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ABC has given the green light to the pilot for Avengers screenwriter-director Joss Whedon and Marvel TV’s live action drama S.H.I.E.L.D., which hails from the Marvel comics universe. The pilot, which will go into production right away, marks the first time Marvel TV has successfully won a green light for a live action project, and is sure to be surrounded by a lot of buzz and speculation.
In the Marvel cinematic universe, S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, which is quite a mouthful with a conveniently appropriate and much easier to say acronym. The group is a peacekeeping organization that has appeared in Marvel comics as well as in Joss Whedon’s recent big screen feature The Avengers, and will be the focus of the new pilot, which was announced earlier this month as being in the development stage. Today Deadline has word that the pilot is a go.
Joss Whedon and his brother Jed, along with his wife Maurissa Tancharoen (the team behind Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and Dollhouse) will be writing on the project as well as executive producing, and Joss is also expected to be directing as long as his schedule allows it. Joss Whedon is also working on an Avengers sequel, keeping it all in the Marvel family. Should S.H.I.E.L.D go to series, this will put Whedon's work on a new network, as Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired on UPN and The WB, Angel was on The WB and both Firefly and Dollhouse were on Fox. (Though he did write for Roseanne, which aired on ABC.)
There’s no information yet on which Marvel comics characters we can expect to see show up on S.H.I.E.L.D. yet, but with Joss Whedon behind the project odds are good Marvel fans will be pleased with what they see – assuming it goes past pilot and makes it to series. It sounds like they’re moving quickly with this one, so we can expect to see some casting news and hopefully more details on which familiar Marvel faces we can expect to see in the near future.