Nick Fury as a live-action TV character? Not so fast, America.

The celebrated Marvel Comics super-spy - memorably portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson in this summer's "The Avengers" - will not be a part of ABC's recently-announced "S.H.I.E.L.D." TV series; ditto Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). Why? Because creator Joss Whedon says so, that's why.

"It's new characters. It needs to be its own thing," the "Avengers" helmer told MTV News while promoting his modern-day Shakespeare adaptation "Much Ado About Nothing" (review) in Toronto. "It needs to be adjacent [to the Marvel Comics Universe] but you don't want to do a show where you're constantly going, 'Iron Man just left, but he was totally here a minute ago.' You want them to do their own thing."

Not to mention that setting the series apart in this way was a big part of Whedon's vision from the get-go.

"Well, what does S.H.I.E.L.D. have that the other superheroes don't? And that, to me, is that they're not superheroes," he said. "But they live in that universe. Even though they're a big organization, that [lack of powers] makes them underdogs, and that's interesting to me."



Whedon - who is attached to direct the show's pilot episode, schedule permitting - is currently developing the script with brother Jed Whedon and sister-in-law Maurissa Tancharoen. The busy filmmaker is also returning to helm "The Avengers 2," which has been slated for release on May 1, 2015.

Will you be tuning in to the new series? Sound off in the comments.