NYCC 2013: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Panel

Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel hosted its Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. panel Saturday at the New York Comic Con, featuring Jeph Loeb and actors Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge.

The panel began with an airing of next week's episode, featuring a former protege of Agent Coulson's who has been implanted with a camera in her eye, feeding her messages and threatening her life with a kill-switch.

Following the episode, Loeb said that the show would be filming in several different countries, including Paris and Sweden, "to give the show an international feel."

Loeb then opened up the floor for questions. A fan asked how the two actors felt working on a Joss Whedon show, since the showrunner is well-known for killing off characters. Henstridge said "you never know when it's going to end, so you have to come back and do your best work every day… if you get killed, watch the reruns."

Will there be any heroes or villains appear in the show? "Wouldn't that be cool?" Loeb said. "We live very much in the world that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is still a young place - so many of the characters you might be thinking of either haven't arrived yet, or they have arrived and we haven't seen them yet." 

Loeb said that after the first season, the show will have told more stories within the Marvel Cinematic Universe than the rest of the movie series.

Another audience member asked what are Agents of SHIELD's limitations in terms of dealing with the other studios? Loeb said they typically don't get into the specifics, because they might be able to do something unexpected - "We have about a nine-lane highway, and we try not to hit the guardrails," Loeb said.

"As much as we would like to, we can't have 30 Iron Men show up at the last act to save the day," Loeb said, saying that time and budget were one limitation, which makes the show focus on the agents. "We're trying to tell stories about people."

Answering a question about Simmon's eagerness in the field compared to Fitz's, De Caestecker said "inevitably they are two separate people, so there are points where they have to be apart from each other, which really tests them."

One audience member said "Agent Coulson is such a pimp." He asked if there was a connection between Coulson and Agent May - are we going to see that cellist that was mentioned in Avengers? Loeb said "let's just say there's nothing that Joss Whedon has created that we're not going to mine down to the bottom of the mine."

Loeb said that until 48 hours ago, they weren't certain they would get beyond 13 episodes. "We didn't come here in order to hype the show - we think the show is doing a great job on its own. We're here to thank you." He said that the show was announced at the New York Comic Con, so it was only fitting that he could announce the show's continuation at the same convention.

Will we see any guest appearances from any of the other Avengers? Loeb said, "Wouldn't that be great?" [Titus] from the Marvel short film Item 47 will make an appearance, but Loeb said this was not an Easter Egg farm. Cobie Smulders returned as Maria Hill to reintroduce Coulson and to give the pilot gravitas, Loeb said. "We don't do them as stunts," he said.

Another fan asked if we would see some of the metahumans from the earlier episodes come back towards the end of the season. "Wouldn't that be great?" Loeb said. "There is a plan - you don't have to wait five or six years to find out if it's an island, or if it's a turtle."

An audience member said that there seemed to be more than meets the eye for Coulson - will we eventually learn what that is? Loeb said yes.

Will Fitz ever get his spy monkey that he pitched in the third episode? De Caestecker said that if he had his way, he would have this monkey already. Would it be a cowardly monkey, he was asked? "No, it would be a brave monkey," he said. "Jeph, listen to the voices of the people."

Would any of these TV characters drift into the movies? Loeb said that the longer the show is on the air, the more likely it was.

Who are your favorite superheroes? Henstridge immediately said Loki. "He needs a sit-down with a cup of tea and a hug," she said. De Caestecker said, "on the one hand is Hulk, because the idea of being able to grow extremely muscly in a few seconds is extremely appealing to me. But if I was a superhero, it would be the ability to look like Brett Dalton. That's Agent Ward."

Could we see Fitzsimmons running around in the Marvel Universe? Loeb said that that fell in the realm of print publishing, but that it wasn't impossible, if fan outcry was loud enough.

The final question of the panel was what the actors' favorite parts of the show were. Henstridge said her favorite part of the show was the cast and crew getting to know each other. "We're all slightly obsessed with each other right now," she said. De Caestecker said that "messing with the technology" was his favorite part.

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