How Will 'Agents of SHIELD' Set Up Spinoff 'Marvel's Most Wanted'?

Agents of SHIELD Adrianne Palicki Nick Blood  - H 2016
Courtesy of ABC

ABC's Agents of SHIELD may be about to set up another Marvel spinoff.

After spawning low-rated but critical darling period drama Agent Carter, ABC's first Marvel series is laying the groundwork for pilot Marvel's Most Wanted. Centering on the newest additions to SHIELD, Bobbi Morse, aka Mockingbird (Adrianne Palicki), and Lance Hunter (Nick Blood), the potential series would follow the two former spies and ex-spouses who are on the run with no friends, no SHIELD and a long list of enemies looking to claim a bounty on their heads.

Without any allies except each other, Bobbi and Lance will be forced to form an uneasy alliance with Dominic Fortune (Delroy Lindo), a rogue adventurer with a wealth of resources and even more adversaries, who agrees to protect them so long as they help him with his own agenda. These two heroes will help anyone in need, all while trying to uncover the conspiracy that put their own lives in jeopardy.

"Nothing is set in stone yet but we are excited about the possibilities," Palicki told The Hollywood Reporter. "For now, Bobbi and Lance are still on SHIELD, so we'll see them involved with the team. But I'm excited to see what the writers come up with. It's very flattering to know there might be a show about us."

While Agent Carter — the short-order drama that runs during SHIELD's winter hiatus — has yet to be renewed and star Hayley Atwell has signed on to another pilot (in first position), the likelihood for Most Wanted may be growing.

While a decision on Most Wanted won't be made until May — after production on the SHIELD finale will have already wrapped — writers are already setting up the possibility that Bobbi and Lance won't continue working with the core team on the Marvel flagship. Tuesday's episode, "The Inside Man," ended with the two agents stowing away on Hydra villain Gideon Malick's (Powers Boothe) plane to follow him to wherever he's heading, which will be revealed as Russia. 

"The plane crashes ... " executive producer Maurissa Tancharoen said with a laugh, while executive producer Jed Whedon added, "Taking out Malick. Taking out them."

When pushed to elaborate seriously on how Bobbi and Lance's side mission will go in next week's episode — when they become ensnared in an assassination plot — Whedon kept his cards close to the vest. "An adventure. A rip-roaring adventure," he said.

While Bobbi and Lance won't have backup with them in Russia, Blood revealed that this solo mission is actually right up Hunter's alley.

"Hunter prefers it when he's not working under the jurisdiction of SHIELD, and this is an opportunity where they're on their own, they can make up their own rules, just turn the phones on airplane mode and ignore the calls from back home," Blood told THR along with a small group of reporters on set. "When they're off on their own together ... without the distractions of SHIELD or other people, you can see how they complement each other. You see how he's willing to ignore the rules and regulations to get the right thing done. Sometimes, Bobbi needs that kick up the backside to send her in that direction. By the same token, Hunter needs Bobbi's rationale sometimes to make sure he doesn't get in trouble again."

So will this separate mission in Russia be the beginning of the end for Bobbi and Lance on SHIELD?

"They are currently on our show," Whedon reiterated. "We plan to have them on another show. We will have to address it in story. Where that happens will have to be for you to find out."

Executive producer Jeffrey Bell noted that until Marvel's Most Wanted lands its official series pickup, the SHIELD writers are dedicated to crafting stories for Bobbi and Lance with the rest of the team.

"While they're on SHIELD we want to take advantage of who they are and give the audiences as much of their relationship with one another and with other people as possible to make that really satisfying," said Bell.
"We are aware that there is a potential imminent end and so they won't be neglected."

For his part, Blood thinks the potential spinoff is a step in the right direction for his character, since he's never been 100 percent dedicated to working for SHIELD but only stuck around to be with Bobbi.

"Coulson's very much seen him as an asset and someone he should try and persuade to be part of the team because he brings things to it," said Blood. "And also, I think he appreciates that an outside perspective is always good. It's not a dictatorship. I think at the end of the day, Hunter is very independent-minded, so he's not going to be forced out of anything or forced into anything either. He's going to make his own choice. For a while he's played the game and then various things have come up which make him question it. It's not necessarily like he's saying that people are doing something wrong, it's just not his way."

Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.