Last night at a party following ABC's day of the Television Critics Association press tour, we caught up with Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. executive producers Jeffrey Bell, Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen to try to get some intel on the super-secret second season of the Marvel show, which starts Tuesday, September 23 on ABC.
Of course, with S.H.I.E.L.D. being S.H.I.E.L.D. and Marvel being Marvel, it's hard to get a lot of straight information... but as you can see, we tried! Be warned, spoilers for the later episodes of Season 1 are discussed.
Will there be consequences for Grant Ward for all that he had done last year?
"I would assume so," Maurissa Tancharoen said. "Let's put it this way: They're not gonna just drop him on a farm and let him run wild." Jed Whedon added. "When last we left him, he was in our custody. What does that mean? You'll have to see," Maurissa teased.
What are you specifically excited about for Season 2?
"I think the fact that when we left them, S.H.I.E.L.D. had completely crumbled… so just the idea of Coulson and our team, sort of left with nothing, or limited resources… I think we'll be rooting for them to rebuild S.H.I.E.L.D.," Tancharoen said.
"It's a lot harder to protect the world when you don't have any resources. Last year we saw how giant and all-consuming S.H.I.E.L.D.'s reach was, and they don't have that anymore, so it's much more of a struggle. They're much more the underdog this year, which we're really excited about that, and the tone that it sets, and what it does to our characters." Whedon added.
This "ragtag team" has Maria Hill as a contact and she's working for Tony Stark. Couldn't she talk to him to hook them up with some money?
"We hope so! That'd be so cool!" Whedon responded. "Maybe so," Tancharoen said. "That's a good question."
"Tony Stark doesn't know Coulson's alive, so it might be really awkward. It'd be weird," Jeffrey Bell chimed in. "They could set up a Coulson Memorial Fund and channel that into S.H.I.E.L.D.," he joked.
So with Phil Coulson now being the head of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Avengers still don't know he's alive?
"That's a complicated question. One might assume, but you can't assume anything, and they have their own movie that exists…" Whedon said, with his brother, of course, directing Avengers 2: Age of Ultron to come out next year.
"At least on screen so far, that hasn't happened," Bell said.
Will we be seeing Fitz (Iain de Caestecker) sooner rather than later?
"That's a good question. When last we left him, we didn't know exactly what happened to him. We just know he's alive," Tancharoen teased.
How excited are you for Comic-Con next week?
"We know we're excited," Tancharoen said. "We left the season with a few unanswered questions, and I think we're kicking off Season 2 full throttle, same pace that we had at the end of the season, and answering those questions."
Will the 9PM move affect the show's content in any way?
"We keep asking the questions, 'can we say this? can we shoot this?'" Tancharoen said.
"The Marvel brand is that it's a PG-13 brand," Jeffrey Bell added. "I think one of the things Marvel loves is that families go to the movies; families watch the show, and so we want to continue that. We aren't looking to go cable by moving to 9:00. But we hopefully have more resources in our storytelling arsenal by being on at 9."
Will we be seeing any returning favorites coming back for Season 2?
"I think some favorites that emerged were Reyna and Tripp, so you will see those characters," Maurissa promised.
Season 2 of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premieres Tuesday, September 23 on ABC. For more on the show, visit KSiteTV's S.H.I.E.L.D. hub!