With the delay of Inhumans and the upcoming Doctor Strange, Agents of SHIELD has a much wider world to work in. In a press roundtable after their Comic-Con panel, we talked to executive producers Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen about what those things meant for the future of the show. Agents of SHIELD introduced the history of the Marvel cinematic universe's version of the Inhumans in its second season. But, since there was going to be an Inhumans movie in 2018, the writers were a bit restricted in what they could do. With Inhumans completely lacking a release date right now — first pushed back and then dropped from the schedule — Agents of SHIELD is benefiting.
"We do have a little more freedom," said Jed Whedon. "We've told a couple of seasons of stories but now we do have some more freedom. So when we return to focusing on Inhumans, we'll be able to do a little bit more." That freedom, Whedon and Tancharoen said, included being able to use some of the classic Inhumans. We're pushing for Lockjaw.
As for how Doctor Strange will affect the the show, Whedon said that the introduction of that character and his powers into the universe paves the way for their biggest new character, Ghost Rider. "It's one of the reasons we think Ghost Rider will fit this year is that the cinematic universe is being opened up into that world."
"But, as we learned in Thor," Whedon continued, "the Marvel approach is that magic is just science we don't yet understand. We're going to have both the introduction of magical elements in our show as well as very hardcore science."
While planning for the movies can be a challenge, there are some advantages. "We can start to pose the questions that perhaps the movie will answer for us," said Tancharoen. "And coming out of we see how that will affect our characters moving forward."
"It's sort of how other shows treat a webisode, a sort of 'I don't want to explain magic so Doctor Strange will do it,'" concluded Whedon. "Our webisode is gigantic."