Joss Whedon: Five Possible Marvel Universe TV Shows

On the news, released yesterday, that Joss Whedon will write and direct Avengers 2 and that he'll also be advising on Marvel's Phase Two films and helping to develop a Marvel Universe-based television series for ABC, there's been a lot of speculation as to what it might be that he's doing on the small screen.

Well, we've got some ideas of our own.

S.H.I.E.L.D.

We've already discussed our ideas for a S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show elsewhere, but we'll recap here.

  • Rumors that the Avengers-centric TV series would be a cop show seem to lead us in the direction of a S.H.I.E.L.D. series.
  • Clark Gregg, a fan-favorite, could easily be incorporated into a S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series, particualrly if the first season was used as a kind of flashback device that threads through all of the Marvel movies, connecting the dots leading up to The Avengers. By the time that first season was done, then, Gregg could either die or go on in some other capacity while it's likely that Cobie Smulders--who plays Maria Hill in the films--will be a little freer to pursue her post-How I Met Your Mother career (it's widely rumored that show will only get another season or two before it ends).
  • S.H.I.E.L.D. has Hydra and other such organizations, which could set up a nice "villain of the week" dynamic by essentially employing bad guys to go after our heroes. It would also provide a continuing thread that runs through all of those villains and a kind of uber-arc not unlike the ones that Chuck--a good spy show with a strong following among the Marvel faithful--had.
The Incredible Hulk

This one seems like it could be the obvious choice, in the sense that everyone already knows that it's in development at ABC and recent interviews with Guillermo del Toro seem to indicate that it's taken on an increased sense of urgency following the character's breakout success in Whedon's The Avengers.

Certainly an advisory role on the show, which would help keep the tone and scope of his popular take on The Hulk consistent with his big-screen counterpart--but del Toro isn't exactly a rookie, either, and the idea of him taking a lot of instruction from another director seems somewhat farfetched. It would be a delicate balance.

AKA Jessica Jones

In the vein of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, AKA Jessica Jones is a show that Marvel had been developing for ages, and which many fans had fantasized about Whedon becoming involved with. When it was taken off ABC's development slate earlier this year, the network indicated that it wasn't necessarily completely dead--and while it sure seemed at the time like it probably was, adding Whedon to the mix could make the property much more viable.

Black Panther

At one point not too long ago, we were told that the next solo superhero property Marvel Studios were developing would be Black Panther. Then at Comic-Con, we saw footage from Ant-Man, which is now reported to be filming shortly after Thor: The Dark World wraps. So it looks as though the Black Panther rumor was false--

--or was it? Maybe Latino Review just got their sources crossed and what they actually were learning was that a Black Panther TV series was in the offing, which would tie into the Marvel film universe. In all likelihood, given the shorter lead time and post-production time on television series and the fact that Black Panther wouldn't be the special effects extravaganza that most of the other Marvel films have been, ther ewouldn' tbe anything stopping them putting a show into development soon and getting it on the air by next fall--thus beating Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man to the audience!

Certainly, a gritty, street-level superhero show could walk the line of that "police procedural" rumor we've heard--and it could be a nice companion/competition to The CW's Arrow, which is widely expected to be picked up for a second season after some pretty ecstatic test screenings of the pilot.

Heroes For Hire

This one's a little bit out of left field, sure, but it would mesh with Marvel's business plan, in terms of getting as many of their intellectual properties in front of as many people as possible. An ethnically-diverse and gender-diverse group of street-level heroes could not only raise the profile of the characters involved but also potentially play a role in future non-powered movies, like a potential Hawkeye or Black Widow spinoff. Plus, there was something about Daredevil maybe reverting to Marvel? That could be a thing.