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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Joss Whedon - Which characters could appear in "S.H.I.E.L.D." Tv Series ?

Monday 17 September 2012, by Webmaster

Things are moving very quickly on Joss Whedon’s Marvel TV series. Within a month, we’ve gone from hearing about the possibility of such a project to the reveal Whedon was involved and now we know what the potential series actually will be - S.H.I.E.L.D.

I say potential series, but it seems very unlikely this won’t make it to air. ABC has ordered a pilot, which Whedon will co-write and likely direct and it would be incredibly surprising if the network didn’t go forward with a series – the reason this is all happening in the first place is Whedon just wrote and directed the third highest grossing movie ever, and what network wouldn’t want a TV series connected to this film with the same filmmaker involved?

Of course, actual details on S.H.I.E.L.D. are scarce for the time being, as we know nothing about the characters and specific storylines – only Whedon saying the show would be autonomous to the Avengers films. Which I’m guessing means it’ll be pretty independent as far as specific storylines go, even though we know it will exist in the same shared universe – just don’t expect a cliffhanger storyline in the series to lead into one of the movies.

Regardless, there are so many possibilities regarding who could be a part of this show, and I thought I’d take a look at some of the ones people are wondering about already established by the films – and a few that would be a great fit in this series, should Whedon wish to include them.

Coulson, Can You Hear Me?

Agent Phil Coulson was a warm and likeable presence in the Marvel films and helped make S.H.I.E.L.D. a much more humanizing presence – and that was only amplified in The Avengers, where Coulson had some of his best and most endearing moments… And then he died. Before that, he would have been a natural character to lead a S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series, but now he’s taken out of the equation. In fact, it was the death of Coulson that had me skeptical that S.H.I.E.L.D. would be the Whedon/Marvel series among several we speculated about (whoops!).

Still… These stories are based on comic books. Comic books where characters come back from the dead all the time. And it’s not like Whedon hasn’t figured out ways to bring back characters he’s killed off in his Buffy and Angel stories. It’s hard not to wonder if somehow, someway, Clark Gregg/Coulson might figure into this series.

Don’t Worry About Nick Fury

The biggest star to be a part of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the Marvel films is of course Samuel L. Jackson, who plays the leader of the entire organization, Nick Fury. I’ve already seen people ask, “How can you do a S.H.I.E.L.D. series without Nick Fury?” I’d say quite easily. S.H.I.E.L.D. is supposed to be a global organization, with many missions going on at the same time. There’s no reason the characters the series will center on need to be those who are constantly at Fury’s side all the time.

Certainly, it would be great to have Jackson appear – perhaps in the pilot and maybe periodically after that. But the series would be fine simply mentioning him from time to time.

How I Met Maria Hill

The Avengers introduced Cobie Smulders as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill, and with Coulson dead, she would be an obvious choice to focus the series around… except Smulders may not be available. The actress is currently shooting Season 8 of How I Met Your Mother, but it’s likely she could sneak away to at least appear in the S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot when it films sometime in the next few months. But after that, things get murkier...

It’s looking increasingly likely How I Met Your Mother could get a ninth season, and while none of the cast are currently contracted beyond this year, if an agreement is made to bring the show back, it’s hard to imagine it wouldn’t be with all of them returning. If that happens, Smulders still wouldn’t be available for S.H.I.E.L.D. next fall, at least on a regular basis. Still, even if it were just occasional guest spots, it seems likely Smulders could at least be a recurring presence on the series.

Spotlight on Sitwell

Beyond the more high profile guys listed above, there are a couple of previously introduced S.H.I.E.L.D. agents from the Marvel Cinematic Universe that could play a role in this series. One is Jasper Sitwell (played by Maximiliano Hernández), who’s had sort of a Wedge Antilles, peripheral, dependable-guy-who’s-always-around role in Thor, The Avengers, and the Marvel shorts The Consultant and Item 47.

Sitting Sitwell sits silently

Item 47, a new short on the Avengers Blu-ray, also introduces Agent Blake, played by Titus Welliver (Lost). Welliver is a very charismatic, engaging presence and it would be a shame not to give him more of an elevated role beyond that short, wouldn’t you agree?

