Marvel has been pretty cagey about how involved mastermind Joss Whedon will be with its Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series beyond the pilot episode, which the creator wrote and directed.
After ABC’s S.H.I.E.L.D. panel in Beverly Hills on Sunday, the man himself clarified his participation in the show. Turns out, he’s quite involved with the show’s writing.
“I’m reading every script, every story, and giving notes and re-writes,” Whedon says. “I just can’t be in the room every day. The group I have [including showrunners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen] shares this hard-to-convey idea of how I want the show to feel.”
As for directing more episodes beyond the pilot, that’s off the table for the near term. “I don’t think it will happen again for the next couple years, because I’m getting behind another camera in another country,” he says, presumably referring to his Avengers 2 commitment
Still, given Whedon’s rather incredible ability to juggle multiple projects (famously shooting Much Ado About Nothing on the sly while in post-production on The Avengers), it would not be at all surprising if a script caught his interest and he changed his mind.
Another critic asked whether S.H.I.E.L.D. will have cross-overs with the upcoming Marvel films.
Of course it will. Cross-pollination makes total sense. That said, Whedon is sensitive to the idea of going cross-over crazy and wants viewers to tune-in for the core cast, not just because, say, Thor does a pop-in at the S.H.I.E.L.D. offices the week his movie comes out.
“There will be as much as we can allow…. We’re still working that out,” Whedon says. “We don’t just want to be an Easter egg farm…. This show has to work for people who haven’t seen the movies.”
Fellow executive producer Jeffrey Bell points out there are 5,000 characters in the Marvel universe, so it’s almost difficult for the writers create a character for the show that couldn’t also serve as a pre-existing Marvel character so…you might as well use it. “So if we have a character that would mean something to somebody out there it doesn’t mean we’re subverting the story,” he says.
Whedon said he’d love for Marvel-verse stars like Samuel L. Jackson to appear on the show, yet candidly noted, “I’m not going to go begging or use up favors I need for Avengers 2.”
One downside to S.H.I.E.L.D. for Whedon fans is that the Dr. Horrible sequel is firmly on hold. “S.H.I.E.L.D. took its spot and that’s just a sad reality,” Whedon says.