[TV] Cast and Crew of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Discuss Fan Criticism, What's To Come, More
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 02.03.2014
What do they have to say about the lack of superheroes?
IGN recently spoke with the cast and crew of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Check out the highlights:
Ming-Na Wen on criticism of the series: "The thing that does frustrate me is that, because we're a TV show versus a movie, where you have to get from beginning to end in two hours, we have 22 episodes and hopefully years to come of telling arcs and stories and developing characters. All we want is our fans to just be patient and not come down hard like, ‘Why isn't this happening yet!?' It's just like, ‘Go with us.' It's a slower ride. It's a very different platform than a movie. I love our fans so much, and I think every episode is such a great ride, but they already want the end of it, you know? It's like, ‘No, no! Wait around.'"
Brett Dalton on the show's plans: "I think all of the stuff that they want, we have in store. Just wait, just wait. It's coming. I promise it's coming. The writers know what they're doing. At this point, now that the characters have been established and the team is together and you know what the bus looks like and that Lola flies, I feel like we can shake things up a little bit, because we do have a structure there. I can't wait for everybody to see what we have in store. It's great."
Executive producer Jeffrey Bell on whether it's a double-edged sword to have the Marvel audience built-in: "Of course it was a double-edged sword. Marvel made these amazing movies. They're coming off these billion-dollar movies, and the director of one of the billion-dollar movies [Joss Whedon] is co-writing it and directing it. So we're turning that into a TV show, and we're doing it with characters people don't know. So there were expectations I think of... Like in the pilot, everybody was like, ‘Oh, Luke Cage! He's Luke Cage.' Then when he wasn't and they were like, ‘Oh... This sucks.' Versus, play it out and see where we're going."
Jeph Loeb on what's coming up: "I think that same audience now goes, ‘Oh, wow! Deathlok!' So that's the joy of it that you get along the way. So it's something that you work with as you can. Look, we think ABC came up with an amazing ad campaign, which was ‘Not All Heroes are Super.' We went out and we did interviews, and there were billboards, and there was everything, and we told people every time we could, ‘Not all heroes are super.' But there are still people online going, ‘We don't understand why Iron Man isn't on the show!' Well, you know what? He's not. I love Robert... He's not coming by any time soon! So that's the kind of thing. But, as you guys found out today, if we are going to have Lady Sif, if we're going to have Lorelei, if we're going to have Deathlok, if we're going to have Stan Lee, that's the stuff that we hope that that same fanbase is going, ‘Yeah! That's what I was talking about. I wasn't really thinking that the Hulk was going to be on the show, but if you give me Lorelei, I'll come back next week.'"
Executive producer/co-showrunner Jed Whedon on not rushing into super characters: "Early on we had to be very respectful of this world that we're playing in that they've spent so much time and money creating. In terms of creating people with powers and using tech, we wanted to slowly roll that out, so it didn't feel like undercutting the films and saying, ‘Oh, this stuff's happening everywhere. Sure, they make these movies about stuff, but it's everywhere!' We wanted to give them that weight."
Whedon on how much audience feedback factors in: "Our goal obviously is to entertain, so the thing that we have taken away from the fans a lot that we're happy about is that they're responding a lot to character and character development, which is what we start with. So the fact that leaning into that is something they're responding to is very gratifying for us. I think it will make the back half of the season much more fun for us to write and for people to watch. It makes the storytelling more fun on our end, and more gratifying."
Executive producer/co-showrunner Maurissa Tancharoen on the rollout plan: "As we've said, there's been a plan that we've had from the beginning. We've known how things are going to roll out, and that's been a plan that's been constructed with respect to the films. So as far as any sort of change or influence that's been made due to opinions and things like that, we hear them. They may influence some things that we do, but again, I do feel like we are pretty much staying the original course."
Tancharoen on the audience wanting things to move quicker: "I think it's a consequence of binge-watching. You can get an entire series and just watch it in three days if you want. Also, with the cable shows, there are 13 episodes. So you're able to accelerate the story a lot faster. We have 22. There's a luxury to that, and there's also a curse, especially now with people needing that instant gratification. ‘Frustrated' is a word for how we feel about the criticism we've been getting, but we also understand it because it's just part of our generation."
Clark Gregg on the series reaction:, "It's a strange time. Netflix has TV shows, Amazon has TV shows. What's next? I only know about SnapChat because of my daughter. I must say, I'm not even really sure what it is, other than she won't show it to me. We're in a world where people like me burn through Orange is the New Black, in my case Bob's Burgers, Homeland -- and there's more story in Homeland in 12 episodes than there used to be in two seasons of a network drama. On the other hand, that's the kinda show I like. We have a show with a bunch of new characters in a world where every other character people have known for 15 years. You know, I don't always love writing when I'm working as a screenwriter or acting when I'm working as an actor -- the setup parts -- but unless you take the time and do it right, you aren't as invested in what comes after, so nobody's been more excited than me to see the gear shift and see the stories start to come at a faster pace. I feel like the last 10 episodes are gonna have as much story as any 20 episodes would -- twice as much as we had before."
Loeb on the season finale: "A lot of what we set out will be revealed, and a lot of new surprises will be there. That's really what you set out to do when you tell a story...I think the one thing that you can look for, as we're heading into our back nine [episodes] is the incredible momentum and urgency of what's going to happen on the show. You will be feeling like you're on this plane and we are going a million miles an hour."
Bell on the end of the season: "We set this up at the beginning of the season. If we did our job well, at the end of the season you'll see conclusions to the bulk of that. But you're also bringing something new, hopefully giving you a ‘Holy s**t!' moment."
Whedon on whether characters like Graviton and Blizzard will pay off this season or later: "Some of them are long throws. When we encounter things each week, we don't want to feel like, ‘Oh, here's a guy who can do this! Let's learn about that real quick,' because that feels sort of unearned and very standalone. So now that we've planted some of those seeds, we can encounter those people down the line, and it will feel more earned and organic. Some of them will pay off [soon], some of them are long throws."
Whedon on potentially introducing some of the fictional areas of the world in the Marvel Universe (aka Savage Land, Wakanda, etc.): "We've talked about it. If and when we do that, it'll be a little down the road, because we're trying to exist in our world. One of the important aspects of the Marvel brand is that it's our world. It's our world with one buy that there's all this crazy stuff going on."
Tancheroen on new locations: "We're also bringing in a new audience. Those who might be new to the Marvel universe. So in the way that we're rolling out characters with powers slowly, we're going to do that with the places we go to as well, he universes we encounter, I think to ease people into the Marvel universe in general."