Joss Whedon knows a thing or two about devoted fan bases. Each of his television series, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to gone-too-soon favorite Firefly have inspired obsessive love from fans. Now Whedon is back on the small screen with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., his continuation of the universe established in The Avengers, and hoping to strike fan lighting again.
Most likely Whedon won’t have much to worry about, considering his own cult hero status and the fact The Avengers was one of the highest grossing films in movie history.
Still, a comic book TV series is always a gamble, and for every Heroes there’s a Birds of Prey. Whedon hopes the combination of larger-than-life heroes and grounded characters will keep S.H.I.E.L.D. flying far past it’s fall premiere.
Whedon sat down with reporters at San Diego Comic Con to discuss the new show, how it connects to the Marvel film universe, and why fans should be excited to jump aboard the S.H.I.E.L.D. team.
Highlights from the interview:
- My poor camera stand decided to momentarily take a swan dive, which is why the picture suddenly goes rushing towards the table. Thankfully, I was able to save it.
- The success of The Avengers has made it slightly easier with the network, but there’s no free ride. They still have to jump through hoops, but they’ve gotten more support.
- There’s a roadmap for the show itself and they mostly try to stay out of the way of the movies. It should all feel like it’s part of one complete story.
- The whole show is based on the change in the world because of The Avengers. Now everyone knows aliens and supernatural beings exist.
- If something very important happens in the overall Marvel film universe the show will have to take that into account.
- “We are part of the Marvel cinematic universe. We’re the mascot,” Whedon says about the show.
- They’re trying to walk a line between the usual ragtag team against big organizations that is the hallmark of Whedon’s usual fare and the fact that S.H.I.E.L.D. is an organization that exists in the shadows. “We’re not interested in making a show that says wiretapping is awesome!”
- A reporter asks if there’s a conflict of interest at all from that perspective since they’re working for ABC, a part of the giant Disney corporation. Whedon points out that’s always the case. When they were working on Dollhouse, Eliza Dushku turned to him and asked if they were part of an evil empire. “Yes,” Whedon replied, “We’re running the daycare on the Death Star.”
- Whedon, however, is ultimately excited about what ABC is allowing the show to do.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premieres September 24 at 8pm ET on ABC.
(Image and video: Morgan Glennon)