Will “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” tie into the Marvel Cinematic Universe? That’s the big question about the new ABC TV show, and that’s a subject that the folks behind the series keep hedging. But after viewing the “SHIELD” pilot during the show’s San Diego Comic-Con panel, it is clear that the movies will affect the “Agents of SHIELD” storyline directly even if superheroes like Iron Man and Thor don’t show up in person.

“We always have a roadmap for the show itself, and we know the release dates of the movies, we know what happens in all the movies,” Joss Whedon tells Zap2it during a roundtable interview at Comic-Con. “We mostly try to stay out of the way because trying to get too intricate becomes a dance of, ‘What if we get preempted and then they push all the episodes a week?’ It’s tricky. But being able to throw a little something in there and making it feel like it’s all part of the same big story is exciting. We’re not going to pass up that opportunity.”

In the “SHIELD” pilot, fans already get a taste of how “Iron Man 3’s” Extremis storyline affects the rest of the MCU world. So will the same thing happen when “Thor: The Dark World” comes out in November?

“The whole show is going to be based on the change in the world that happened because of ‘Avengers.’ Now everybody knows and so when something really important happens anywhere in the Marvel universe, we will have to take that into account. Ultimately, we’ll dodge it a little bit,” Whedon says. “If there’s a big change, you’ll see it. We are part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We might not be the mascot, but we’re part of the team.”

During the panel, Whedon teased that some Marvel characters might be introduced in “SHIELD” before they’re seen in the movies, but that the focus of the show will still be on the agents of SHIELD. “The most important thing to me is that we get to see these people who are here every week,” he said.

“Agents of SHIELD” premieres on ABC on Sept. 24.

Posted by:Terri Schwartz