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TVLine Has Five Regular Characters For Joss Whedon’s Marvel Universe Pilot SHIELD!!

I am – Hercules!!

TVLine has the five main characters of Joss Whedon’s ABC pilot “SHIELD,” which gives us a closer look the organization that employed Nick Fury, Phil Coulson and Maria Hill before it slapped together The Avengers.

Notably, they do not seem to be based on Marvel comics characters:

SKYE | This late-20s woman sounds like a dream: fun, smart, caring and confident – with an ability to get the upper hand by using her wit and charm.

AGENT GRANT WARD | Quite the physical specimen and “cool under fire,” he sometimes botches interpersonal relations. He’s a quiet one with a bit of a temper, but he’s the kind of guy that grows on you.

AGENT ALTHEA RICE | Also known as “The Calvary,” this hard-core soldier has crazy skills when it comes to weapons and being a pilot. But her experiences have left her very quiet and a little damaged.

AGENT LEO FITZ and AGENT JEMMA SIMMONS | These two came through training together and still choose to spend most of their time in each other’s company. Their sibling-like relationship is reinforced by their shared nerd tendencies – she deals with biology and chemistry, he’s a whiz at the technical side of weaponry.

The pilot script is by Joss Whedon, brother Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, all vets of “Dollhouse.” Whedeon may also direct the pilot.

Find all of TVLine’s story on the matter here.

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Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 2, 2012, 12:11 p.m. CST

    so basically Shield is going to be the A-team 2.0

    by Richard L. Rhodes

    Sounds soooooooooo exciting and original..... P.S. expect the whole Dollhouse cast to star...

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 12:15 p.m. CST

    he’s the kind of guy that grows on you.

    by Smerdyakov

    Write your own joke.

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 12:17 p.m. CST

    So Whedonesque...

    by Nautilus_nrm1

    So Sky will be played by Summer Glau or Dichen Lachman, Agent Ward played by Alan Tudyk, Agent Rice played by Gina Torres (or someone similar to her), and the twins played Jewel Staite and Sean Maher... Is it me or have Joss Whedon's characters become "predictable" in a Whedonesque way?!

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Re: so basically Shield is going to be the A-team 2.0

    by Nautilus_nrm1

    Yep... Whedon's characters all seem to lift themselves from his past television attempts. Personally, I hope Whedon is way too busy with the marvel film universe to have anything other than just peripheral involvement as the showrunner.

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 12:26 p.m. CST

    just an old Whedon pitch wrapped in a Marvel package

    by Richard L. Rhodes

    Thank you for the 1.5 billion Josh! We have a nice bonus for you. 1 season prime time television, no questions asked and all your friends can take part!!

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 12:32 p.m. CST

    The question becomes, how soon does the Marvel shine wear off?

    by zillabeast

    Everyone has acknowledged oversaturation of the brand is inevitable. Will S.H.I.E.L.D. be one of the first victims?

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 12:35 p.m. CST

    nautilus_nrm1: Wishful thinking)

    by Richard L. Rhodes

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Hope we at least get cameos from Sam Jackson and Cobie Smulders

    by amrisharmpit

    But it would be cool if they occasionally guest-starred in episodes. And some mention of Agent Coulson would be nice.

  • Obviously the one thing Joss and Jed had nothing to do with was writing the character bios.

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Where's the Avengers video game?

    by khayos

    Did I miss it? What the heck happened?

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Starring Agents "Who Cares?" Numbers 1-5

    by DeckardB26354

  • ..Has this been confirmed? That it takes place before The Avengers

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 1:04 p.m. CST

    The bios sound like bad fan fiction. Even the names are crap

    by FreeBeer

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Rosanne Barr as Cmndr Rose; hard as nails but has a heart of gold

    by jupiterjim

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Oprah as the helicarrier

    by jupiterjim

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 1:19 p.m. CST

    Pity Fillion is busy with Castle

    by FreeBeer

  • Luv Buffy though. ;)

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 1:34 p.m. CST

    I don't get how this show will work.

    by cromulent

    People will expect Iron Man and Thor and Spidey to pop up, which they won't/can't, or you'll see them flying off or a shot of Thor's hammer zipping by or something lame. It's gonna be C to Z list heroes and villains, which is a-ok for a Marvel nerd like me, but for the average person, this might not fly.

