Announced is August... the espionage and secret military law-enforcement agency in the Marvel Comics Universe, known as S.H.I.E.L.D, is heading at ABC as a serial, with Joss Whedon, who wrote and directed the big-screen version of The Avengers, shepherding, along with his brother Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen (Dollhouse).
Josh Whedon will also executive produce, with Jed, Tancharoen, Jeffrey Bell and Jeph Loeb of Marvel Television.
In that initial announcement, I wondered whether Samuel L. Jackson, who plays S.H.I.E.L.D. leader Nick Fury, will be involved with the series in any way, and what S.H.I.E.L.D. agents will be included in the cast of characters, adding that I'd expect Whedon will work on turf that's most familiar to mainstream Avengers audiences.
Skip ahead to last month, speaking with MTV News while promoting Much Ado about Nothing at the Toronto International Film Festival, when Whedon revealed that he was "very far" in the process of creating the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV universe, and had even already built and assembled "a full framework and a full cast," that would consist of all new characters, instead of those we've already seen in the Marvel movies.
Great idea, I thought! Give some new characters life, instead of recycling the same ones.
At the time of that post, Whedon didn't share what S.H.I.E.L.D members would be in the series. But this morning, TVLine posted the casting details regarding the ABC pilot; and not being a S.H.I.E.L.D. aficionado, I'm going to have to rely on those of you who are familiar with the universe, to clue the rest of us in to who these characters are, and, more specifically, whether any of them is of African descent, since this is a site that promotes projects and talents of African descent.
Here's the character breakdown TVLine posted:
SKYE | This late-20s woman sounds like a dream: fun, smart, caring and confident – with an ability to get the upper hand by using her wit and charm.
AGENT GRANT WARD | Quite the physical specimen and “cool under fire,” he sometimes botches interpersonal relations. He’s a quiet one with a bit of a temper, but he’s the kind of guy that grows on you.
AGENT ALTHEA RICE | Also known as “The Calvary,” this hard-core soldier has crazy skills when it comes to weapons and being a pilot. But her experiences have left her very quiet and a little damaged.
AGENT LEO FITZ and AGENT JEMMA SIMMONS | These two came through training together and still choose to spend most of their time in each other’s company. Their sibling-like relationship is reinforced by their shared nerd tendencies – she deals with biology and chemistry, he’s a whiz at the technical side of weaponry.
Those in-the-know would be aware that there are dozens of S.H.I.E.L.D agents/members, and as you'd suspect, some of them are black. As for whether any of the above 4 are, I'll leave for all you comic book pros to speak on.
A Google search didn't reveal much more than what's here, so you guys who are familiar with this stuff can fill in the blanks for us.
I should note that, Whedon could very well cast a black actor/actress in any of these parts, whether they are *supposed* to be black or not.
But now you know what's coming.