Which is going to get the attention of mdg1
and a few others reading this regularly. There's already been some discussion re: which characters are going to get the nod as part of the core cast for this pilot movie...which many of us want to see get the "ongoing series" nod from ABC(Disney) already and never mind all the hemming and hawing.
(Also, for fajrdrako
: here's the improved version of my SHIELD LJ icon. Use it in good health so long as you don't sully the reputations of the Directorate, the UN Security Council, Marvel, ABC or Disney...)
I have no inside sources. No scoops. Forget it. I'm speculating wildly here just like the rest of youse.
I can't see them springing for Jackson to play Fury half a year every year for the next five to seven. Not unless some serious horse-trading happens. Also, Jackson's got work outside of the Marvel movies to keep doing, if only to keep from going crazy from boredom. He's a hardcore comic book fan, but he and his agent(s) have to be well aware of the perils of burning out on too much of a good thing. So there's that.
Smulders, playing Maria Hill as Fury's right hand...is perhaps more likely. They might even use that recently-released clip of Hill's after-action report to the "World Security Council" on the Battle of Manhattan as a plot springboard. Her regular TV gig may be about to go into its final season, in which case Smulders might be looking for a change of scenery medium to long-term. And playing an action heroine soldier-spy would certainly be a change from her serial soap-comedy gig on How I Met Your Mother
Johansson and Renner as the Widow and Hawkeye...are, I suspect, similarly out of budgetary reach despite their depiction in the Marvel Movie'verse as SHIELD agents first, super-heroes second. If Marvel surprises us, so be it. But I'm not expecting that to happen.
Maximillio Hernandez as Jasper Sitwell? Probable. He's new to my knowledge and they can probably afford to nail him down for a few years if everything goes according to hope and plan.
Clark Gregg returning as Phil Coulson? Well, despite how Coulson made his exit from Avengers
- and a well-staged exit it was, final or not - there are ways to get around that. Some of them already suggested in the movie itself as presented at the theatres. And the character's got a lot of goodwill built up with the audience.
So there's those considerations.
The next thing is this: three characters alone will not, I think, make for a successful series. SHIELD feels like it ought to be an ensemble show. So they're going to need to fill out the hand somewhat. And over the past half-century, a lot of characters have been created as SHIELD agents, or later became such after their creation. So Marvel and Whedon's production team have lots of options.
A poll on which characters are most likely to be used might be in order. Or, if you'd rather not wait for that, speculate away in the comments!