When Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. started back in 2013, it included plenty of overt connections to the Marvel Studios films, down to its main character, Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) crossing over from the big screen to the small one. Over the years, the show has evolved into more of its own entity, and the tie-ins to the movies have become less direct -- but that doesn't mean they're not there.
The impending fifth season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. looks to take the characters into the far reaches of oute space, and series producers Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen told reporters including CBR earlier this week at a press event in Los Angeles that it's not a coincidence that's happening after a couple of cosmically minded Marvel Cinematic Universe films like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Thor: Ragnarok, both released this year.
"We try to a little bit follow in the wake of the films as they plot new territory in the MCU," Whedon told press. "Last year that was magic, with Doctor Strange. We felt like Ghost Rider all of a sudden fit into our show in a way that we didn’t necessarily feel like he would have before, tonally. And this is us expanding out even further into the world of space which they very much are living in now in the features. It's the great unknown, and we hadn't explored it yet."
Of course, going into space doesn't mean that fans should expect Rocket and Groot to show up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. As Whedon and Tancharoen explained, it's more about a thematic tie-in at this point than one story leading to another.
"It's a thematic tie," Whedon told CBR. "We try to make it feel like that the whole thing is moving in this swelling direction. We're not in space for no reason. We wouldn't have gone there if they hadn't. The overt ties were a necessity of starting out, but those have faded over time, basically because we have our own mythology. That started to be much more interesting to us, and hopefully to the audience, just digging that stuff up. No one wants to come to see our show to see another show. Now they want to see our show, which, yay."
"We're glad that we're here with that," Tancharoen added.
Not only is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. now firmly its own thing, it's also continued to evolve each season -- something that will be especially apparent in season 5, with the dramatic change of venue.
"Every year we reset the series, and this year we definitely knew that it would be the most giant reset to date," Tancharoen said. "Just creatively across the board for everyone, art direction, all of it, our sets, you'll see an overhaul."
Viewers will get a chance to see that overhaul in the two-hour season 5 premiere, airing at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1 on ABC. Keep reading CBR for more on the new season of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..