Now that ABC has officially ordered a pilot for Joss Whedon's "S.H.I.E.L.D." from Marvel Comics, fans might wonder why the project is moving so quickly. Shows can typically take years to develop, but official production appears to be starting immediately after conception. There are benefits to starting the program as soon as possible, and there are reasons why production can move so quickly.
Research already doneWhedon has already done his homework on Nick Fury's S.H.I.E.L.D. team since he needed to know how to use the team for "The Avengers." He is able to sit down with Marvel to decide which characters would work best for his vision of the show. Since the characters have been fleshed out over a few decades in the comics, he only needs to work on a small number of alterations to make those characters fit.
Alongside the moviesRight now, interest in the "S.H.I.E.L.D." is very high since "The Avengers" proved to be one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. In the entertainment industry, it is important to strike while the iron is hot, and the iron could not possibly be hotter than it is right now. Waiting could cause the interest to subside. Also, a show based on Nick Fury's team could keep the interest hot during the downtime between Marvel's new movies.
Keep Whedon workingIn Whedon, Marvel has one of the most creative minds in the industry. He has gained cult status due to his work on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Firefly." By starting production early on "S.H.I.E.L.D.," Marvel keeps Whedon working for them and keeps him from getting distracted by other projects, which might pop up. He is already signed on for the next Avengers movie, and the comic book company wants a strong mind focused on their product so it would make sense to keep the creative genius occupied with comic book characters.
Winning the war earlySyFy is working on "Booster Gold," and Fox has discussed various projects, such as "The Punisher" and "The Spectre." Showtime and FX have also been holding talks with various comic book companies while AMC has been tapping Robert Kirkman, the creator of "The Walking Dead," for more shows. The CW has "Arrow" coming out in the fall and is considering a project based on DC's Deadman line. Zenescope has been drawing attention with various projects they are working on for TV, as well. ABC wants to win the comic book-based show war before it gets into full swing, and it believes the agents of "S.H.I.E.L.D." could make a strong preemptive strike.
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