  • Part of what got me excited for this POINTLESS show was having real established characters from the comics star in the show. I thought this would be a PERFECT vehicle for Neal Mcdonough to star in as Dum Dum Dugan, then add in characters like Mockingbird, Jessica Drew (Spiderwoman), Clay Quartermain, or any number of the literally HUNDREDS of characters that have been SHIELD agents over the last 60 years! Instead we get this CW list of cookie-cutter agents that in the hands of ANYONE else but the Whedon's would crash-and-burn and be unwatchable. Luckily we ARE talking about Joss Whedon and his crew, and I am positive that there will be more of these characters from the comics that show up on the show, but to not have even ONE SINGLE REAL CHARACTER LISTED IS JUST SAD!

  • AGENT GRANT WARD | Quite the physical specimen and “cool under fire,” he sometimes botches interpersonal relations. He’s a quiet one with a bit of a temper, but he’s the kind of guy that grows on you. That one screams "Adam Baldwin". With "Chuck" done, he's free. I'm calling it right now - Agent Grant Ward will be played by Adam Baldwin. Or Manu Bennett

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Do Disney/Marvel have the rights to SpiderWoman?

    by FreeBeer

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 2:04 p.m. CST

    hmm, the Calvary? Is that character really cross??

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Sounds craptastic!

    by ATARI

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 2:10 p.m. CST

    Big Jim, you are 100% correct

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    That part screamed Adam Baldwin to me as well. Whedon universe guy, tv actor looking for work. His agent is probably all over this as we speak. Or he was all over this when the announcement came out that they were making a SHIELD TV show, calling Joss incessantly and telling him he had the "perfect" guy for the show, please write a character for him.

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 2:11 p.m. CST

    Also, Amy Acker for Skye

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    We saw her in both Dollhouse and Cabin in the Woods. She's a Whedonite, but her recent stint on Person of Interest tells me she can do the "fun" and "witty" part if she wants to.

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 2:13 p.m. CST

    With a name like "Althea Rice"

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    You know they have only one type of woman in mind for this part. A badass black chick. I'm not one for stereotyping, but I'm just saying, you KNOW that's what Joss and brother Jed were thinking. There's no doubt.

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Casting for the Nerd Twins

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    I'm calling it now, Leo Fitz is Frank Kranz, there is no doubt! (Dollhouse and Cabin vet). Jemma Simmons provides a few more options, but most likely it will be a hot chick, who wears glasses to show that she's "smart" Cause smart techie chicks don't wear contacts, don't know why but that's the rule. At any rate, possible candidates are Liza Lapira (look her up, she fits the bill, though don't know if she's "hot" enough, but she's sassy, and Whedon likes em sassy) or maybe Angela Sarafyan (she was in the Colin Hanks vehicle The Good Guys). Or what's Rachel Leigh Cook up to, she likes wearing glasses and pretending she's smart.

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Fran Kranz, not Frank

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Wasn't this called the Lone Gunmen?

    by gun_will_travel

    Except now it's mostly women

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 2:44 p.m. CST

    by Johnboy40

    hasn't whedon been known to use fake character names and bios in the past?

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 3:03 p.m. CST

    So, it's Jane, Vasquez,

    by V'Shael

    and two other stereotypes?

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 3:08 p.m. CST

    mel gibsteinberg, my thinking isn't that Adam Baldwin

    by jim

    and his agent think he is right for the role, I'm thinking the character was created with him in mind. That the first person they offer it to is Baldwin, then maybe Manu Bennett. If both decline they'll put out a casting call for "an Adam Baldwin type".

