the tech guru and it's said that they bicker with each other, all of which fits with the previously mentioned character descriptions.
Iain De Caestercker may be more familiar to U.K. TV viewers, as the Scottish actor's credits include Young James Herriot, The Fades and Lip Service. Henstridge is British and her credits include a TV movie called Shelter and U.K. series Hollyoaks. I'm sure some of us had our dream-cast picks for these two roles, wish-casting previous Whedon-show actors in the parts. (I had Felicia Day and Fran Kranz picked for Leo and Jemma). But it's still exciting to see two relatively unknown actors being brought to the table, especially when you consider that "relatively unknown" was probably a fair way to describe some of the people now famous and beloved after visiting the Whedonverse through some series or another. Whedon's projects have a tendency to scout great talent.
Henstridge and De Caestercker join Ming-Na and Clark Gregg in the cast of the S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot.