Elizabeth HenstridgeJoss Whedon’s S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot is coming along very nicely, with production recently reported to be getting underway in January.

Clark Gregg was the brilliant first announcement to be joining the pilot, swiftly followed by Ming-Na, and now THR report that two new agents have been found, in the form of Elizabeth Henstridge and Iain De Caestecker.

“Henstridge will play science whiz Agent Gemma Simmons, while De Caestecker will play Agent Leo Fitz, a technology guru. The duo spend all their time together – mostly bickering – and are masters of their respective fields at a remarkably young age.”

I was rather hoping that De Caestecker’s role might go to Fran Kranz, who was absolutely immense in a similar role on Dollhouse. But here’s to hoping that Kranz will return to work with Whedon on this in a different capacity.

Having taken The Avengers to record-breaking heights this year, Whedon is returning to the small screen to expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe into television, and he’ll be joined by past collaborators, brother Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen (Dollhouse), to pen the script.

When the project was first announced, Whedon was expected to direct the pilot himself, schedule permitting, and we’ve not heard anything to contradict that since, so we’re keeping our fingers tightly crossed.

Interestingly, the pair are both British-born, which should make for an interesting duo to the S.H.I.E.L.D. roster.

Relative newcomer Henstridge has two episodes of Hollyoaks to her credits, along with the pilot, Shelter, from the great Mark Schwahn and J.J. Abrams, and is set to star alongside Ving Rhames, Danny Aiello, and Omari Hardwick in the drama, Reach Me.

De Caestecker starred in the first season of Lip Service back in 2010, and has more recently led Young James Harriot, which has earned him a nomination for Best Actor/Actress in the Television category at this weekend’s Scottish BAFTA Awards, along with a supporting role in the similarly-nominated film, Up There.

If all goes well, we’re keeping our fingers tightly crossed that we might see this on our screens before the end of next year, and of course, more importantly, that ABC will do the right thing and order the programme to full series.

It’s been too long since Whedon’s work was last seen on the small screen, in the undeservedly-cancelled Dollhouse, and his return is very much highly anticipated. If production is indeed set to begin early in the New Year on S.H.I.E.L.D., we can hopefully look forward to some more casting news soon. More as we get it.