What Does the Disney Acquisition of Fox Mean for 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D'?

Michael Maloney
Preview ABC/Matthias Clamer

From Alicia Masters to Zzzax, there’s a wide range of characters from the Marvel Universe that fans would love to see come to the screen. And while Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. producers have incorporated comic book characters into the show many times, there’s still a wealth of superheroes, supervillains, and supporting players who could make their way onto the series.

In light of Disney’s acquisition of Fox (which held creative control on some characters), could that become more of a reality?

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“The short answer is it’s easier now for that to happen because the platforms we’re on are all a part of the same organization,” Jeph Loeb, executive producer, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and an EVP, Marvel Entertainment, tells TV Insider.

“But we’d never do a crossover [with Cloak & Dagger] just for the sake of doing a crossover. The story has to warrant it. It has to live in a world that makes sense to it. And the showrunners have to have a desire in order to make that happen. If all those things line up, it’s a possibility.”

“Most of those questions are above my pay-grade,” Jeff Bell, executive producer, tells TV Insider, when asked about the same topic. He hastened to add, however, “We would like to have on characters that were on Fox that are now part of the bigger picture.” He wryly notes that the TV people and the feature folks need to “strip down and wrestle…to figure out who gets what.”

Bell points out that the show has brought on characters familiar to Marvel Comics readers including Nick Blood (Lance Hunter), among others. “We try to do that, going back to season one with Nick…something where [viewers] will say, ‘Oh, I know who that is!’”

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But would getting Thor or the Scarlet Witch onto Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. be that difficult? After all, DC Entertainment has a great deal invested in Superman on the big screen, yet the Supergirl series brought the Man of Steel (played by Tyler Hoechlin) on to The CW series for some guest spots.

“The main difference between the DC Universe and the Marvel Universe is we only have, for example, one Iron Man and it is one universe,” points out Jed Whedon, executive producer. “We set out for our show to exist on its own. That way, you can watch an Ant-Man movie without wondering where Spider-Man is.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. cast (ABC/Matthias Clamer)

“We try to stand on our own because A) the show has to be its own property and B) because of the restrictions. That being said, we’re in constant contact with features. We have a different lead time than they do and we have to make sure we’re not going to cover story [that they are in a movie]. But in terms of who we’d like to bring on? Any of ‘em.”

Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 6 Premiere, Friday, May 10, 8/7c, ABC