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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Passion. It lies in all of us."
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May 14 2013

(SPOILER) First pics from the 'Agents of S.H.I.E.LD.' pilot episode. Two from the episode itself, one behind the scenes with Joss. There's a character gallery as well.

I admit, I'm a little disappointed in casting, and the cast photo really highlights the uniformity. The gender balance is great, but there's only one person of a different ethnicity. I noticed this in Avengers, too. And Iron Man. And Thor. And..well, I'm saying it's an issue throughout the current Marvel cinematic universe.
There's three people of a different ethnicity. Ming-Na, Chloe and J. August (super secret role).
Two cast members are Asian, right?
Yep Chloe Bennett's father is Chinese according to Wikipedia.
Oh, I didn't know Chloe Bennett was part Asian. It's also great that J. August Richards is in it, though not as the main cast. Maybe he'll actually be in the entire season.
I think more photos will go up here today.
Why is everyone harping on the "diversity!" issue? Does the Marvel Universe really not have that many characters that aren't white? Or is this a created world within that universe, and so everyone's assuming there will be more non-Caucasian characters?

I honestly don't know, which is why I'm asking. I've seen it brought up in comments elsewhere, and to me it just seems silly. How about we just be thankful the show even exists, instead of complaining about what it doesn't have? Because, really - if we're gonna start that, then I want to lodge a complaint that there aren't enough short, average-looking, near-sighted, out-of-shape female characters who aren't the best friend of the gorgeous lead and/or the butt of jokes.

I'm thrilled that the show got picked up, I'm eagerly awaiting the pilot episode and hope it runs for years. I'm going to like it for what it is, not gripe about what it isn't. Because we don't know, and we won't until it airs.
I'm looking forward to the moment when I can look at photos like these and feel happy familiar character feelings. And be able to quote them all.

The big staircase behind Joss reminds me of the Dollhouse and Wolfram and Hart. I wonder if there will be a big, shiny SHEILD headquarters set.

A main cast of six seems on the small side compared to how Firefly and Dollhouse started, so perhaps that means there will be lots of recurring characters too who could join the main cast along the way (like J. August Richards).
I just wish in these type of films the female characters wouldn't always be model types. I know Joss is working in the Marvel world but wouldn't it be a little more interesting to have people who don't always look as if they've just came off the catwalk. I mean they're supposed to be (vaguely) secret agents after all.
They way they label "Season 1" gives me the impression they're expecting more than one.
Does the Marvel Universe really not have that many characters that aren't white?


Put it this way when news about J. August Richards broke, people could only think of one established character he could play.
Haha. Those photos are so new that have some fun but confusing mistakes.
They fixed it Sunfire.
Simon, personally I immediately jumped to the idea that J. August Richards could be Fury's son, not because that is the only Black character I could think of but because my mind immediately went to all the Daddy issues that would imply. A son trying to get out from under a powerful Father's shadow while his coworkers assume he got the job through nepotism. I still think it would have been a great idea.

By the way did everyone catch Maurissa's tweet about the fact that Brent Dalton (who will be Grand Ward one of the stars of Agents of SHIELD) is now on twitter @IMBrettDalton ?

[ edited by embers on 2013-05-14 19:39 ]
ShadowQuest, there just aren't that many minority superheroes in contrast to the hundreds and thousands of Caucasian ones.

During World War II, Asians were depicted as the enemy, and with a very wide brush, often in comics (notably Superman). The Civil Rights era also had its fair share of problems. Here's a very good article about Marvel during the Civil Rights era.

I know that Mo, Jed, and Joss are cognizant of this and are really working on it and I didn't post my initial comment as a criticism of them specifically. I know that sometimes isn't as much leeway with studio direction, and you should always cast the actor who you think will do the best job for the role.
the ninja report, Simon I admittedly know pretty much nothing about MU - I read old comics that belonged to my mother & her siblings - so I don't know all the potential characters and their ethnic backgrounds.

My point was people are already complaining and the show hasn't even aired its first episode yet. That seems silly. Why not carp on the fact that the "token Asian" is a martial arts expert? Or that the computer "nerds" are, in the words of the early character bio, "socially awkward"? There's two HUGE stereotypes right there.

The fact is people are making assumptions based on press release photos and information. In other words: What ABC/Marvel/Disney wants people to see, that they think will draw in the viewers they want.

Thing is no one's gonna be 100% happy. Someone wants a black character, someone else will complain that character is "token." Someone wants a gay/lesbian/bi character, someone else will complain about that. How 'bout we just wait and see? In Joss we trust, after all. Who knows what he's got up his sleeve?

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