Although the sequel to Marvel's $1.5 billion blockbuster The Avengers won't arrive until 2015, Entertainment Weekly reveals that writer/director Joss Whedon has already submitted an outline to the studio -- even as he prepares to start production on ABC's S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot.
Targeted for ABC’s fall 2013 lineup, S.H.I.E.L.D. centers on the global espionage and law-enforcement agency that’s helped to provide the connective tissue between the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whedon will direct the pilot, which he co-wrote with his brother Jed Whedon and Jed’s wife Maurissa Tancharoen. The project, which begins filming next month, so far stars Clark Gregg as fan-favorite Agent Coulson, Ming-Na as Agent Melina May, Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Gemma Simmons, Iain De Caestecker as Agent Leo Fitz and Brett Dalton as Agent Grant Ward.
If the network orders S.H.I.E.L.D. to series, Jed Whedon and Tancharoen will serve as showrunners as well as executive producers, alongside Joss Whedon, Jeffrey Bell (Angel, Alias) and Marvel Television's Jeph Loeb.
The Avengers sequel likely won't go in front of the cameras until early 2014, in time for its May 1, 2015, release. Both projects are part of Whedon's new exclusive deal with Marvel that ends in June 2015.