Hardcore fans remember Whedon for orchestrating seven seasons of the hit show Buffy the Vampire Slayer and another five seasons of the spinoff Angel, both produced by TV arm of 21st Century Fox . Fox also co-produced Firefly and Dollhouse, fan favorites that the network ultimately canceled.
Whedon and Fox had been practically joined at the hip until last summer, when The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) signed Whedon to a multi-property development deal in the wake of Marvel’s The Avengers earning more than $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office. The first of his new creations arrives in September, with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., a Tuesday night TV drama that begins airing in September.
The show is set in (and thereby, extends) the Marvel Cinematic Universe established in the five films leading up to The Avengers. Only in this show, it’s not Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America that propose to boost The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) stock. This time, a team of perfectly human field operatives leads the way.
I’m already convinced that The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) has a ratings winner on its hands. How can I be so sure? I’ve seen the first episode. Whedon treated the thousands of us who showed up for a panel discussion at San Diego Comic-Con to an advance screening of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
For now, all I can say is that the show offers treats for fans of Marvel’s comics and movies while offering enough mainstream action to appeal to the same demographic that watched Buffy in its heyday, or which tunes in to USA Network’s action thriller Covert Affairs.
Importantly, Marvel appears to have given Whedon and the writers of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. the space to create something much bigger than a weekly TV show. When asked by a fan which comic book characters would appear in the show, Whedon coyly replied that he and his team may introduce “new people that are part of the Marvel Universe that is not yet cinematic.”
in other words, fans and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) stock investors alike can expect Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to be a doorway to heretofore unseen allies and enemies, with actor Clark Gregg leading the way as team leader Agent Phil Coulson. He embraced Whedon at the panel when asked what it was like “put the suit back on” after dying on screen in The Avengers.