The Buildup Is Almost Over For Marvel and ABC's "Agents Of SHIELD"
After months and months of careful promotion, tonight is finally the night!
The premiere of Marvel’s eagerly anticipated series Agents of SHIELD is fast approaching – the show will air tonight, September 24th at 8PM. Agents will focus on the work of the non-superhero part of Marvel comics – the men and women working for the fictional organization SHIELD, which we’ve gotten a glimpse at with Nick Fury, Maria Hill and, of course, Clark Gregg’s agent Phil Coulson within the Avengers franchise. Agent Coulson will be a central character in this adaptation of the Marvel universe, the brainchild of Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon and the latter’s wife, Maurissa Tancharoen. The trio has already achieved a lot of success together with the Emmy-winning web musical, Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, as well as the FX series Dollhouse.
Gregg is no stranger to the Marvel Univers, nor to working with Joss Whedon in particular.
Before the highly anticipated premiere, Jed Whedon and Tancharoen spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about working on Agents this time. The two spoke about their experiences of working within the sci-fi genre in general and within the Marvel universe specifically. One thing even casual Marvel fans know is that the company generally adheres to a very strict code of discretion across all its platforms. However Agents of SHIELD has so far been kept under especially tight wraps. Of course, fans at Comic-Con and, more recently, those tuning into ESPN have been treated to special previews of the season and there have been some unclear hints as to the characters, villains and overall plot. However, Marvel wouldn’t be the marketing machine that it is, if its marketing execs didn’t know to keep the most crucial information secret, sometimes even requiring blood oaths, according to Tancharoen.
Whedon and his team have always relied heavily on character development.
“It's a rule when you're welcomed in the Marvel family that you have to understand that you're going to be living in a code of silence,” she said for THR. “There obviously are benefits to it because you have people anticipating what you're finally going to come out with. It's taken us some time to get used to it. Everyone that comes to visit us has to sign a million NDAs, give their blood and bring their grandmother's urine. It's a very interesting process (laughs).”
We’re not surprised that working for a massive company like Marvel entails quite a bit of pressure. According to both producers, however, all that pressure has been worth it, in light of the final product. And yes, they might be biased, but so far the Avenger franchise hasn’t disappointed and neither has the work of the Whedon clan. This time, the trio have once again applied their familiar philosophy of character development first.
“In terms of story, the main thing we're finding in everything we work on is that if you build a story from a place of emotion and character, it doesn't matter how much cool you have or don't have that will keep people engaged and make it rewarding to watch.”
Even with multiple trailers and sneak peeks, Marvel's code of secrecy remains unbroken.
And while the pressure might be on to keep everything hush-hush, the team have found their own ways to deal with it all. “What we try to do is focus on making a show that we would like to see,” says Tancharoen. “We've always been Marvel fans and we love the Marvel movies. Everyday we think of crazy things, and there are hundreds of people working their butts off to make it come to life. We try not to focus on the pressure; but we're very aware of it. We're very mindful of all the expectations the fans and the studios have, and we're just doing our best to make the best show we possibly can.”
Loads of fans will be happy to know that the trio, as well as the rest of the production team are keeping the humble viewer in mind, when making decisions. Still, with so much buildup, Agents of SHIELD will have some massive expectations to live up to, when it premieres tonight.
After the smash success of Marvel's Avengers, it will be interesting to see how this one does.