As the 2012 fall season gets underway, the major television networks are already planning next year's slate, which will include Joss Whedon's S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show, based on the secret agency run by Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury in the Marvel movies, and featured prominently in The Avengers. So far Whedon (who will produce and potentially direct the pilot episode) has gone on record saying the show will be "entirely autonomous from The Avengers," and that'll it be something that "works for people who haven't seen the Marvel movies," but will still "please Marvel fans."
That means we'll be getting characters who haven't been in the films. TV Line received a casting sheet breaking down the show's central figures, and they are:
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.
What's interesting about the descriptions of these characters is that they pull from the sort of character traits we've seen in Black Widow and Hawkeye in the Marvel movies (as well as characters from other Whedon TV shows like Firefly and Buffy), with a twist of what you'd expect from a show about secret agents. Plus, it's nice to see more women than men, which was probably a move designed to draw more women to the Marvel universe. What we don't know is which Marvel good guys and bad guys will be featured, and whether they'll be creating new characters for the show or using existing Marvel characters.
In the end, we expect to see a mix of both, but don't expect to see them mess with any of the big-screen characters on the small screen. You may hear someone mention Tony Stark or Captain America, but neither of those guys will be stopping by for a chat anytime soon.
What do you hope to see from the show?