In case you were wondering where Joss Whedon's S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot falls in the chronology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, rest assured that it isn't a prequel to The Avengers.
“There is no question that it is part of the Marvel Universe" ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee told IGN during the Television Critics Association's winter tour. "In fact, the story takes place after the battle for New York."
That likely means we should expect the pilot, which begins filming Jan. 22, to address how Clark Gregg's fan-favorite Agent Phil Coulson survived his rather pointed encounter with Loki in Marvel's $1.5 billion blockbuster. Doesn't it? That's not clear, of course. However, Lee notes that while S.H.I.E.L.D. will have obvious connections to The Avengers, it also will stand on its own.
“This is S.H.I.E.L.D. They’re following their own particular stories," he said. "There are characters in it, Coulson, who clearly come from Avengers. So it’s part of the world, but we’re going to be very, very careful that we don’t tread on the toes of the features and build a whole new world. And that’s what Joss Whedon does better than anybody else. He’s built a world for us.”
Although Whedon himself isn't offering any more details, he does promise S.H.I.E.L.D. will possess the "spectacle," and super-powers, fans have come to expect from Marvel productions.
"You have to bring a bit of spectacle to it; it's got to be bigger than your average cop show," he told MTV. "But at the end of the day, it's about the peripheral people. It's about the people on the edges of the grand adventures. The whole point of the show is that even with all these big things, the little things matter," he explained further. "It's about people who don't have super powers. There will be some people with powers, there will be FX, and there will be the spectacle of science-fiction storytelling — but all played on a very human, small level. That's the appeal of the thing."