Last year was a pretty good one for Marvel’s television properties. Daredevil and Agent Carter both premiered and ended up being pretty solid, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was able to come back from a really mediocre first year for a second season that managed to be interesting, fun and foundational for the larger cinematic universe. Amidst all of that success, ABC announced that a spin-off was in the works featuring S.H.I.E.L.D. newcomers Bobbi “Mockingbird” Morse and her ex-husband-sometime-love-interest Lance Hunter (Adrianne Palicki and Nick Blood, respectively); bittersweet news for fans, as those two characters ended up being strong additions to the cast. Ultimately, ABC passed on the spin-off and confirmed both actors would remain on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – until this week, when the network announced the new pilot was back on.
That said, ABC says the new series – officially titled Marvel’s Most Wanted – isn’t considered a spinoff in the strictest sense. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the pilot will be a “new take focusing on the same duo and their continuing adventures.” That sure sounds like a spinoff, but maybe it will be a midseason filler to plug Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s hiatus like Agent Carter was last year, or perhaps both actors will pull double-duty and stick with both Most Wanted and S.H.I.E.L.D., or some other solution only the minds of network executives can dream up (this, of course, assumes that Most Wanted makes it past the pilot stage and that ABC doesn’t change their mind again).
This is a bit of an unexpected move on ABC’s part, and I’m not totally sure how I feel about it. On the one hand, if ABC and Marvel can find a way to make a decent show out of Most Wanted, I’m all for it; on the other hand, I’m not so crazy about it if it means Palicki and Blood depart S.H.I.E.L.D. The two were strong additions in the show’s second season and injected some much-needed new blood to the cast; it would be a shame for that show to lose them. That said, in terms of the larger Marvel brand, so to speak, this is a relatively low-stakes move – if the show doesn’t get picked up or is terrible enough to be canceled after a season, the characters can seamlessly re-integrate back into S.H.I.E.L.D., and it’s unlikely the show will have any impact, positive or negative, on the films that form the foundation of the mega-franchise. All of that is to say: I’m skeptical, but count me firmly in the “wait and see” camp for the time being.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which stars Clark Gregg and Ming Na Wen, begins its third season this fall; Agent Carter, featuring Hayley Atwell in the title role, will return for a second season midseason. Marvel will also launch it’s next Netflix series, Jessica Jones, by the end of the year, and Daredevil is slated to return for a second season in April. On the big screen, the MCU continues with Captain America: Civil War hits theaters May 6.[via THR]