BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Joss Whedon says he's been enjoying trust as much as freedom from his partners on the much-awaited ABC sci-fi drama, "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," which premieres Tuesday night.
The prolific Whedon said that both ABC and Marvel have been involved in getting what they want as the series takes shape, but he added he has been allowed to fulfill his vision.
He said everyone is on the same page, while noting pointedly he hasn't always been blessed with that sort of creative relationship.
"S.H.I.E.L.D." picks up where the film "Marvel's The Avengers" left off, tracking a team of skilled agents who investigate super-human people around the world.
Whedon's credits include "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and the "Avengers" film.
Whedon gave The Associated Press some insight about the series in a quick interview at Comic-Con earlier this year.
AP: Can the new "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" television series thrive without the presence of already-known superheroes from the Marvel universe?
Whedon: The thing is SHIELD itself is kind of an espionage book. They're all basically spies. Just the idea of these people's lives was fascinating in all its aspects, so if it was a situation where we had to have a superhero of the week, I would never have done the show. That would get old super fast. It's part of the Marvel collective, but there's also a lot more: The idea of dealing with not just the new technology, the alien stuff, and just regular people who are caught up in the wake of this world; the idea that "The Avengers" changed the game for the Marvel cinematic universe, which SHIELD is now a part of. The whole world suddenly found out there were superheroes and aliens and all kinds of wonderful, terrible things, and that's going to have different repercussions for everybody. So there's a lot of different ways to approach every episode."
AP: Samuel L. Jackson told us he can't believe he's not involved in the new TV series as "SHIELD" Director Nick Fury. Do you see a role for him in the show?
Whedon: We would love to have Sam in the house. If we could work it out, we'd do it in a heartbeat. He's Sam. What are we, new? But we also have the movies and we have TV and we need to make sure there's some crossover, but not so much that people go, "Well, I don't need to see that movie. I saw it on TV." If we do that (Marvel Studios President) Kevin Feige is going to come after me with a pitchfork.
AP: You brought Agent Coulson back to life for the TV series after his apparent death in "The Avengers." Is it possible he'll return for the film's sequel as well?
Whedon: He could. Right now it's not something I'm pursuing because I have so much going on in "Avengers 2." Finding out that Coulson is alive would be an entire B story. And I already have too much movie. That's better than the other thing.
The new ABC show follows Coulson as he builds a team of fellow agents to deal with the growing problem created in a world quickly changing because of superheroes and their foes, alien visitors and Norse god appearances.
Fast-paced and full of comic moments that don't always require a deep knowledge of comic books, the first episode lays the groundwork for the series with several subplots that will play out over time.
The cast includes Ming-Na Wen (Agent Melinda May), Chloe Bennett (Skye), Iain De Caestecker (Agent Leo Fitz), Elizabeth Henstridge (Agent Jemma Simmons) and Brett Dalton (Agent Grant Ward).