6:38pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
ABC Orders Marvel's 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' to Pilot From Joss Whedon
Three weeks after Disney CEO Robert Iger announced Joss Whedon would create a Marvel-related TV series for ABC, the network has made good on his vow.
ABC has given pilot orders to S.H.I.E.L.D, with the Avengers scribe on board to co-write the project based on the Marvel comic, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
From ABC Studios, the project is based on the long-running comic created by Jack Kirby and revolves around the secret military law enforcement agency dubbed S.H.I.E.L.D., which stands for Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistic Directorate.
Whedon is on board to co-pen the pilot alongside his brother Jed Whedon and Jed's wife Maurissa Tancharoen; the trio previously teamed on the three-part web series Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. (The CW will air that Neil Patrick Harris-Nathan Fillion-Felicia Day starrer in October.) Avengers and Buffy the Vampire Slayer mastermind Whedon will direct the pilot, should his schedule permit.
Production on the live-action project will begin immediately, with the Whedon brothers and Tancharoen executive producing alongside Jeffrey Bell and Marvel TV's Jeph Loeb.
S.H.I.E.L.D. marks Whedon's return to the small screen. He most recently served as showrunner on Dollhouse, in addition to cult favorites Buffy and Firefly. Tancharoen and Jed Whedon were writer-producers on Dollhouse as well as Starz's Spartacus.
In the comics, S.H.I.E.L.D. revolves around unit director Nick Fury, who recruits Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk and Thor to form a team to stop Thor's adopted brother Loki. The organization made its debut in Strange Tales #135, which was published in August 1965.
For his part, Whedon signed a three-year exclusive deal with Marvel Studios for film and television this month, under which he'd help develop a new live-action series for Marvel Television at ABC. ABC is still developing another Marvel property based on The Hulk.
Whedon is repped by CAA.