Joss Whedon Discusses Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Joss Whedon Marvel's Agents of SHIELD
Joss Whedon (Photo: ABC/Rick Rowell)
2013 San Diego Comic Con attendees fortunate enough to get a seat in Hall H for the Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. panel were treated to the pilot episode of the series executive produced by Joss Whedon (The Avengers). The panel was one of the most anticipated of the four day event, and ABC hopes the buzz that built from that premiere screening will turn the series into a hit. The series, which is set to debut on September 24, 2013, features Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson along with a cast of newcomers to the Marvel world.
Joss Whedon’s one of the busiest men in Hollywood and a fan favorite at Comic Con, but he took the time to sit down with us to answer a few questions as to what we can expect from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and why, despite his film commitments, he is so involved in the show.
How is constructing the television version of the Marvel universe different than a theatrical movie version of the Marvel universe?
Joss Whedon: “There’s no money! [Laughing] Well, we get to take our time with it. The more leisurely moments are the heart of the thing. We don’t have to worry about whether the world is at stake. What’s exciting about the show for me is that the world is at stake for someone. Someone is having an apocalypse and S.H.I.E.L.D. can get into that on a personal level, and not necessarily on a giant level.”
How far in advance have you plotted the story arc?
Joss Whedon: “Well, Season season is pretty risqué, I don’t mind telling you. You know, we do it the way we always do it. We know where we want to go. We have our big tentpoles. But, we leave a couple things open for us to feel our way. That way, we can see if something lands, if a relationship is working, if a guest star is interesting, or if we want to revisit something. You always want to build as you go. So, we definitely know what the big questions are and where we want to end, both in our 13th episode and our 22nd episode. We are also ready to change course, or at least change the way we’re going to get there.”
What guidelines were you given going in? Were you just asked to make a show in the Marvel universe or were you specifically asked to focus on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?
Joss Whedon: “The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are in the Marvel universe. They understood, going in, what we wanted to do which was use the feeling you get from the Marvel cinematic universe and even the excitement, complexity, fun and the soap opera of it from the comic books, and mix it all together. It’s also ABC and they like a story where the characters progress and have interaction, which is what I like. So, the mandate was, ‘Do that thing that you do.’ We’d like every episode to be contained so you feel like something was accomplished. But, at the same time, you want to see what happens to the characters next.”
How important is it to you to stay as involved as you can, even with everything else that you’re doing?
Joss Whedon: “It’s very important to me that it’s right. If I could not do any more work and know that everything was perfect, there’s a chance I might not, at least until I had a little bit more free time. Obviously, I’m going to be involved, but I also deliberately surrounded myself with people who know what I’m talking about and what I’m trying to do, and who are great at it. So, when I can’t be involved, the show will go forward the way it should. I will be as involved as I can be, but I don’t know what that’s going to be. Sometimes I have unlimited energy, but sometimes I’m the other guy. But, the important thing is that the show is now already bigger than just me.”

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