Audience Gets Hints and Crossover Rumors from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at Paleyfest

Posted by at 12:05 am on March 24, 2014

agents-of-shield-marvel-paleyfest-2014-twitterMarvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” took over the Dolby Theatre on March 23 for its first-ever Paley Festival appearance. The full cast and producers — including Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Elizabeth Henstridge, Iain De Caestecker, Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon, Jeph Loeb and Jeffrey Bell — screened a new episode of the ABC series and fielded questions about the end of Season 1 during the event.

The panel was filled with adorable moments like Gregg jumping down into the audience (twice!) to greet fans, and Wen sharing her dream of having the not-yet-confirmed Season 2 solely feature flashbacks of May’s secret affair with Thor. But fans’ main interest seemed to be on the role “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” has within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here are some highlights and teases from the panel and screening:

“End of the Beginning” is exactly that. Without spoiling the upcoming April 1 episode, the next installment of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” proves that the series is done setting itself up. Deathlok returns, Skye’s position within S.H.I.E.L.D. is addressed, May’s mole status is dealt with and the Clairvoyant … well, honestly we’re still not sure what was answered and what wasn’t from this episode. But it definitely was one of the best “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” episodes yet, and proof that the series has decided to stop playing games and commit to itself.

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is integral to this series. So much so that Loeb mentioned fans will want to watch the April 1 episode, catch “Cap 2” in theaters opening weekend and then return to “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” on April 8 no less than four times during his time on stage. How that film affects the series is yet unclear, but the cast and crew were putting much more stress on catching this movie opening weekend than they did “Thor: The Dark World.”

The future is mapped out, even if it’s not confirmed. There was no “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Season 2 news revealed at PaleyFest beyond the fact that there is “hope” for renewal. But at least fans can rest easy knowing that there is a plan in place. “We knew where we wanted to go with this season, and we know where we want a Season 2 to end and we know where we want a Season 3 to end, but that’s ambitious,” Bell says of working with Tancharoen and Jed and Joss Whedon.

FitzSimmons are based on “Ocean’s Eleven.” Fun fact: Fitz and Simmons were both supposed to be men, and were inspired by Casey Affleck and Scott Caan’s characters in “Ocean’s Eleven.” “We wanted a pair of friends who had grown up together and known each other for a long time, but there was a bro love there,” Tancharoen says. “Before we knew it, Ms. Henstridge came in and sort of stole it away.”

Agent May originally had a different name. “Originally Agent May was Agent Rice, and then we cast Ming-Na Wen,” Tancharoen admits. “Maybe not so much with the ‘Agent Rice’ after that.”

“Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” returns to ABC on Tuesday, April 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, and then it’s final seven episodes will air in a straight shot through the end of Season 1.

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