When the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier spilled over into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. last spring, the first Marvel TV series came alive like it never had before. Suddenly, the show had a new, more concrete dramatic arc, a new enemy to fight, and a clear trajectory that led up to a powerful set of final episodes. For a lot of fans, it was the moment the show really reached the potential it showed in the early part of season one, and the series hasn't really looked back since.
So, given that Winter Soldier had such a positive impact on S.H.I.E.L.D., and given that Marvel's big on shared universe filmmaking anyway, it makes sense that upcoming Marvel Studios flicks will also have an impact on the series. The studio's next film, Avengers: Age of Ultron, hits theaters on May 1 of next year, right around the time that network TV series are entering finale mode and doing their best to rope in as many viewers as possible, so it seems like a tie-in on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a no-brainer. And indeed, S.H.I.E.L.D. showrunners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen confirmed today that the show is doing just that.
“You should expect something,” Whedon said. “The Avengers is the big tent that all the franchises play under. Obviously, we’re included in that.”
So, what kind of crossover can we expect? Well, Whedon and Tancharoen are being understandably tight-lipped about that, but since Ultron's reign of terror looks pretty global in the Age of Ultron trailers, it seems likely that the S.H.I.E.L.D. team will be touched by his villainy at some point or another. While the showrunners won't say how, they do note that, even though Age of Ultron is a huge movie, its events likely won't have the impact on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that Winter Soldier did, simply because that film was so S.H.I.E.L.D.-centric.
“I don’t think any movie has the potential to impact us in the way that Captain America 2 did,” Tancharoen said, “but there will be connections.”
So, this May, brace yourselves for another Marvel Cinematic Universe crossover event on ABC.