Even in the well-oiled machine of the Marvel universe, it would seem that sometimes there are crossed signals. And so it was for the “Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.” which found the movie team and television team operating on different sides. “They had said early on, ‘Hey, we’re thinking about doing this show about the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,’” Kevin Feige told Buzzfeed. “And Joss [Whedon] said, ‘I think I might do this.’ I said, ‘That’s cool. God bless you. But you should know that we’re destroying S.H.I.E.L.D. in ‘Winter Soldier.’ You guys do whatever you want. But know that that’s what we’re going to do.’” And of course, that wasn’t the only complication — Agent Coulson had “died” in “The Avengers.” So the solution? Sort of pretend it didn’t happen.
Whedon has already explained why Coulson can’t return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but just the mechanics of trying to figure out who can appear or not on TV and in the movies and what it means for the storylines seems to be tricky. “There was a period where it got … complicated,” he admits. “A lot of people who aren’t connected with the show were like, Oh, yeah, you have to have this guest star, and you have to work around this. Sometimes, it makes your head spin. I mean, it’s hard enough when they’re like, And by the way, in ‘Iron Man 4,’ he’s going to be played by Linda Hunt as a human spider. And you’re like, Oh, OK! I guess I’ll have to work that in.”
Chatting with IGN, Whedon elaborates on the distinction between ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.,’ his Avengers movies, and again, why Coulson has to stay a small-screen player. “When I created the television show, it was sort of on the understanding that this can work and we can do it with integrity, but these Avengers movies are for people to see the Avengers movies and nothing else. And it would neither make sense nor be useful to say ‘Oh and by the way remember me? I died!’” he said.
“I think actually the movie people were a little bit cross about the TV show” Whedon added. “They were sort of like ‘Well you can have this but not this. And this but not that.’ It’s complicated enough as it is without me adding another layer of complication. We also created a TV show called S.H.I.E.L.D. right before they made a movie where they destroyed S.H.I.E.L.D. So everybody’s having a GREAT time!”
Thoughts? Do you think Marvel is losing the grip on their universe, or does it make sense to compartmentalize at least a little bit to prevent the saga from stretching itself out too far? Let us know below.