The project long referred to as "ABC’s Joss Whedon-produced S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot" now has the new, equally unwieldy name of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.—a name reminding us that the show may concern a monolithic, top-secret organization concerned with investigating otherworldly threats, but really it’s about the people. (And the brand recognition.) Released alongside the official title is an official synopsis, which suggests that Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson will be rewarded for dying by taking on some new responsibilities:
Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) returns to the worldwide law enforcement organization S.H.I.E.L.D. He puts together a small, highly trained, team of Agents to tackle the cases that haven’t been classified yet, the new, the strange and the unknown. That team consists of straight arrow Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), an expert in combat and espionage; pilot and martial artist Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen); and brilliant if socially awkward scientists Agent Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Agent Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge). They’ll be joined by civilian new recruit and computer hacker Skye (Chloe Bennet).
And while casting has so far stayed out of the traditional Whedonverse (though we’d still bet on some inevitable Amy Acker appearance mid-season), today comes word from TV Line that Whedon couldn’t resist adding Angel alum J. August Richards. The actor, who played the streetwise-turned-telepathic-panther-wise Gunn, has joined S.H.I.EL.D. in a “super top-secret role” that already has everyone in the comments naming all the black characters they can think of in the Marvel universe, so we’ll let you get to that now.