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'Avengers' director Joss Whedon to create 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' series for ABC

Matt Rivera / msnbc.com

Joss Whedon at the 2012 SXSW conference.

Three weeks after Disney CEO Robert Iger announced Joss Whedon would create a Marvel-related TV series for ABC, the network has made good on his vow.

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ABC has given pilot orders to "S.H.I.E.L.D.," with the "Avengers" scribe on board to co-write the project based on the Marvel comic, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

From ABC Studios, the project is based on the long-running comic created by Jack Kirby and revolves around the secret military law enforcement agency dubbed S.H.I.E.L.D., which stands for Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistic Directorate.

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Whedon is on board to co-pen the pilot alongside his brother Jed Whedon, and his wife, Maurissa Tancharoen, who all previously teamed on the three-part web series "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog." (The CW will air the Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, Felicia Day starrer in October.) "Avengers" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" mastermind Whedon will direct the pilot, should his schedule permit.

Production on the live-action project will begin immediately, with Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon and Tancharoen executive producing alongside Jeffrey Bell and Marvel TV's Jeph Loeb.

"S.H.I.E.L.D." marks Whedon's return to the small screen. He most recently served as showrunner on "Dollhouse," in addition to cult favorites "Buffy" and "Firefly." Tancharoen and Jed Whedon were writer-producers on "Dollhouse" as well as Starz's "Spartacus."

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In the comics, S.H.I.E.L.D. revolves around unit director Nick Fury, who recruits Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk and Thor to form a team to stop Thor's adopted brother Loki. The organization first made its debut in Strange Tales #135, which was published in August 1965.

For his part, Whedon signed a three-year exclusive deal with Marvel Studios for film and television this month, under which he'd help develop a new live-action series for Marvel Television at ABC. For its part, ABC is still developing another Marvel property based on The Hulk.

Whedon is repped by CAA. 

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