Joss Whedon is writing and directing a SHIELD pilot for ABC, set in the world of Marvel Comics' hi-tech espionage agency. We already knew a couple of things, most important of which was that Clark Gregg's Agent Coulson would be on the show. This, everybody assumed, meant that SHIELD would be set some time in the past, since Agent Coulson (spoiler) died in The Avengers.
But no! That is not the case! This week ABC entertainment president Paul Lee let slip this bit of info:
“There is no question that it is part of the Marvel Universe. In fact, the story takes place after the battle for New York."
The battle for New York is, of course, the end of The Avengers. Which happens after Coulson is killed by Loki. And so now we have to begin wondering just how the heck Agent Coulson will appear on this show. Was he never really dead (a favorite strange fan conceit)? Or will he return as The Vision, The Avengers' famous cybernetic member? Or might Agent Coulson be the Jarvis of the SHIELD Helicarrier - a sentient computer program that expresses itself in his voice and image? Or is there some other strange explanation afoot?
More from Paul Lee on the show:
"This is S.H.I.E.L.D. They’re following their own particular stories. There are characters in it, Coulson, who clearly comes from Avengers. So it’s part of the world, but we’re going to be very, very careful that we don’t tread on the toes of the features and build a whole new world. And that’s what Joss Whedon does better than anybody else. He’s built a world for us."
Which is probably a way of saying 'Don't expect Captain America showing up often/ever.' Lee did confirm that Whedon is working on scripts for episodes past the pilot, despite the pilot not being officially picked up. It seems to me like a no-brainer to at least do a 13 episode season that can be packaged on Blu for completists. Like me.
How do you want to see Coulson come back? Weigh in below.