In the immortal words of The A-Team’s Hannibal, I love it when a plan comes together and that’s just what we can expect over the next few years from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Showrunners Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon spoke with Collider and divulged a few juicy details on just how much of the series they have mapped out.
[COLLIDER] When ABC greenlit this show, did they give you guidelines? Did they want to know the bigger plan before they said yes?
WHEDON: A little bit.
TANCHAROEN: Yeah, we had a whole pitch for them that mapped out all of the characters and the entire season, and subsequent seasons. They had a nice idea of what it was going to be before they said yes.
Do you have a five-year plan, or is it a bit more fluid than that?
WHEDON: It’s more fluid than that. We have a two-year plan, at this point.
TANCHAROEN: We have a fairly solid two-year plan.
WHEDON: What happens, especially in TV, is that you set out these tentpoles, and then, as you go, things pop up and things change, and more interesting ideas are pitched by other people.
With a show shrouded in so much secrecy, bringing new actors every episode has made the audition stage challenging for the duo.
JED WHEDON: They’re reading strange scenes.
MAURISSA TANCHAROEN: Yeah, we have to tailor the audition scenes quite a bit, as to not leak anything out.
WHEDON: It makes the scenes read weird because it will be like, “It’s good to see you, man. I was surprised to hear you got the fancy gadget out of the place.”
TANCHAROEN: Whenever any actor comes into a producer session, they have so many questions, and we still can’t really tell them that much until they get the job. I feel badly for them. But, it’s a fun show to work on. Once they’re on, it’s fun.
When asked about how much of the Marvel Universe they’re able to dip into, Tancharoen and Whedon consider their task a balancing act between using what’s already been established and enjoying the freedom of creating entirely new entities.
TANCHAROEN: We’re trying to do an even balance of both. We asked them what we can use. There’s a list of characters that we are allowed to use. Sometimes when we come across others in the comics, we pose that question. If the answer is yes, then we pursue it.
WHEDON: We also work from a place of coming up with a story, and then asking if there’s someone already in the universe. It’s such a vast universe that sometimes we come up with an idea, and then we’ll be flipping through the pages to see if there’s someone who has that ability or fits that profile. So, it goes both ways. Creating new characters is something we have a little bit more freedom with.
TANCHAROEN: We always start from the place of theme and emotion. If there’s something that can exemplify that or if there’s a character that already exists that can play into that theme, then we go for it.
For the rest of the in-depth interview with Tancharoen and Whedon, head over to Collider
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