On the heels of the big news that Joss Whedon is co-writing, producing and possibly directing a S.H.I.E.L.D. TV pilot for ABC, Whedon spoke to Vulture a bit about the project, along with his new role with Marvel – a three-year contract tying him to them exclusively when it comes to TV and film, which not only includes writing and directing Avengers 2, but advising on all the Marvel Cinematic Universe projects.
Mid-summer, Whedon expressed some hesitation about returning for Avengers 2, saying he might want to do a self-generated project first. Explaining what made him not only sign on, but sign on in a big way, he remarked that it was the size of the role that drew him in. Said Whedon, “It was part of what made it attractive to me. I loved the idea of being a consigliere. Every writer loves the idea of being able to go in and fix a problem and then leave without obligation. It’s fun! I also love these characters and the Marvel universe, and I grew up reading the books, and I’ve been going back and reading the old books and realizing that they shaped my storytelling way more than I give them credit for. Now I’m starting up a TV show, which is something I really wanted to do, but I thought it wasn’t going to be a part of my life for the next several years. It’s like a tapas menus of projects that excite me, in addition to the Avengers sequel, which I’m excited for because I’m incredibly excited about the next story that I’m going to tell. For me, it’s a huge win.”
Whedon adds, “It is unbelievably daunting, especially because I don’t want to lose sight of all the other things I have on my docket and in my heart. So, it’s going to be an insane few years, but I feel ready for that. It’s an unholy amount of productivity, but as long as I give it all I can, it’s a good thing. What’s great is that the deal with Marvel is nonspecific, so I will give all I can, but the moment I can’t, I just walk away. The moment I say, ‘You know, I’d like to help more on this project, but I need this time for The Avengers,’ there’s no obligation. It’s not like, ‘You must spend this amount of time on this movie.’ It’s as much as it needs to be.”
When it comes to S.H.I.E.L.D., Whedon didn’t offer any specifics on the character and storyline. But Vulture — referring to some of his infamous situations on previous TV series like Firefly and Dollhouse — asked, “How does it feel to finally be working on a project that may very well get the biggest promotional push of any TV show ever and will most likely not air on a Friday?”
Whedon replied with a laugh, “You know, I can’t guarantee that any of that will happen! But so far, it feels just fine. The important thing to me is that we know what the show is. We love what it is. It came together very organically, so when we went in to pitch [to Marvel], it wasn’t like, We’re trying to find this because you want a TV show, it was, Check this out. And that’s a good way to walk in a room.”
That being said, Whedon remarked, “Good support is wonderful, but it’s not a hill of beans, because they may give us all this support and then decide, ‘Eh. Yeah, it’s Friday.’ They might give us all the support and then not do that, but then audiences might go, ‘Yeahhh … no.’ You just can’t be sure. What I do know is that it’s the show it should be, and we’ve got some really dope notions. It’s going to work very well for people who either love the Marvel universe or for people who’ve never dipped a toe in the Marvel universe.”
You can read more of Whedon’s conversation over at Vulture.
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