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Joss Whedon's new TV show will be S.H.I.E.L.D.


As always in situations like this: Numfar! Do the Dance of Joy!

Joss Whedon's new TV show will be SHIELD

Joss Whedon has gained a devoted fanbase for his TV work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse, and now his fifth show has been announced: S.H.I.E.L.D.

Deadline reports that:

S.H.I.E.L.D. will be written by Joss Whedon and frequent collaborators, his brother Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen. Joss Whedon is also set to direct the pilot, schedule permitting. Production on the pilot, which marks the first live-action Marvel TV project to get a green light, will start immediately. Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon and Tancharoen executive produce with Jeffrey Bell and Marvel TV’s Jeph Loeb.”

For any Joss Whedon fan (or Marvel fan, for that matter), this is excellent news. The series had already been announced in vague terms along with the news that Joss Whedon would be returning to write and direct The Avengers 2, but it’s good to have some specific details, and they’re encouraging ones.

What does S.H.I.E.L.D. stand for?

Deadline tells us that the convenient acronym “stands for Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate or Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.”

However, this being a Joss Whedon show, no doubt characters will speculate as to what it stands for of their own accord. One can just imagine Tony Stark / Iron Man showing up and instantly coming up with amusing nicknames.

(Super Heroic Invincible Ensemble Lifesaving Division? Well, maybe not the ‘Invincible’ part…)

As usual, comments on the fansite Whedonesque provide enlightening background information and commentary. Some of the most pertinent include:

“I’m sure this is for Fall 2013. Pilot will probably be shot January-March timeframe like most pilots. [However, frequent Joss Whedon collaborator] Tim Minear is currently under contract to TCFTV and this is ABC Studios/Marvel TV.”

“Jeph Loeb is the head of Marvel TV. His name is on everything Marvel does on tv. I doubt he will actually be on the writing staff. At least on a permanent type basis.”

“Jeffrey Bell worked on Angel and was showrunner during Season 5. He co-wrote Not Fade Away with Joss.”

“Jed and Maurissa are the show runners. They also wrote some of the SHIELD scenes in The Avengers.

Also, how awesome is this? Very.”

At any rate, this is an impressive line-up of talent, and presumably there'll be more names added to the writing staff if (or when) it gets picked up to series. And it's cool that husband-and-wife awesomeness team Jed and Maurissa get to run a show for the first time. They were the best writers on Dollhouse, and also worked on Doctor Horrible's Sing-a-Long Blog.

Dollhouse shows that Jed and Maurissa can bring the meta-textuality (bring it where?), and Dr. Horrible shows that they can bring the funny. (“I hope it’s a funny meta-textuality…”)

While Jeph Loeb might just oversee the project, as head of Marvel TV, there's a possibility that he could be more involved in this one, since he's friends with Joss, having co-written the pilot for Buffy: The Animated Series with him (that didn't make it to series, and having written the foreword for Joss Whedon's future-Slayer comic book Fray, where he bemoans Joss' inexplicable ability to make writing an awesome comic book look effortless, even though it was his first attempt and he was busy doing a ridiculous number of other things at the time. (Admittedly, it did result in the comic frequently being delayed, but reading it collected in trade paperback now, it was well worth it.)

Jeph Loeb's an acclaimed comic book writer himself, and worked on the realistic superhero show Heroes. For some, the show jumped the shark after the first season.

Maybe at some point in the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series, Hawkeye will jump over a shark, it’ll try to eat him, and then he’ll shoot it while looking in the opposite direction. That would be an awesome (and self-aware) way to jump the shark.

Anyway, this news means that we can now refer to him as Joss Whedon, (co-creator and possibly also) Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. As if Joss Whedon wasn’t awesome enough already, now he’s (analogous with) Samuel L. Jackson (who plays Nick Fury, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. in The Avengers).

Whedonites are obviously excited about this news, but really…we’re always excited. Great character-driven storytelling does that.

See also:

An analysis of Joss Whedon's new three-year deal with Marvel Studios

Top 23 things that Joss Whedon should do post-Avengers

Why Clark Gregg's Agent Coulson is the world's biggest Avengers fan


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