In April, news broke that ABC was developing a Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spin-offfeaturing Adrianne Palicki's Bobbi Morse and Nick Blood's Lance Hunter. A month later, the potential spin-off, developed by S.H.I.E.L.D. producer Jeffrey Bell and S.H.I.E.L.D.writer Paul Zbyszewski, was dead in the water. Now the project is back on at ABC.According to Variety, the network is close to handing out a pilot order to the project, which is currently titled Marvel’s Most Wanted.
Bell and Zbyszewski are co-writing the pilot and will serve as showrunners and executive producers alongside Marvel’s Jeph Loeb. Word on the street is that the project, which will follow the adventures of Bobbi (Palicki) and Hunter (Blood), is not really a spin-off, but an entirely new story featuring the characters. It remains to be seen whether it would air as a backdoor pilot during Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s third season.
What all of this says to me is that Marvel's Most Wanted is likely a prequel that follows the characters' time together before their respective introductions in Season 2 of S.H.I.E.L.D. The series alluded to a complicated backstory for the two characters, which would theoretically give the writers a fairly deep well to pull from. But all of this is just speculation, as there are hardly any details regarding the project floating around, which isn't too surprising given how closely Marvel guards it secrets. The only thing I know for certain is that the first person who uses the words "companion series" is getting slapped across the face with Coulson's new hand. This ain't Fear the Walking Dead.
Another question that arises from all of this is: Why? Why now? Why did ABC decide to resurrect this project after dumping it earlier this year? Personally, I was enjoying the energy Bobbi and Hunter brought to S.H.I.E.L.D. and was looking forward to exploring this new chapter in their story during the upcoming season (for what it's worth, both actors are still credited as series regular for Season 3). My best guess is that while breaking this season, the writers found that S.H.I.E.L.D.'s boat was getting a little too crowded.
Over the hiatus, both Luke Mitchell (Lincoln) and Henry Simmons (Mac) were promotedto series regulars, and it was recently announced that Blair Underwood would return for multiple episodes as May's ex-husband. Additionally, the series is launching an arc for the Secret Warriors, and if the Season 2 finale is any indication of what's to come, it is also very likely that Brett Dalton's Ward and his version of Hydra will play a major role in Season 3 after sitting on the sidelines for a majority of Season 2. Basically, there is a lot happening on S.H.I.E.L.D. in Season 3. Moving two well-liked characters to their own series would allow stories to breathe, as well as give Marvel yet another series at ABC. In addition to S.H.I.E.L.D., the network also has a second season of Marvel's Agent Carter scheduled for midseason. From a business standpoint, it makes a lot of sense to monopolize on the popularity of these characters now.
What do you think about Marvel's Most Wanted? Would you watch it or would you rather Bobbi and Hunter stay put where they are?