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Keeping with the Spartacus connection

    by jim

    I wouldn't be surprised to see Katrina Law getting one of those roles.

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 3:26 p.m. CST

    If there are no Superheroes... its a pointless waste of time.

    by Nautilus_nrm1

    Seriously? Agents? No heroes? It's a Marvel Universe thing... viewers are going to expect to see Superheroes and Supervillains as well as the inevitable SHIELD vs HYDRA dichotomy.

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 3:31 p.m. CST

    Re:Casting for the Nerd Twins

    by Nautilus_nrm1

    Don't forget the hot redhead from Cabin In The Woods, Kristen Connolly. (Not to mention Anna Hutchinson, the blond in Cabin as well.) You just KNOW she is the new hot thing coming in a Whedon television series, not to mention alot of other properties that are just beyond the horizon.

  • And I'll give it a shot.

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 3:53 p.m. CST

    Who I would like to see...

    by lowman

    Skye – Anna Torv Agent Grant Ward – Adam Baldwin Agent Althea Rice – Aubrey Plaza Agent Leo Fitz – Seth Gabel Agent Jemma Simmons – Chiaki Kuriyama Agent Maria Hill – Cobie Smulders

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 4:51 p.m. CST

    @khayos - Avengers Video Game

    by fattyaaron

    The studio working on the game closed. There is some early test footage online, and the game looked like it was shaping up nicely... hopefully someone else will pick it up?

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 4:53 p.m. CST

    I assumed it would be the characters from Item 47

    by rev_skarekroe

    But it looks like it's not even going to have that much connection to the Marvel movies. Why bother doing it if it's no different from any other spy show that's been on TV for the past 50 years?

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 5:32 p.m. CST

    Because rev_skarekroe

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    Every so often they can throw in subtle references and hints to the "Marvel Universe" like: - "I hear Stark Towers working on some new energy feed!" -"Oh c'mon sis, take it easy, don't go all Banner on me now!" -"Wow, its raining cats and dogs and massively gorgeous blonde hunks outside. Cuh-RAZY!" And other such "witty" banter that Whedon loves to populate his shows with.

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 6:14 p.m. CST

    No offense but this is a terrible idea for a show...

    by DavidBanner

    Avengers was a fun lightweight movie - little to no story and character development, but some cool Hulk action and cool scenes with Thor, Cap, and Iron Man. As well as nice moments with Tony and Pepper. However, they are going to take the least interesting aspect of the movie (SHIELD) and make a tv series and NOT have the only cool character (NICK FURY - who is essential to make SHIELD work) in the show. It just seems stupid. Why not make a Hawkeye and Mockingbird show. Hawkeye (along with Black Widow) were wasted in AVENGERS as bland generic heroes who retained none of their comic book characterizations. Just my opinion.

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 6:42 p.m. CST

    I disagree that its a terrible idea...

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    In that, it could be good, it could be awful, or worst of all it could be utterly pedestrian and completely forgettable. The idea is really only as good as the show comes together. If someone gave you the concept for Breaking Bad (high school chemistry teacher cooks meth and has adventures) you might not think it is all that amazing, if you bring to it a pre-conceived notion that its going to be some type of comedy, or unrealistic debacle. If you were told about Once Upon A Time, the town where there is a blurry line between Fairy Tale land, and the real world, you might (as I did) think of King's The Talisman, and get really excited and think it could be awesoke, and then see it and realize what boring, silly, poorly acted drivel it is and throw your remote through the tv. Few shows live and die by their concept, I'd say it really comes down to execution.

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 7:24 p.m. CST

    Not loving the descriptions.

    by shutupfanboy

    I was hoping for at least one established character and a little less lead female character that sounds like every Joss Whedon female character.

  • With the possible exception of Colson, I don't think they'd have an established character higher-profile than her on a regular series. And if Whedon's involved I suspect there has to be at least one BTVS alum, so why not her?

