Joss Whedon’s decision to create Agents of SHIELD explains why its connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe was doomed from the beginning. Marvel Studios never wanted Agents of SHIELD to happen and preferred Whedon to focus on Avengers 2. The lack of reference to Agents of SHIELD in the main franchise confirms that it is not part of the Sacred Timeline, but still exists in an alternate reality.

The Avengers‘ director Joss Whedon’s decision to make Agents of SHIELD explains why its connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe was doomed from the beginning. Long before the debut of Disney+, which now exclusively houses Marvel Studios small screen projects, the Marvel TV branch existed. The idea was that shows like Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter, both airing on ABC, expanded the storytelling that the franchise was doing on the big screen. However, while the series routinely referred to the events of their movie counterparts, the blockbusters barely acknowledged their existence.

Because Agent Carter was a period piece, it was understandable that the films weren’t impacted by what was happening in the show. Things were different with Agents of SHIELD. however, since it was directly tied to the events of The Avengers. It started after the fan-favorite Agent Coulson was supposedly revived after Loki stabbed him in the heart just before the Battle of New York. His demise was the common motivation that the original Earth’s Mightiest Heroes needed to finally come together and fight the God of Mischief. Despite this, the wider MCU never really recognized Agents of SHIELD in its storytelling, and Whedon reveals why.

Related: The MCU Has Officially Killed The Best Original Avengers Theory

Marvel Studios Never Wanted Agents of SHIELD To Happen

According to Whedon himself, Marvel Studios didn’t want him to create Agents of SHIELD, but he went ahead and wrote the series pilot with his brother Jed Whedon, and Jed’s wife Maurissa Tancharoen. Whedon directed the pilot and ABC picked it up for a series order in 2013. Amid all of this, Kevin Feige and his team remained adamant about not pushing through with the show. Instead, they wanted the filmmaker to focus on working on Avengers 2, which eventually became Avengers: Age of Ultron. Whedon wasn’t fazed, however, and by the time he was reprimanded for doing his side project, Agents of SHIELD‘s ball was already rolling.

The canonicity of Agents of SHIELD has been a hot topic for MCU followers for years. Despite its supposed ties to the movie, the lack of reference to it kept its status vague. Thankfully, in the new book, Marvel Studios The Marvel Cinematic Universe An Official Timeline, it is finally confirmed thatAgents of SHIELD isn’t part of the Sacred Timeline, which means that its events exist in an alternate reality. The burgeoning Marvel multiverse allows it to still be part of the established canon, but the main franchise doesn’t recognize its events to be part of Marvel Studios’ exclusive storytelling.

Whedon’s revelation about Marvel Studios not wanting him to do the TV series after The Avengers explains this. Despite the connection with Coulson and the appearance of Nick Fury and Maria Hill, Feige didn’t really have a hand in what went down in the show. Considering his careful plans for the MCU, it makes sense that he doesn’t want to take responsibility for something that he didn’t have any creative involvement with, especially if it’s something that he didn’t want from the get-go.

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