Clark Gregg on the evolution of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. & his character. If being the connective tissue, to Marvel’s run-up to the Avengers, wasn’t enough to make Agent Coulson the hardest working man of the Marvel Joint Universe, then coming down with a bad (albeit fittingly Coulson-esque) case of death (in that film), getting better (for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), and losing a hand (to close out season 2) should give any other contender some pause (R.D.J., I’m looking at your character).
Overall relevance aside, there was also the matter of how the second season events, of Agents, set up what the third will have in store for the character. To that end, CBR’s Albert Ching got the word, directly from Clark Gregg, on what to expect both for & from Director Coulson in season 3.
CBR’s interview with Clark Gregg:
CBR News: Clark, last season, almost as soon as Coulson became director of S.H.I.E.L.D., this upstart group claiming to be the “real S.H.I.E.L.D.” popped up.
Clark Gregg: Yeah, “S.H.I.E.L.D. 2.0”! Those bastards.
Going into season three, are we going to see Coulson settle more into the role, as the unquestioned leader of S.H.I.E.L.D.?
I don’t know. It’s a really good question. But one thing I know after doing two full seasons of this, I really thought the main thing I was going to be dealing with last year was Hydra, and the fact that Coulson was carving stuff late at night because of his alien blood — I didn’t see a shadow S.H.I.E.L.D. trying to take him out coming. So far he’s dealing with Inhumans; on his team, and out in the world. And the fact that he’s got one less hand than he started last season with. I have no idea what else is coming his way.
I hope that for the moment, S.H.I.E.L.D. itself is a fairly cohesive unit — although one of the things you discover right away is that there’s another super-secret organization out there hunting down Inhumans, led by the amazing Constance Zimmer, and it’s hard to tell if they’re good or bad, right out of the gate. It’s a complicated job.
In season two, the show had even more “comic book-y” elements like Inhumans popping up, and already in season three we know there are Inhumans like Lash, who are very Inhuman-looking. “S.H.I.E.L.D.” has been connected to the larger Marvel world since the beginning —
50th anniversary last week!
Yes! And now that the show seems to be dealing with these types of things in an even more direct way, how much fun is that for you as a comic fan, and someone that’s been a part of the Marvel movies since the beginning, to see more of these fantastical elements play into the show?
I love watching what [Marvel Studios] is doing with all the movies that are coming up — when they announced that we were going to get Black Panther, and all these titles I loved as a kid, I was really psyched. I also like seeing the way this stuff is done on the screen, whether it’s on TV or on the movies. It’s always a little different. I love watching the stuff that’s going on on Netflix; I’m thrilled with “Daredevil.” I loved it. Charlie Cox is amazing. And I can’t wait to see “Jessica Jones.” I can’t wait to see “Luke Cage.” All the different parts of it. I like the way it crosses over.
I love that we’ve got some of the first representation of Inhumans. I can’t wait to see what else we have, because I know there’s more.
As the person that’s been at the center of this show since the beginning, clearly it’s evolved in multiple ways — what have you liked about the way the shown has grown over the first two seasons?
Everything has stepped up. I like the way [Coulson has] built a team. I like the way they reinvent the show every year. At the end of season 1, there was no S.H.I.E.L.D. At the end of last season, Inhumans were very much what was going on; we were moving into Secret Warriors. I love the way the tone of the show, visually, and every other way, has gotten a little bit darker and more noir, and more like the comic books — or the graphic novels, really. I like the bigger cast. We have an incredible ensemble. I love the way the writers are writing. It’s really a hard job, they’re writing for a lot of people at once, and making all these characters grow.
When we came back last season, everyone was so worried about Fitz. That meant a lot to me; the new characters that are being introduced. People aren’t like, “When’s Tony Stark going to show up?” They’re more concerned about where Simmons is, now.
Well nothing says more about a show coming into its own, like interest in what it’s doing, instead of when the more famous relative will be showing up (take that R.D.J.). While I maintain that both Clark Gregg & Agent Coulson have earned their place, as the hardest working men of the MJU roll-out, I’m also prepared to assert that AoS has earned a place as the hardest working place-holder of the MJU. Sure, until the Netflix Marvel stable starts crossing over, AoS is the only place-holder in the MJU; but it still counts. I expect Agent Carter to lighten the load, going forward; but until then, Agent Coulson still has a heavy lift, ahead.
The guy deserves a hand….
Leave your thoughts, on this Clark Gregg interview, in the comments section below. For more Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. photos, videos, and news, visit our Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Page, subscribe to us by Email, “follow” us on Twitter, Tumblr, Google+ or “like” us on Facebook. Season 3 of Agents begins this Tuesday, September 29, at 9 pm EST, on ABC.