12:38pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Joss Whedon's 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' Pilot Enlists 'Nashville' Actress (Exclusive)
ABC has gone to Nashville to round out the cast of Joss Whedon's S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot.
The project from ABC Studios is based on Marvel Comics' secret intelligence organization that has appeared in countless titles including Iron Man, Captain America and The Ultimates since being introduced in the 1960s. The military law-enforcement agency's moniker stands for Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistic Directorate, which also has evolved over time in the comics.
Bennet becomes the sixth and final regular in the drama and will play Skye, a confident woman who is slightly obsessed with superhero culture and the shadow organizations that exist within it. She's edgy and can out-talk anyone with her unflappable nature.
The actress, who recurs as record company assistant Hailey on ABC's country music soap Nashville, joins a cast that includes ER's Ming-Na as Agent Melinda May, The Avengers' Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, Killing Lincoln's Brett Dalton as gruff rising star Agent Grant Ward, Elizabeth Henstridge as science whiz Agent Gemma Simmons and Ian De Caestecker as tech guru Agent Leo Fitz.
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. Avengers and Buffy the Vampire Slayer mastermind Whedon will direct the pilot. The pilot -- and series, should it move forward -- is executive produced by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Tancharoen, Jeffrey Bell and Marvel TV's Jeph Loeb.
Bennet is repped by CAA, Fewlas Entertainment and McKuin Frankel.