Clark Gregg Suggests Coulson’s Return Could Mean ‘The Avengers’ Were Deceived

Published 1 year ago by , Updated April 22nd, 2013 at 1:13 pm,

Clark Gregg Agent Coulson Thor Clark Gregg Suggests Coulson’s Return Could Mean The Avengers Were Deceived

Warning: For those who actually haven’t seen The Avengers, a MAJOR spoiler is discussed below. 

While talking about his second directorial effort, the Tribeca Film Festival entry Trust Me, Clark Gregg took some time to touch on the process of boarding Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and what could have brought Agent Coulson back from the dead.

In case you need a reminder, Gregg put it bluntly: “It was hard to miss the moment where that Asgardian bastard stabs me quite thoroughly.” We thought poor Coulson was dead and gone, and so did Gregg himself. He admitted, “I was a little heartbroken.” The folks at Marvel continued to drill it in, telling Gregg that Coulson really was out of the picture, but, as the actor pointed out, “It’s the comics, so, you know, that’s a different form of dead.

And apparently that different form of dead involves some sort of resurrection because back in October at New York Comic Con, Gregg had the pleasure of announcing that Agent Coulson would return in the upcoming ABC series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The pilot wrapped about two months ago and, just the other week, details of the show’s plot surfaced. Apparently Coulson assembles a team of Agents to take care of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s unclassified cases consisting of “straight arrow” Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), marital arts expert Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), nerdy scientist Agent Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), and civilian recruit, Skye (Chloe Bennet) the computer hacker.

Clark Gregg Chris Hemsworth The Avengers Clark Gregg Suggests Coulson’s Return Could Mean The Avengers Were Deceived

But even with the brigade of new characters, with Coulson attached, the show is still very clearly connected to The Avengers and considering he bit the dust in that one, the question still remains; how is he alive? Gregg highlighted a few popular theories – “There was people talking about, was he gonna come back as The Vision?” He continued, “We never saw the body. The cards were in the locker. There was a lot of people talking about the Blu-ray, the English Blu-ray, you didn’t see the spear come through Coulson.

Gregg did say he was thrilled to get the call to go to Comic Con and make the big announcement about his return, but also admitted, “I was very curious, but also wasn’t sure I was necessarily down with it. I don’t want to do anything to undermine the integrity of The Avengers.” However, after getting more details straight from Joss Whedon himself, Gregg was hooked:

“When Joss described to me the mystery that takes place in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the complexity and the unanswered questions about Phil Coulson standing there trying to deal with this, I found it so fascinating and so true to the world of the comics and mythology in general as I understand them that I was immediately in.”

Mystery, complexity, however Whedon and his team are going to spin it, Coulson is still a person and, therefore, is bound to be deeply affected by the events of The Avengers. Gregg noted, “I don’t know how you could not change going through what he went through.” He added, “I think if he hadn’t gone through some kind of change, it wouldn’t be any good. That said, I don’t know if he understands how much he’s changed.

And of course Coulson wasn’t in it alone; the entire Avengers crew mourned his death so must be affected by his return, too. When asked how that would play out, Gregg admitted he didn’t know, but noted “It would be surprising to me if this was a world where there wasn’t some reckoning for the fact that it’d be … you know, some level of deception must have been perpetrated on the Avengers.” So now we’re left with another question to keep our heads spinning; deception perpetrated by whom?

Watch the full clip of Gregg talking about Coulson below and keep an eye out for our full interview with him and his Trust Me co-star, Saxon Sharbino, coming soon.

Follow Perri on Twitter @PNemiroff.

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:
TAGS: agents of shield, the avengers

76 Comments

Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.


If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it.

  1. We never saw the body in the first place. I don’t think Coulson ever died. Fury was willing to lie about the cards, don’t you think he would also decide to fake Coulson’s death? I really don’t think this is all that complicated. Fury faked Coulson’s death, that’s all there is to it.

    • They most likely left the whole thing ambiguous on purpose to play it either way. Leaving a backdoor open for his return was the smart thing to do, considering how popular that character was long before The Avengers. Had they decided to let him stay dead it would have worked as well.

    • DUH! & Tony Stark also mentioned – however snarkily – the “SHIELD Life Body Double”. I am SO GLAD that people are finally figuring this out – now maybe I’ll be able to stop arguing w/all the other geeks!

  2. I’m guessing the answer isn’t just about what happened to Coulson after he was killed. I think it’s got something to do with his past. We really don’t know anything about where Coulson came from or what he did before.

    It could be that, because of something he did years ago, he was able to survive what should have been a fatal wound.

    With that in mind, given the general mysteriousness of SHIELD agents, the story of Coulson’s past could go on for the entire run of the series.

  3. I hope they handle his “revival” with class and provide a damn good explanation.

    Saying “well, he was never really dead. Fury was just lying!” is a cop out imo. That would be horrible.

    The LMD thing would be better, although it would still take some heavy explaining (like why there was blood coming out of Coulson’s chest when the spear went through him).

    …the other big thing is that having Coulson back shouldn’t in any way interfere with the importance of his death in The Avengers. Him dying was the reason they put aside their differences.

    • My theory @Avenger is that the human Coulston did actually die at the hand of Loki. There was no deception (other than the card with bold on it, which was more of an emotional munipulation of Fury’s part). The Coulston that lives on is actually an LMD *that doesn’t know he’s an LMD*. As far as “Coulton” post Avengers is concerned thinks he was revived/saved etc. but in the end he wasn’t, just his personality/memories “live on”.

