So, my earlier post about meeting Clark Gregg and Ming-Na Wen was going to be my last. It was supposed to also include the interview that I had with Jed Whedon and Jeffrey Bell. I thought that it was just too much information for one post so I split it into two instead. What follows are some highlights from the interview that we had with Jed and Jeffrey. This was right after we watched the first 10 minutes to episode 218 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The trip was an expense paid trip by Disney to press events, all opinions as always are 100% my own.
Those ten minutes were really exciting and then I had to wait for a few weeks until the episodes aired so that I could talk about the shows with my wife and co-workers. I still have one thing I can’t talk about until tonight’s finale airs and I am not even going to get to see the finale tonight because I am off on another trip. I hope I don’t hear any spoilers before I see the show. I’ve been very good about not giving any spoilers out on these posts while still providing you with great information. And now on to the interview with Jed and Jeffrey.
Q: We have the Marvel cinematic universe and the TV shows. Are you limited to what you can and can’t do?
JED: We definitely have free reign but it does limit us in that we can’t kill Captain America like we plan to each week. No, obviously there’s guidelines. They have these huge tentpoles and we sort of move between them and there are things that are off limit to us for sure because they have either big plans for them or have already shot stuff that’s gonna use them. But in terms, we don’t feel limited by it. It’s sort of a fun puzzle for us and we get big toys to play with because of it. It’s sort of a privilege to live in that universe and the fact that when something happens on our show it is cannon. It exists.
JEFFREY: The only challenge really was when we first launched we knew that Hydra was the big bad guys in Cap 2. There was one word we were not allowed to say on S.H.I.E.L.D.. We called it the H word and so we knew that was coming. We knew we were building to that. We knew we were gonna reveal Ward that way, and we knew it was gonna blow apart the team but it might have been helpful to have said the H word earlier for big comic fans. They’re going ‘who are these bad guys?’
If we said, ‘well, he works for Hydra’, ‘he works for Hydra’, ‘she’s with Hydra’ people would have said, ‘oh, they’re doing Hydra, that’s cool’. But we couldn’t say that. That was really the only limit but the upside was it just exploded in our show and having ward turn like that and letting Brett do that and become that, that was awesome and then it really depends on each movie. Like Guardians of the Galaxy didn’t have much for us to tie in with.
JED: And you can consider it a limitation to have a film that literally destroys the organization that your show is named after.
JEFFREY: Cause when we first wrote it it’s like episode seventeen, do we still exist? Agents of hmm???
Q: Do you do season two different in the way you did season one?
JED: I think that the big advantage we have now is that people know the characters. A huge disadvantage for us was that they were original character which most Marvel properties launch with something that you are familiar with.
JEFFREY: We knew Coulson but no one else.
JED: Right. That was new for all of Marvel and new for the Marvel fans so I think that initially people reacted to that. They were saying, ‘okay, well I’m not seeing things I know of and this has a big Marvel flip at the top of it’. But, as time goes on and you get to know the characters you start to become familiar with them. Skye becoming who she became was more rewarding because you spend a year with her getting to know her and it wasn’t like the first episode, here’s this character you’ve heard of. You had to spend some time with them but I think there was a little barrier to entry because these were new names, new faces.
JEFFREY: And from our perspective, though, part of that was we’re an ABC network show. We’re not a sci-fi show. Our mandate was not just to do a show for hardcore Marvel fans. Our show was to try to get as many people in as possible and so it was an opportunity for a lot of people to come in, characters they didn’t know and so if you’re not a big Marvel fan you don’t know that Skye or Ward were not part of that cannon. But for the diehards they’re like, ‘well if Mike Peterson isn’t Luke Cage we don’t like him’. And then we go, ‘oh, but we’re building him to Deathlok and you have to be patient to do that because we’re doing 22 episodes’ and they were like, ‘oh, that’s cool’.
JED: So our approach hasn’t really changed. It’s just been easier. You know, you don’t have to spend the time. Initially, you have to spend time introducing the characters and now you can just throw them into trouble. Everyone goes, ‘oh, no’ and they’re making their way into comics. FitzSimmons are now in the comics which to us is so fun and it starts to just weave together and who knows where stuff started and where it ends.
That was a small taste of the overall interview that we did with Jed and Jeffrey. They were funny and engaging. I’d love to be able to share with you the actual recording because it captures their humor as they talked about the show. I am so happy to hear that they will be starting back up on June 1, 2015 writing the third season. But for the time being, let’s enjoy tonight’s finale before we start speculating on the future of our favorite Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
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