AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Showrunners Have A Fairly Solid 2-Year Plan

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. showrunners Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon say they have a two-year plan for the show with Collider. The duo also says there's a list of which characters are available and who's off limits.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been progressing in recent episodes. I'm well aware that I don't speak for everyone but the majority of the vocal-minded agree that the show isn't reaching the potential it could. Hence, the numerous articles around these parts about ways to improve the show. But how do the brain-trust behind Agent Coulson's (Clark Gregg) resurrection and assemblage of a small, specialized task force feel about their show? Said Maurissa Tancharoen (Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog), "We really just try not to think about the scrutiny and the pressure. We’re just trying to make the show that we like, and we’re working really hard at it. When Joss came to us and said, “Let’s make a S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show,” we were excited about the idea alone. And then, once we started diving into the world and inventing these new characters that would be a nice group around Coulson, it became a show that we want to watch, so hopefully other people share our feelings."

But with the obvious scrutiny and pressure for success inherent with the first television spinoff of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, do Whedon and Tancharoen have complete autonomy of the show? When asked if ABC gave them guidelines, Whedon (Dollhouse, Spartacus: War of the Damned) stated, "A little bit." Tancharoen echoed that statement, adding, " Yeah, we had a whole pitch for them that mapped out all of the characters and the entire season, and subsequent seasons. They had a nice idea of what it was going to be before they said yes."

So how far ahead is that plan? One season? Two? Three? "We have a fairly solid two-year plan," said Maurissa. She continued, "The exciting and challenging part about our show is that we do want to weave in with the movies, as well. Whatever comes up there might show up a little bit on our show."

Lastly, what character are on the table for the show to use. For comparison, the showrunners on Arrow have said numerous times that they have certain characters that are off limits to the show. But whereas it's still not 100% confirmed whether Arrow exists in the same universe as Man of Steel and the upcoming Batman vs Superman, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is firmly parallels the events of Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World. Does that mean they're free to use anyone? Tancharoed answered, "We asked them what we can use. There’s a list of characters that we are allowed to use. Sometimes when we come across others in the comics, we pose that question. If the answer is yes, then we pursue it." So far, we know the list of characters they're allowed to use includes Gravitron, Nick Fury, Victoria Hand and Maria Hill to name a few prominent figures. Whether any of these characters becomes a recurring regular remains to be seen.

For more from the husband-wife duo, head over to Collider to read the full transcript. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesday at 8PM PST/EST on ABC.

Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen Agents of SHIELD

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Running Time: 60 min
Release Date: September 24, 2013
MPAA Rating: Tv PG-13
Starring: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Elizabeth Henstridge, Iain De Caestecker, Brett Dalton
Directed by: Joss Whedon (pilot)
Written by: Maurissa Tancharoen (story/writer), Jed Whedon(story/writer),Jeffrey Bell (executive producer), Jeph Loeb (executive producer)

"Clark Gregg reprises his role of Agent Phil Coulson from Marvel’s feature films, as he assembles a small, highly select group of Agents from the worldwide law-enforcement organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D. Together they investigate the new, the strange, and the unknown across the globe, protecting the ordinary from the extraordinary. Coulson's team consists of Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), highly trained in combat and espionage; Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), expert pilot and martial artist; Agent Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), brilliant engineer; and Agent Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), genius bio-chemist. Joining them on their journey into mystery is new recruit and computer hacker, Skye (Chloe Bennet).

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel’s first television series, is from executive producers Joss Whedon (Marvel's The Avengers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen, who co-wrote the pilot (Dollhouse, Dr.Horrible's Sing-Along Blog). Jeffrey Bell (Angel, Alias) and Jeph Loeb (Smallville, Lost, Heroes) also serve as executive producers. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is produced by ABC Studios and Marvel Television."
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