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 8:08 p.m. CST


    by Red Ned Lynch

    Cavalry. Cavalry. Cavalry. Unless she has a hunchback and they crucify people on her. I hope this isn't right, because this sounds not so good.

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 8:15 p.m. CST

    Mel Gibsteinberg

    by DavidBanner

    I understand what you're saying. However, the idea just doesn't grab me. I wish that they would do a comics oriented character like Luke Cage or Iron Fist. I have no doubt they have some talented people involved. I'm just not "feeling" this project so far. By the way your user name is AWESOME. Nearly busted a gut!

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 9:11 p.m. CST

    What? No Vic Mackey?

    by OutsideChance

    Oh. Wrong 'Shield'...

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 9:36 p.m. CST

    Oh god, Michelle Rodriguez is going to be ALTHEA RICE isn't she?

    by happybunni

    Please no

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 9:40 p.m. CST

    My excitement went from 60 to 0 in 2.5

    by adeceasedfan


  • Oct. 2, 2012, 10:24 p.m. CST


    by oisin5199

    yes! Why is no one getting this? I make you a bet these are fake names. Check it: Althea Rice sounds a lot like Carol Danvers, and the "siblings" sound a lot like Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne. I'll hold judgment until we see actual casting information.

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 11:57 p.m. CST

    SPIDER WOMAN is my Favorite

    by the Green Gargantua

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 12:02 a.m. CST

    OK so we can expect Amy Acker, Summer Glau, and Felicia Day

    by Phategod2

    With some other nerd loved female making guest appearance as maybe Madame Hydra.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 4:42 a.m. CST

    Joss Whedon's SHIELD: Mostly Arsekicking Women - The Series!

    by buggerbugger

    Yeah, fuck off, Whedon. Your women aren't "strong female characters", they're action men with tits, spouting smug one-liners at each other for 40-minute stretches.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 5:51 a.m. CST

    News of a 6th new Character

    by VonDan

    Phyllis Coulson: Intern of S.H.I.E.L.D. She works in the armory and storage room of the Helicarrier taking care of the weapons, relics and prototype. Now she is after the remains of the L.O.K.I. Organization and latter will be after Loki's daughter Hella She has a Stark Jet pack to which she added glide wings that look like chrome feathers (to save fuel in glide mode) A purple cape sewn from hulks old pants One of Captain America's Prototype bullet proof vest And a Valkyrie type helmet Black Widows old stun gun mounted in a giant wrench To play off her Uncles uber patriotism she calls herself "Victory" after the Statue of "Winged Victory" in Washington DC and that is also on war medals that looked like the statue of liberty with wings and a sword. Other's call her Liberty Lass She thinks Captain is sweet, Thor has dreamy hair, Iron man is brilliant and Black widow s cool, she tries not to think of hulk after walking in the wrong door in the gym. In the pilot she manages to rescue some kittens Her lunch buddy will be the lazy scanner operator every one now calls Galaga Kid (in Sam Jackson's Cameo in the Pilot Nick Fury makes like he is shooting the kid with his finger and makes Galaga sounds and laughs)

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 9:06 a.m. CST

    Another lame attempt to pretend women=action heroes

    by caprica

    Stupid. Every action show now has to star a woman/women, in an attempt to grab the female rating that is important--or in Whedon's case, to make political statements. Ludicrous. If he made LOTR, Arwen would have been the main character.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 10:02 a.m. CST


    by The Garbage Man

    Yeah, how stupid is it to feature women as action heroes? Bitches should be making babies or sandwiches, not war. Good thing Battlestar Galactica didn't have any badass women in it, am I right? Would have totally ruined the show.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 11 a.m. CST

    @caprica - Arwen very nearly was the main character

    by V'Shael

    if you've seen the background sections in Two Towers, she was almost the heroine of Helms Deep...

