Hypable spoke with showrunners Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon about how Doctor Strange‘s spiritual bent will wrinkle the world of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Doctor Strange harbingers “a different side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that’s going to be opened up,” Whedon says — a markedly different side from the scientifically centered sensibilities that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has typically boasted.
According to the showrunners, the arrival of Ghost Rider will provide an arena for the series to respond to the magical influence making itself known in the films.
“We felt like now is the time to do this, because [Ghost Rider] plays in that world,” Whedon says. “It’s not exactly the spy world we live in, but we feel like, with [magic] entering the MCU, this is us sort of dipping our toe into that world as we open things up.”
Of course, it won’t necessarily be easy to coax Marvel’s science and magic into peaceful coexistence. According to Maurissa Tancharoen, the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will have a few questions about the sudden influx of evident magic in their world.
“[That’s] exactly what our team may be asking as they encounter something like Ghost Rider,” she says. “They’ll basically be trying to science, “Why?””
Chloe Bennett (Daisy) agrees. “All of these crazy [Inhuman] powers, it’s all kind of been rooted in science. It’s something that Fitz and Simmons can always explain why it’s happening,” she says. “So I’m curious to see how the writers are going to write it… to explain how [Ghost Rider] could possibly have his skull be lit on fire, and then be fine.”
That question is relevant on a meta level as well. Whedon explains that both the films and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will have a certain amount of explaining to do when it comes to such… strange developments.
“You’ll see this in the movies that are coming,” Whedon says. “They’ve started to open up into the world of the fantastic, and we will be doing that this year, in terms of sort of trying to blend the two.”
But the S.H.I.E.L.D. team shouldn’t expect their scientific safety-net to remain entirely trustworthy. “There are things we don’t understand,” Whedon says. “Why? And then meanwhile, we’re building things that we do understand, but maybe we start to lose our understanding of them.”
Yep, that’s some Life Model Decoy groundwork right there. Whedon and Tancharoen suggest that this profound technology will blur the lines between Ghost Rider’s magic and cutting-edge science from both sides.
“We’re going to slowly start to develop some very advanced technology this season,” Whedon says of the LMD program. “And maybe, as that becomes more advanced, and we have strange people, possessed people, maybe those things somehow merge down the line.”
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 premieres on Sept. 20 at 10 p.m. EST on ABC.