Whedon's "S.H.I.E.L.D." Adds Deadly Agent

Joss Whedon's ABC "S.H.I.E.L.D." pilot has cast relative newcomer Brett Dalton as cool-under-fire Agent Grant Ward, TVLine reports. He joins Clark Gregg as fan-favorite Agent Coulson, Ming-Na as Agent Melina May, Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Gemma Simmons and Iain De Caestecker as Agent Leo Fitz.

Targeted for ABC's fall 2013 lineup, the pilot 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 co-write the pilot with his brother Jed Whedon and Jed's wife Maurissa Tancharoen, who will serve as showrunners as well as executive producers along with Jeffrey Bell ("Angel," "Alias") and Marvel Television's Jeph Loeb.

Cast descriptions that surfaced early last month characterize Agent Grant Ward as "quite the physical specimen" who remains "cool under fire" while sometimes making a mess of his personal relationships. "He's a quiet one with a bit of a temper, but he's the kind of guy that grows on you." The addition of Dalton leaves just one more character from that list to be cast: Skye, a "fun, smart, caring and confident" woman in her late 20s "with an ability to get the upper hand by using her wit and charm."

Dalton, whose credits include CBS's "Blue Bloods" and Lifetime's "Army Wives," will play Robert Todd Lincoln next year on National Geographic Channel's "Killing Lincoln" TV movie.

Filming of the "S.H.I.E.L.D." pilot is expected to begin in mid-January in Los Angeles.

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