ABC's upcoming action-drama 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' is arguably the most anticipated new show on any network. As soon as news broke months ago that Marvel and Joss Whedon (the writer and director of the mega-blockbuster feature 'Marvel's The Avengers') were teaming up again for a small-screen project, the buzz around this series went nuclear. As casting news rolled in, the expectations for 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' ebbed ever-higher... with names including J. August Richards ('Angel') and Clark Gregg. Gregg played Agent Coulson in 'Iron Man,' 'Iron Man 2,' 'Thor' and 'Marvel's The Avengers;' this bona fide movie star is bringing his fan-favorite character to ABC, where a built-in legion of fans is awaiting the explanation of how Coulson is still breathing.
The headlining cast member I've yet to mention is the talented Ming-Na Wen, an actress known for her work on 'Stargate: Universe' and 'Eureka.' Wen plays S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Melinda May; she recently spoke with SFX about the upcoming show.
When asked who Agent May was, Wen replied "I think she definitely honors her job and she takes it very seriously. And she has a lot of skills, to reach level 7." In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, S.H.I.E.L.D. has an extensive hierarchy, with level 7 clearance representing one of the more elite, upper-echelons of the job. "But from what I gather," Wen continued, "she has some damage, she's like a damaged soldier. I think she's definitely one of the more seasoned, experienced agents in this crew."
Although Whedon had a lot of control over the pilot for 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,' the scribe with the Midas touch won't be as hands-on as the series progresses, due to his schedule filming 'Marvel's The Avengers 2.' Wen doesn't believe that this means viewers won't feel Whedon's presence on the show. "We definitely try very hard to take what he started in the writing and directing of the pilot episode, and he will be there to guide us indefinitely," Wen added. "He's got an office in the S.H.I.E.L.D. building so he'll be there. But we're also in really good hands with his brother Jed and Maurissa, and our team they're amazing."
"I think for the die hard fans who know Joss Whedon's work as well as the Marvel series and all the movies, I think the will have a certain expectation which we will be able to deliver as far as sense of humor, as far as the comradery of the characters and the action. But I think the one big surprise is because it's now been translated for television, it's just the continuous development of these characters on a weekly basis and hopefully they'll be able to be more invested in these characters and what happens to them."
When Wen was asked about the possibility of characters from 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' making appearances in 'Marvel's The Avengers 2,' the actress said what's on every fan's mind: "wouldn't that be awesome?"
Agreed, Ming-Na. Agreed.
'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' is slated to debut in September on ABC.