Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Specialty Box Office: 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck' Primes HBO Pump, Russell Crowe's 'Water Diviner' Is Spotty Specialty Box Office: 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck' Primes HBO Pump, Russell Crowe's 'Water Diviner' Is Spotty Friday Box Office: 'Adaline' Bumps 'Furious' for a Day; 'Kurt Cobain' Big in 3 Theaters Friday Box Office: 'Adaline' Bumps 'Furious' for a Day; 'Kurt Cobain' Big in 3 Theaters Remembering Film Critic Richard Corliss (1944-2015) Remembering Film Critic Richard Corliss (1944-2015) Cannes: Denis Villeneuve Says Drug War Film 'Sicario' Is "Very Dark" and "Quite Violent" Cannes: Denis Villeneuve Says Drug War Film 'Sicario' Is "Very Dark" and "Quite Violent" How Do You Solve a Problem Like Erika? Universal Hires Husband to Write 'Fifty Shades Darker' How Do You Solve a Problem Like Erika? Universal Hires Husband to Write 'Fifty Shades Darker' 'Age of Ultron' Director Joss Whedon on Self-Doubt and Why It's His 'Rio Bravo' 'Age of Ultron' Director Joss Whedon on Self-Doubt and Why It's His 'Rio Bravo' Watch: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Amy Schumer Hilariously Slam Hollywood Sexism (NSFW) Watch: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Amy Schumer Hilariously Slam Hollywood Sexism (NSFW) CinemaCon: How Tom Cruise Stole the Paramount Show CinemaCon: How Tom Cruise Stole the Paramount Show Meet the Director of 'Tangerines,' the 2015 Dark Horse Oscar Nominee You Missed (Exclusive Video) Meet the Director of 'Tangerines,' the 2015 Dark Horse Oscar Nominee You Missed (Exclusive Video) LA Film Fest Unveils Horror Slate, More World Premieres, Zoe Cassavetes Film LA Film Fest Unveils Horror Slate, More World Premieres, Zoe Cassavetes Film Cannes: Directors' Fortnight Lines Up Vet Auteurs and American Indies Cannes: Directors' Fortnight Lines Up Vet Auteurs and American Indies Joe Wright's 'Pan' Gets Fall Release Date: Good News or Bad News? Joe Wright's 'Pan' Gets Fall Release Date: Good News or Bad News? Seeing Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' Through Composer Johnny Jewel's Eyes (STREAM SOUNDTRACK) Seeing Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' Through Composer Johnny Jewel's Eyes (STREAM SOUNDTRACK) 3 Women Genre Directors Get SF Film Society Fellowships 3 Women Genre Directors Get SF Film Society Fellowships Here's Why Jon Stewart Quit 'The Daily Show' Here's Why Jon Stewart Quit 'The Daily Show' Watch: From Tarantino to Cronenberg, Great Directors Talk the Art and Anxiety of Filmmaking Watch: From Tarantino to Cronenberg, Great Directors Talk the Art and Anxiety of Filmmaking Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Comic-Con Immersed in Movies: Whedon and Gregg Talk 'Marvel's Agents of SHIELD,' Separate from 'The Avengers: Age of Ultron'

Photo of Bill Desowitz By Bill Desowitz | Thompson on Hollywood July 20, 2013 at 11:21PM

The tagline says it all for ABC's "Marvels's Agents of SHIELD," which sneaked the pilot Friday at Comic-Con:"Not all heroes are super." In fact, creator Joss Whedon, who directed the pilot, suggested that this rag-tag group of agents without super powers represent the Marvel universe on a much more human scale. Like their mentor, the resurrected Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg, who stars in Whedon's arthouse hit "Much Ado About Nothing"), they investigate the bizarre occurrences that connect The Avengers to ordinary people. (Whedon showed up as the capper for the Marvel panel, with a brief teaser of "The Avengers" sequel, now called "Age of Ultron." The crowd roared.)
0
'Agents of SHIELD'
'Agents of SHIELD'

The tagline says it all for ABC's "Marvels's Agents of SHIELD," which sneaked the pilot Friday at Comic-Con: "Not all heroes are super." In fact, creator Joss Whedon, who directed the pilot, suggested that this rag-tag group of agents without super powers represent the Marvel universe on a much more human scale. Like their mentor, the resurrected Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg, who stars in Whedon's summer arthouse hit, "Much Ado About Nothing"), they investigate the bizarre occurrences that connect The Avengers to ordinary people. (Whedon showed up as the capper for Saturday's Marvel panel, with a brief teaser of "The Avengers" sequel, now called "Age of Ultron." The crowd roared.)

"I feel like society is increasingly polarized and increasingly divided between people who have everything and people who have nothing," Whedon proclaimed. "Economically and even on a psychological level, people are feeling left behind and [here's] somebody who represents the underdog. Now obviously an underdog that works for a secret agency that's tracking everything you're doing. But that actually allows us to deal with that as well and all the things that are going on around the world. We don't want to trivialize it -- we don't want to solve the NSA. But you can bring up this feeling we have of disenfranchisement or paranoia, very justifiable things that are going on in society."

Within the framework of Marvel, you could call it superhero envy. And with SHIELD (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division), Whedon's concocted another of his signature band of social misfits who, like The Avengers, have to figure out how to blend together as a team: Espionage vet Grant Ward (Brett Dalton); kick-ass pilot Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen); engineer Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker); biochemist Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Heinstridge); and computer hacker Skye (Chloe Bennet).

Whedon added that the biggest problem is not stepping on Marvel's plans for "The Avengers," the third highest grossing movie of all time, which can be confusing with their strategy of phases. "I've got 44 chances to make this less exciting," he quipped. "I have to make sure that I don't overstep. At the same time, it's such a different mandate."

As for bringing back the beloved Couson from the dead after his emotional demise in "The Avengers," Whedon reminded us that one of his first jobs was to bring Ripley back from the dead in the "Alien" franchise.

But for the affable Gregg, he couldn't be happier to return as Coulson, who has quite the fan following. "His snarky humor and bureaucratic efficiency has such a human context and now he's passing the torch to a new generation," Gregg commented. "What I find compelling about the show is that this guy has seen stuff that would turn your hair white."

Gregg noted that every writer has added a new direction for Coulson. "Who am I now? Now he has a new version of himself. But he questions everything [about what happened to him]. What happens here is that it connects to the Marvel universe and vice versa."

This article is related to: Joss Whedon, Immersed In Movies, Comic-Con


E-Mail Updates