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'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D' debuts pilot at Comic-Con

By Emily Zemler, Special to CNN
updated 11:46 AM EDT, Sun July 21, 2013
"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D" is new TV series based on Marvel films
  • DIrector Joss Whedon debuted the pilot episode at Comic-Con
  • Whedon teased that other Marvel characters may cameo on show

(CNN) -- Marvel's upcoming "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." is one of fall TV's most anticipated new shows. The cast and producers were on hand at Comic-Con to preview the series, which was created by "The Avengers" director Joss Whedon and will premiere on ABC on September 24.

Those who attended the panel were treated to far more than just a teaser; the entire premiere episode was screened for the hall of fans, who gave the episode a standing ovation during the credits.

The series follows Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg), a S.H.I.E.L.D. employee who seemingly died at the hands of villain Loki in the "Avengers" movie. However, it's revealed his death was faked, and he now heads the team that appears in this TV series.

"I didn't like being dead," Gregg said. "But I really loved my death. I never thought anything could top that. I'm a longtime Marvel fan, so I just can't believe this is happening to me. I got a call from Marvel saying, 'You really do have a big part in "The Avengers." It's what happens to you that brings them together.' It was so amazing what Joss did and wrote. It was the greatest thing I'd done, and I was really pleased and proud."

"S.H.I.E.L.D." (Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division) extends the world created in the recent Marvel films, including "The Avengers," "Iron Man," "Thor" and "Captain America." While Whedon wouldn't confirm whether those characters show up on the program, he didn't rule out the possibility either.

"We may see some people [from the films] and we may see some people from the Marvel universe who are not cinematic," Whedon said. "But the most important thing is that we get to see these people who are here every week. So probably (some of those characters will appear), but I can't say when because that would spoil it."

The show will introduce several new actors, and the producers see "S.H.I.E..L.D." as a true team effort. Agent Maria Hill (Colbie Smulders) is in the pilot episode, newcomer Brett Dalton plays Agent Grant Ward while Chloe Bennet plays a mysterious character named Skye whose true intentions come to light in the pilot.

"I have that feeling that I have not had for a long time where I have assembled this extraordinary ensemble of talented and soon-to-be very full of themselves people," Whedon said. "The endless possibilities we have between them and among them and in their pasts and in their futures and their interactions. There's stuff we've taken from the Marvel universe, stuff we're bringing to the Marvel universe. This is a show that has so much history and so much to make that I guess I'm just a little excited."

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