New Recruits

Ultimately, there’s little doubt the S.H.I.E.L.D. series will introduce several new characters. And there’s plenty from the comic books to choose from, including S.H.I.E.L.D. agents like The Contessa, Jimmy Woo, Clay Quartermain, Alexander Pierce and Daisy Johnson. [I’m really pulling for Jimmy Woo to be a part of this, because this world needs an Agents of Atlas movie eventually, dang it]

Even without his buddies, Jimmy is cool

There’s also Sharon Carter to consider, who is a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent with major Captain America connections in the comics. It seems likely she could be a part of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but as IGN’s Jim Vejvoda theorizes in the video at the top of this page, what if we meet her in the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series first? It would be a great way to establish her as a tough, independent character before we see her and Cap develop their relationship.

Things get really interesting when you consider some of the costumed superhero characters whose history is tied into S.H.I.E.L.D., such as Wendell Vaughn (Quasar), Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman) and Bobbi Morse (Mockingbird). We’d heard about a Mockingbird series at ABC Family, but there’s been no word on that of late – so why not give Hawkeye’s wife-to-be an introduction in this series? These types of characters could all be introduced as normal agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., whose superhero origin could be held for whenever the time is right.

Dum Dum… Forever?

Captain America: The First Avenger introduced the Howling Commandos, most notably Dum Dum Dugan, who is Nick Fury’s trusted friend and confidant in the comics. The comic books have Dum Dum (and several other Commandos, like Gabe Jones) active in the present day, often with more overtly “comic booky” reasons allowing them to still remain relatively youthful and strong, such as the Infinity Formula.

All of this makes it a bit tough to just have Dum Dum pop up in S.H.I.E.L.D. looking the same as he did in Captain America… But if they could figure out a way to do it, it sure would be great to see more of Neal McDonough on TV, on the heels of his wonderful performance in Justified. Perhaps they could go the “He’s playing Dum Dum’s son” route? Hmm…

Earth’s Mightiest Heroes

Sure, anything could happen and you never know which of the main Avengers cast might be game for a TV guest appearance – Hell, three years ago, Jeremy Renner was starring in an ABC series, The Unusuals. But it’s best to assume none of the main stars from Avengers will be popping by on S.H.I.E.L.D. (and be pleasantly surprised if it happens), considering the scheduling and deal-making that would involve. That being said, it’s still plenty possible for the Avengers to be a presence in this show, in a more background manner. You don’t have to pay Robert Downey Jr. to see Iron Man fly by overhead into a big battle, while S.H.I.E.L.D. deals with AIM agents on the outskirts.

Maybe you can even have the Hulk appear, if you don’t really show his Mark Ruffalo-like face (or get Ruffalo to agree to his likeness being used briefly, without him having to be on set). S.H.I.E.L.D. shouldn’t rely on constant Avengers connections and mentions if it’s to thrive on its own, but there’s no reason they can’t still come into play, even tangentially, from time to time.

The Larger Marvel Universe

A weekly S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series opens a lot of interesting possibilities. While most of the actual members of that organization have no superpowers, they interact with superheroes and villains all the time in both the comics and films. And it’s hard not to see this show as an amazing opportunity to meet all sorts of Marvel characters, including ones we would love to see get their own series or film eventually, like Heroes for Hire, Damage Control or Runaways, all of whom could get introduced via S.H.I.E.L.D. as a bit of a test run.

Marvel has gone big into film (and now TV) in an unprecedented way, and it’s very possible this could be the first of what are eventually multiple Marvel TV series running at the same time.

Whedon Alum

This one is an inevitably, right? Whedon held back in The Avengers when it came to casting familiar faces from his previous work – besides Enver Gjokaj, Ashley Johnson and Alexis Denisof (the latter unrecognizable) in very small roles, Whedon refrained from putting his former collaborators in the film, certainly in prominent roles. (unless you count Jeremy Renner’s one-episode appearance on Angel!)

But with an ongoing series, I’m guessing that will change, with the opportunity for so many more characters to be introduced as the show progresses. I’ll leave it to you guys to speculate away on who might play what and whether these would be regular roles or guest spots. Don’t forget folks like Nathan Fillion, Alyson Hannigan, David Boreanaz, Alan Tudyk and Morena Baccarin are currently series regulars on other shows. But there’s plenty of other Whedon favorites, including Felicia Day, Adam Baldwin, Summer Glau, Amy Acker, J. August Richards, Nicholas Brendon, Eliza Dushku and so many more, who could also be in play. And there sure are a whole lot of people in S.H.I.E.L.D., not to mention those they encounter...