/‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’: Behind the Scenes of the Emotional Series Finale

‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’: Behind the Scenes of the Emotional Series Finale


This interview contains spoilers for the collection finale of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

Almost precisely eight years in the past, the husband-and-wife writing companions Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen had been having a pitch assembly at a Brentwood sushi restaurant in Los Angeles with Jed’s celebrated older brother Joss and two Marvel Television executives. The Whedon-Tancharoen trio had already collaborated on the musical “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” (together with one other Whedon brother, Zack) and had written the short-lived Fox TV present “Dollhouse.”

Their newest thought was a TV present set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe about the fictional Marvel Comics company S.H.I.E.L.D. (the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division), which is devoted to investigating the paranormal and supernatural. The price range for the proposed collection was to be a fraction of what’s spent on Marvel movies, however it could place one of the films’ characters at its heart: Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg).

“We knew that our show would be character-focused, about getting to know these people, and slowly building a team that becomes a family,” mentioned Jed Whedon, who oversaw the present with Tancharoen and Jeffrey Bell. (The elder Whedon, credited as a creator, stayed centered on directing the “Avengers” movies.)

The ensuing collection, “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” went on to have a profitable seven-season run on ABC, which ended Wednesday with a fancy two-hour collection finale. That didn’t appear particularly doubtless after its tough debut in 2013. Some critics needed flashier connections to Marvel cinema — the place was Iron Man? — and the present needed to function in the shadow of the films: The existence of magic couldn’t be acknowledged till it was first revealed by the 2016 movie “Doctor Strange” first; “life-model decoys,” a sort of android, weren’t permissible till an android character appeared in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

But about midway by means of its run, the present started reinventing itself, with characters ping-ponging by means of area, time and various realities. Once the writers freed themselves of the timeline and narrative restraints established by the films (and even ignored just a few), the collection began to soar.

“We could just make up our own stories,” mentioned Jed Whedon. “It was liberating.”

In the ultimate season, S.H.I.E.L.D. brokers hopped round totally different a long time, with a pit cease in the 1980s that offered pure pop-geek pleasure. (Agent Coulson as Max Headroom? Check.)

But the present by no means misplaced its emotional core: the relationship between Agents Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), who crossed the galaxy greater than as soon as to be collectively, solely to be repeatedly pulled aside. In the finale, they reunited, as Fitz helped the ragtag workforce save each S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Earth from a takeover by an alien android race.

In a telephone interview Monday, Tancharoen and Jed Whedon mentioned bringing “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” to a conclusion. These are edited excerpts from the dialog.

A pair of years in the past, you constructed the finish of Season 5 to function a collection finale in case the present was canceled. How did that have an effect on planning this collection finale?

MAURISSA TANCHAROEN It’s so unusual as a result of we really feel that we’ve mentioned goodbye to the present a quantity of occasions now. We tied everybody’s arcs up with a pleasant little bow again in Season 5.

JED WHEDON We needed this to be totally different, not one other goodbye. We landed on the feeling of nostalgia, a sense of shifting on as life adjustments round you. It’s not a way of loss. Lives change. Paths diverge. You have that sense of longing, nostalgia and reference to folks with whom you spent tons of time.

TANCHAROEN I used to be not solely working with my present household however with my precise household. My father was there from Day 1, working in transportation. My brother [Kevin Tancharoen] got here on and directed over a dozen episodes. I’ve numerous recollections the place my daughter is sitting on [the producer] Megan Thomas Bradner’s lap, I’m watching my husband speaking to my brother, establishing a shot, and my father is close by, at craft service. So a lot of our expertise bled into what we had been making an attempt to say. Jumping the characters forward a yr additionally amplifies the bittersweet feeling, as a result of it’s clear they’ve moved on. They’re settling into new lives.

WHEDON On the final day, we went over to see the final shot, and Chloe Bennet sat down with tears in her eyes. She joined the present [as Skye/Daisy/Quake] when she was 20 years previous, she grew up on it, and now it was ending. It was so bittersweet. There was a lump in our throats at each flip.

TANCHAROEN We had no thought we had been predicting the close to future with our social-distance ending, our digital Zoom name between the characters. Of course, we conceived of all that earlier than 2020. If we had been creating the final season proper now ——

WHEDON There could be a virus story line. It would have a distinct tone.

If you had been creating it now, would you’ve gotten expanded upon the sexism and racism of the 1930s and 1950s that the characters encounter once they time-travel to these a long time this season?

TANCHAROEN There would have been extra of a possibility to try this with Mack [Henry Simmons], clearly. But we had been capable of flip these points into metaphor and tackle them with time journey and have Deke [Jeff Ward], being a person out of time, touch upon how absurd the racial and social injustice is. Just him studying about white privilege was a enjoyable factor to play with.

When we first pitched the present, all of us needed it to mirror the world that we stay in and what it aspires to be — a world full of variety, the place women and men are on equal footing in terms of preventing the good battle. That’s been evident all through the collection, in entrance of the digital camera, behind the digital camera, and likewise in our storytelling. It was a present about hope and love, crammed with stunning, various faces.

Losing Iain De Caestecker to different productions meant he was absent for a lot of this season. How did you kind that out? Did you ever fear about protecting Fitz and Simmons aside an excessive amount of?

WHEDON As we had been ending Season 6, we knew we had been going to have little or no Fitz. So we kind of jumped in with time journey, realizing that we had been making a puzzle that might be very exhausting to unravel. For Fitz, one of the issues that justified it’s that for him, solely a second in time has handed. And we knew it could a enjoyable enhance of adrenaline for the manufacturing and the actors to have the ability to play in numerous time intervals and inform tales based mostly on S.H.I.E.L.D. historical past.

The drawback is that there are such a lot of particulars! And with time journey tales, unfastened ends can flip you right into a pretzel, your finest pals into enemies and the writers’ room right into a battle zone. [Laughs.] We had a pair of time journey consultants write diagrams so we may wrap our heads round it and make it in step with the M.C.U. and every thing we had executed in the previous. The brief reply is that we solved some of it.

WHEDON And Quake can control vibrations! We did get to check off a lot of other boxes on our wish list. This last season, we lined up a bunch of sharks every week and jumped over them.



Source link Nytimes.com

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