      • So the deception is not done by Fury untowards the Avengers. But to Coulston and not telling him he’s now actually a robot. Which I’m sure if it’s the case would lead to an interesting twist when its revealed in the series and how LMDCoulston deals with it. This lends credence to the line ” Coulston himself dosent know how much hes changed”.

  4. I think it will factor in to Avengers 2. Joss Whedon keeps talking about the heroes going to a dark place. I think that in Avengers 2 they will suffer the consequences of using Coulson’s death to deceive the heroes.

  5. Maybe he was is the first Ultron robot under some false skin. Or a clone with some imortance in the past.

  6. How cool wud it be if asguard used the infinity guanlet to bring him back, then it gets stolen n Falls in the hands of thanos

  7. Marital arts expert?!! :D

    Also it pisses me off that the scene was changed in the UK release!! :(

  8. I am SO glad to hear he’s coming back.

    They can’t say that Fury faked the death, because Thor was a witness to the murder and we watched Coulson expire (that’s still the one part of the movie I can’t watch now – I get up and walk away from the screen).

    Fury was, however, the only one with him afterwards, briefly. Everything we know from that point is secondhand – we didn’t see the medics arrive or the body afterwards. Fury, not wanting to tick off the Avengers and not understanding it himself, might just have kept quiet about Coulson’s astonishing recovery.

    There are a lot of different explanations of that recovery that could be used, but the ideal ones would entangle all the main characters and lead to more story, both on TV and in the cinema.

    Power is a good motive, and there was a lot of it involved at the crucial moment: the tesseract (via the spear) and the Destroyer weapon, which Coulson fired.

    Exactly what happened to the tesseract and the “blue stick of destiny” after the Battle of Manhattan? Could either be used to resurrect Coulson? That’s immense power for good and evil, depending on whose hands they end up in, so all sorts of stuff could happen with that, besides bringing our favorite agent back.

    And what can be expected when power like that enters your body, even if it happens at the same time that sharp parts are doing terrible damage? Coulson is the only one to experience that . . . anything could have happened.

    For that matter, maybe something happened to save him when he fired a phase II device. Phase II still has bugs in it, right? Again, anything could have happened.

    Just guessing here. In any event, maybe the Avengers, in particular, Tony, will think Fury lied to them, when he only really kept quiet while he was trying to figure out the Coulson “miracle,” and that in turn will lead to all kinds of complications, too.

    In any event, welcome back, Agent Coulson!

    • “Exactly what happened to the tesseract and the “blue stick of destiny” after the Battle of Manhattan?”

      the tesseract and the “blue stick of destiny” both went back to Asgard.
      no mystery there.
      we actually SEE that happen at the end of the film.

      • We also see the medics coming into the cell chamber.

  9. will he be in avengers 2

  10. Couldn’t this be there chance to introduce LMD?, may be they can upload his brainwaves to a LMD. Then you have Clark Gregg be himself and in comic book way keep him in the show.

  11. Coulson Life Model Decoy.

  12. Personally I think the LMD is an easy cop out which is acceptable in comics but will be less palatable in the movies were the audience are more critical IMO and have a wider age spectrum. It raises many questions than answers. Like if SHIELD can create LMD why stop at Coulson alone? Why not LMD all the good men lost in Loki’s attack? Why can’t they use it whenever a superhero dies? That sure takes away the adrenaline rush in battle when we have good old LMD as backup? How credible is it that SHIELD has such technology? They haven’t shown any sign of such technological advancement in the movies save for the helicarrier. No I think this solution would only work in comics where everyone is happy to see their favourite back regardless. Whedon needs to be more consistent to his concept and plotlines IMO

  13. I think that Coulson comes back but that his return is shrouded in mystery and serves like a series-long mystery with a possible pay off at the end of the season to give him a ‘normal’ role in Captain America!

    If I know Whedon he’ll create a decent reason behind Coulson’s return and he’ll keep us guessing as a way of binding viewers.

    People mention the cards but I don’t think to many elements of the Avengers will be touched upon, just to keep some distance, in case it does fail.

    In other words, no body double, and no sudden return of Coulson! :)
    Peace

  14. Agent Melinda? An marital arts experts?! is she a counsellor or something?

  15. ‘Marital arts expert’ …… funny typo.

  16. the people asking for the introduction of LMDs in the Marvel universe are asking for the beginning of mediocrity in writing for them. It would be such a horrible cop out for a movie to employ LMDs. Thats as touchy a writing tool as Time Travel. Because the minute you introduce that tool the minute you have to explain why anyone can permanently die. It takes away the tension in seeing if someone like Black Widow or Hawkeye or Nick Fury himself are in danger. Everyone will just think to themselves “oh its probably the life model decoy” or “if he dies they’ll just bring him back with a LMD”

    Plus can you imagine Marvel using it as a negotiating tactic? “What RDJ wants more money? Kill him off in the next movie then introduce an LMD and explain the difference in looks as imperfect LMD tech”

    the minute they introduce LMDs is the minute they jump the shark. Its probably more compelling then that and I’m sure its an explanation that will stretch most of the season to keep us watching and care about the show because we aren’t attached to the other characters yet.