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 11:03 a.m. CST

    So what was the point of Item 47?

    by DidntPullOutInTimeCop

    AGENT LEO FITZ and AGENT JEMMA SIMMONS | These two came through training together and still choose to spend most of their time in each other’s company... he’s a whiz at the technical side of weaponry. Sounds like they were supposed to be the couple from Item 47? Would've been a nice touch.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 11:14 a.m. CST

    Hail Hydra

    by kabong

    We shall never be destroyed.

  • Each of these teams are routed more in reality than the supes stuff, but they each have an element of the supernatural or science that gives them something other spy shows didn't have. Hopefully these shield agents die with some regularity. Also, you can't have a shield tv show without Dugan. I'm sure he'll be on there, just not a central character. No chance they translate AIM or Hydra properly to the show. They'll just be guys in army green or black with yellow ties or something. Really wish Whedon wasn't the brains behind a show like this.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 7:12 p.m. CST

    No Superheroes? VERY disappointing

    by Queefer Sutherland

    I love Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Serenity, and The Avengers. Whedon has a good track record with me. I DON"T like what I'm reading here. Sounds awful. I'll give it a try because it's Joss, but I do not have high hopes here.

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Whedon's a hack, but most people love a good hack.

    by Ryan Dawson

    Just saw Avengers, and I thought it was garbage. It's a lot like J.J. Abrams work; all style, no substance, pure idiocy from start to finish with not one unique idea in the entire two hours. These guys aren't writers - they entertain merely by regurgitating the same crap that focus groups cry out for. Whedon is just like Michael Bay - they both think that a couple of superficial good looking characters making cutesy quips while fighting giant machines and monsters that destroy cities will make them a bunch of money - oh wait, that's true.....because of the massive amount of rubes who have never experienced the sublime in fiction and feel comfort in familiar dreck. Makes me sick man, that a soulless movie like Avengers could have made so much money, and because of it, Whedon is suddenly seen as some kind of auteur. Without special fx teams, guys like Whedon are nothing, because their ideas are so empty that without a bunch of eye candy to distract you you'd never make it through one of their films.


  • Note to Marvel: Don't turn your back on your fanbase

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 10:41 p.m. CST

    If they can make the human drama work as well..

    by Engelhast

    As BSG and strike that kind of fake but believable futuristic military vibe this show could rock. They need to stay away from the campy comic book stuff as much as possible and focus on the drama. If its anywhere near as fun as the "Item 47" short on the Avengers Blu Ray I think it will be great Television.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 3:59 a.m. CST

    I am ambivalent

    by Prooth

    I am ambivalent. ABC is needs to throw a Lost-sized budget or at least Lost level of production detail at this, because the really mediocre and cheesy look of Once Upon a Time and its other shows is really really going to sink this show if they approach it that way. Get a decent director and no equivalent to the Evil Queen from that show. I am ok with them expanding the SHIELD roster, but I am not sure exactly how they are going to maintain interest without actual superheroes or villains showing up. Perhaps they can focus their special effects on different villains, while SHIELD is more hardware and spymaster tomfoolery. It would be nice to create a cache of on screen performances of different villains. A real Whedonseque problem is if he is involved, the magnitude of conflict is going to rise and rise and rise each season. By the end of Buffy, Dollhouse, and Angel, they were fighting world defining battles with the most advanced or intangibly powerful foes. Approaching the show as a procedural is probably important to keeping it in check, otherwise it will make the universe seem way too interesting for them and not very interesting for our real heroes. Also, women can be real actions stars. Perhaps choosing actresses with more real life cred (from MMA or some serious passion for firearms and so on) might help, though the connection between real life and acting is of course tangential. I'm just thinking of how, despite Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone but being crazy physical people, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph, Van Damme, Chucker, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, The Rock and so on had some physicality credibility coming into their roles. Gina Carano getting cast in whatever that movie is called is an example that perhaps shows like this should follow. I know for sure there are tons of legitimate badass women out there. Being willing to cast women who don't fit normative expectations of exceedingly attractive, lean, modelesque women is the problem. (Though, I make no argument for how limited dialogue-wise and nuance-wise most of the actors I listed are. Yeesh ....)