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Joss Whedon to Write, Direct Marvel World S.H.I.E.L.D. Pilot for ABC

Photo of Jacob Combs By Jacob Combs | Thompson on Hollywood August 29, 2012 at 1:45PM

Joss Whedon and "Avengers" fans everywhere rejoice: ABC has ordered a "S.H.I.E.L.D." pilot from the "Buffy" scribe which will focus on the secretive military cum-police force of the Avengers universe. Whedon will direct, pending his schedule, and will co-write the pilot along with Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen.
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Joss Whedon and "Avengers" fans everywhere rejoice: ABC has ordered a "S.H.I.E.L.D." pilot from the "Buffy" scribe which will focus on the secretive military cum-police force of the Avengers universe.  Whedon will direct, pending his schedule, and will co-write the pilot along with Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen.  Production starts "immediately," according to Deadline.

Earlier this month, Marvel Studios and Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that Joss Whedon would be back to write and direct "The Avengers 2," and would develop a live-action TV series for Disney based on Marvel characters.

The decision to make the Marvel TV show a S.H.I.E.L.D. one makes sense from a practical perspective: it will no doubt be cheaper to produce than a superhero show, which would undoubtedly require a signficiant investment of resources in expensive computer effects.

In terms of talent, Pajiba notes that Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury probably won't be featured other than a few cameos, but Whedon could bring back some of his usual suspects, among them Alan Tudyk, Summer Glau and Eliza Dushku.  Depending on the future of "How I Met Your Mother," Cobie Smulders could even return as Maria Hill in the series.

Whedon, of course, is a busy, busy man: his live-action modern day take on Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" will debut at the Toronto International Film Festival next month.  Filmed in black-and-white in 12 days at the director's Santa Monica home, "Much Ado" features Nathan Fillion, Sean Maher, Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Ashley Johnson and Tom Lenk.

This article is related to: Joss Whedon, Toronto International Film Festival, Disney


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.