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Joss Whedon

Joss Whedon - "S.H.I.E.L.D." Tv Series - Cinemablend.com Interview

Wednesday 20 March 2013, by Webmaster

A Joss Whedon Q-and-A has to have three specific elements if it’s going to be deemed successful. There must be a softball question that allows Nathan Fillion the chance to confirm his seat at the head of Whedon’s cool-kid table. There must be a teary fan thanking Whedon for … well, for being Whedon. (Today’s example was a weeping woman who stood in line since 1 a.m. for the chance to tell Joss that Buffy gave her someone to look up to. The director was eternally gracious and looked like he wanted to come down off the stodgy panel and give this woman, a true fan, a hug.)

Finally, there has to be at least one Marvel question. So while Whedon was in Austin to promote Shakespeare – notably his light, airy adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, he paused ever so briefly to answer a question about the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV pilot. Acknowledging the presence of seemingly-deceased Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) on the panel – Gregg plays Leonato in the Much Ado ensemble – Whedon tried to explain how the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent returns from the dead.

“I’ll tell you guys this, Heimlich,” Whedon joked, before effectively clamming up about the show. “I can’t talk about it,” he admitted, but said that he did bring Coulson back from the dead for the ABC drama. “Yes. For realsies.”

When pressed for a bit of information about the pilot, Whedon said that while he loves diving into the spectacle that comes with The Avengers, he’s also interested in the people who are “under foot” in the massive battles, but who “didn’t win the lottery and aren’t super” but need to deal with the fall out of an alien attack. He thinks the pilot turned out better than expected, and he thinks his interest in those agents will keep audiences coming back week after week.

Count on the girl who cried at the microphone to DVR Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D. program if and when it airs.

Whedon had even more to say about Coulson and his involvement in this potential TV show in a recent interview he did at SXSW.

With the Marvel S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot shot, all we can do now is wait and hope that the project sees the light of day if and when ABC gives it a series order for the 2013-2014 season. And we can also wait and hope for more details to emerge on the project in the meantime. Joss Whedon didn’t give up much in a recent interview, but he did have some interesting things to say about "the little guy."

While Whedon has plenty of experience showcasing characters with super abilities, he will also find a place for the regular guy in his work. Take Xander in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. What he lacked in extraordinary abilities, he made up for in heart and the support he offered to his friends. He also occasionally supplied late night snacky treats and snarky retorts. The Avengers’ Phil Coulson is another example of a regular guy with much more to offer than meets the eye, and Whedon made good use of the character’s relevance in The Avengers.

Clark Gregg, and his beloved character, will be featured in Whedon’s S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot at ABC. When speaking with Deadline at SXSW this week, Whedon referred to Gregg fondly as a Little Guy, when asked about filming the pilot.

That was fun to do, but again, too much work. The idea of the Little Guy is something that I am very fierce about, and there has never been a better Little Guy than Clark Gregg. That intrigued me, this world around the superhero community. It’s the people whose shop windows get blown up when the Destroyer shows up. It’s the more intimate stories that belong on television that we can really tap into the visual style and ethos, and even some of the mythology, of the Marvel movies. I think we’ve put together another really great ensemble headed by Clark. And how much it’s actually seeding or hinting or reacting to what’s going on in the movies is something we’ll let play out as we go. For me the most important thing is that people fall in love with it on its own merits, rather than constantly asking, “Is there gonna be an Avenger?” Well, there’s not gonna be a Hulk because that guy’s too expensive.

Whedon says he’ll be as involved as he can be in the project, if the pilot goes to series, saying he’d participate "mostly on a story level."

What I love about his comments is that - while his film career is blowing up these days - it sounds like he’s still trying to be active in TV, and he still sees the value in television as a story-telling medium. If ever there’s a place to showcase the "little guy" and emphasize the more intimate stories that can’t really be fleshed out in a blockbuster film, it’s a serialized format on television. Whedon has plenty of experience developing great characters on television. Hopefully, we’ll see him demonstrating that skill even further. The ball’s in ABC’s court!