New characters will make up much of the core of the planned S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series being developed by Joss Whedon in association with Marvel Studios and ABC, according to a new interview with Whedon. "It's new characters. It needs to be its own thing," said Whedon. "It needs to be adjacent [to the films]. You don't want to do a show where you're constantly going, 'Iron Man just left, but he was totally here a minute ago.' You want them to do their own thing." In an interview with MTV News (embedded below), Whedon discusses the challenges of making a series based on Marvel's most famous clandestine organization--but doing so without its three most popular and beloved characters. Along the way, he seems to quash the hopes of scores of fans who had wanted to see Agent Phil Coulson appear in the series. The Avengers director revealed that he's "very far" in the process of creating the series, "with a full framework and a full cast." That cast presumably doesn't currently include Cobie Smulders, the TV phenom who jumped from How I Met Your Mother to the big screen with The Avengers, but with only a year or two left on her CBS hit, many have speculated that if the S.H.I.E.L.D. show is a hit, and sticks around for a while, she may be able to join in time for Avengers 2. "Well, what does S.H.I.E.L.D. have that the other superheroes don't?" Whedon asks. "That they're not superheroes, but they live in that universe. Even though they're a big organization, that [lack of powers] makes them underdogs, and that's interesting to me."