Earlier this month, Collider spent some time with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. executive producer Joss Whedon to get more details about the show and how the show will affect the Marvel movies and vice versa. Here are some highlights from that interview:
Question: Are you getting a lot of creative freedom with this show?
JOSS WHEDON: We’ve got trust, which is different than freedom. My collaboration with Marvel on the movie was pretty extraordinary and, for me, unprecedented. It wasn’t a question of them getting out of the way. We really worked that story together. ABC and Marvel have been very active in making sure the show is what they want for their company and their network and their audiences and, at the same time, they’re very supportive of the vision that we first laid out to them. The most important thing is that we all are trying to make the same show. It’s not really about “Oh, we’re past them, and we don’t want have to deal with them.” We’re all on the same page, which has occasionally not happened for me.
How important is it for the members of this team to not be super-powered?
WHEDON: The thing that appealed to me about this show, from the very beginning, is the idea of the people who don’t have the superpowers, who didn’t get the hammer and who didn’t, get the super soldier serum, and the idea that everybody matters. There’s very much a sense of, “Well, what about the rest of us? How do we cope with this?” And so, yeah, it was important that our core team, while they are extraordinary and incredibly good at what they do and ridiculously attractive, they don’t fall under the category of super.
When you filmed Coulson’s death scene in The Avengers, was that his death scene, or did you have something percolating for the character, down the line?
WHEDON: I absolutely killed him. It was not percolating. Kevin Feige told me before I took the gig, “You gotta kill Coulson.” And I understood why, but I said, “You’re taking the rap because I get a lot of heat for that stuff.”
What do you say to people who suspect that Coulson is a life model decoy?
WHEDON: I don’t say anything ‘cause I’m not going to confirm or deny anybody’s ideas. I’ve heard a dozen ideas, or more than a dozen. Somebody, at some point, is going to be right, but I’m never going to say when that happens. I’m not even going to blink.
Could Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders make appearances on this show?
WHEDON: We’ve seen Cobie on the show. We would love to see her again. We would love to see Sam, too, but he’s a movie star and a workaholic, so whether or not he’ll make time for us, I can’t say yet. I hope so.
Are you prepared to make calls to anyone from the films, to ask them to come on the show?
WHEDON: I’m prepared, insomuch as I think it’s a great idea for the show and a perfectly good idea for them. I’m not going to go begging, and I’m not going to use up favors that I need for The Avengers 2. The DNA of the show is the show. Those guys would be a delightful bonus, but we’re not building our arcs around them. We’ll just see what happens.
Will there be any synergy between the show and the feature films?
WHEDON: There will be as much as we can allow. We’re still working that out. It’s a fluid process. The important thing is that it’s a fun opportunity, but it’s not the reason behind the show. We don’t want just to be an Easter egg farm. We want people to come back because of [this cast], and not because of some connection to the movie universe. This show has to work for people who aren’t going to see those movies, and haven’t seen them before.
How do you decide the movie tie-ins that you want to with the TV show?
WHEDON: A lot of it comes from talking to the Marvel movie people. We say, “Can we do this? Will this help? Will this tie together? Will this somehow blunt them?” We don’t want to hurt the movies, at all. With Extremis, we said, “This will give us a ticking clock. This will be useful for us.” And they were excited. They said, “That’s great! It’ll build on mythology that we just created, and people will get something out of that.” On other occasions they’ll be like, “Don’t touch that. We need that for the movie.” And I’d like to protect the movies, too, particularly the last one in Phase Two. I hear it’s going to be wonderful!