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

Published 2 years 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.

Follow Perri Nemiroff on Twitter @PNemiroff
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  1. Having him become the Vision would be not only awesome but a rad way to make the marvel movie universe a nice slight departure form the comics.

    • While it would be a definite departure from the comic canon, considering they are going to use the super lame Lang version of Ant-Man (did I mention SUPER LAME?), turning him into Vision is a good choice.

      The only problem with this however is how many ducks they have to have in a row to make it happen. the foremost of which would be to base the next Avengers around the creation of Ultron. I and others have been rooting for this to happen but based on the distinct lack of information about going this direction, I’m skeptical at this point.

  2. They are NOT deceived, it WAS Agent Coulson.

    However, I think that when he returns, it will be because technology, and they used his brainwaves to create Vision. So he will return, but will not look like in the picture above.

    • No, LMD. As much as I like Gregg, Vision needs to wait till Ultron builds him and Ultron waits till Hank builds him. Remember Vision in the comics had his brain patterns matching with Wonder Man, here his brain patterns could match Coulson.

      • This is the same universe where Bucky “died” from falling off of a train and not a plane, this is the same universe where Abomination does not have gills (or whatever they are) or scales.

        The movie universe is different then the comics.

  3. if true the avengers could be p****d and they may cause conflict with shield. then who knows how deep this story can go in the avengers 2 if it happens.

    • Could lead to SHIELD needing a new team and getting it if some of them refuse to return due to being deceived.

      Sorry but the Vision idea sounds terrible. Bit of a reach in my view.

      • New team? Secret Avenger? :D

    • It would match the Ultimate storyline, where Fury messes up and the Avengers turn their backs on SHIELD. Unfortunatly, that story was written by Jeph Loeb and it sucked salty balls.

      • haha, all I had to read was the name, “Leob” and knew you spoke the truth.

    • I haven’t read many comic, but I do remember one that I read about 25 years ago, and in that one Captain America and Nick Fury didn’t like each other very much. I think they even worked against each other, if I remember correctly.

      • Nobody really seems to like Fury.

  4. They’re Shield Agents, I mean come on. Shield has all types of resources that could’ve revived him, or if he wasn’t dead yet, kept him alive. But at the end of the day, nobody is gonna care about it anyways.

  5. I loved the Avengers, but why did they need a reason to save the Earth and fight? I would fight for the Earth just because it is my freakin’ home!

    • damn right

    • The avengers were all fighting for the same cause, but they weren’t fighting as a team until they had that “push” of Coulson’s “death”

  6. The deciption could cause a rift between the avengers and shield. Avengers 2 would have the team act seperately from shield. Shield could then call the avengers criminals etc and seek to arrest them so many possibilities can be taken from the comics and used here. This could lead to a rift between capt/ironman with the whole registration issue which itself could lead into secret wars and bring it all the eay around when its revealed that the deception was initially done not by Fury as himself.. But by a skrull imposter… Oooooo lol

    • Secret wars? Nah, wayyyyyy to soon for that. There’s so many storylines and characters that should be introduced before they even think of that.

      • Not only that. IMO, a “Civil War” between the Avengers doesn´t make much sense without the “street heroes” like Spider-Man, Daredevil and the Heroes For Hire. And before someone says “Then Marvel needs to get the rights back bla bla bla”… That won´t be happening in the next 10 years. It´ll happen someday (mark my words), but not in the near future.

        • Yeah not full blown civil war as described in the comics pages, that will never see the light of day but a much smaller scaled variant say a shield approved/registered team vs a freelancing team. Not as a main arc of a movie but rather something along the lines having perhaps some hero on hero battles, lots of animosity, the loss of focus leads to supervillains actually winning for once until in the third act they realise that they have to all come together to stop what happening ( madters of evil type scenario perhaps?). So yeah never a full blown “war” but use those element more prominently to be a main driver fir a movie could be interesting.

      • Oh agreed as far as timeframes, not implying civil war etc for avengers 2 more like avengers.. 4 or 5 perhaps but by then the MU might be very diff depending on which actors keep resigning etc etc

  7. I’m wondering if Coulson’s return will be in a post credits scene.Most new shows start in it would have to be in IM3.Thor 2 doesn’t come out until Nov. Or it could be a mid-season replacement show. Whatever happens,it will be interesting to see how it all blends together.

    • I was thinkin the same thing! That would be pretty cool to see him in IM3

    • My bet is it is on the IM3 Blu-ray

  8. I’d like the mystery of how he survived to be kept as a secret for the first few episodes. That way it would give me enough time to get invested with the show so that if his return does turn out to be a cop-out, I won’t care.

  9. I think it would make sense to explain Coulson’s return in The Winter Soldier. The Winter Soldier is supposed to determine where loyalties lie. No doubt it is all due to dodgy Fury :P

    • The show air in the fall of thus year.. Isnt winter soldier only released next summer? If he does a cameo in a button scene it kinda has to be done this summer

  10. I always just figured he passed out and Fury lied, and thats what hills comment on the cards being in the locker was about.
    Or he could just be vision and survived it.

    • ikr?!?!? it was so obvious to me at least that Furry had lied

  11. Cant wait to see him in shield

  12. go home clark gregg you’re drunk!

    why would the avengers care anyway ? only tony stark made a real “connection” due to the time they spent together. he barely talked to thor. had a 5 minute conversation with cap and he never met bruce banner so…

    dead means dead! please no more coulson.

    • Well, sucks for you cuz he’s coming back.

      • Hi Mom!

    • Yeah its not like there weren’t another , oh I don’t know, 20-40 other dead shield agents from the possessed Hawkeye attack force all over the ship lol always funny to me.

  13. *coulson lives*

  14. The interesting interpretable bit, for me, was, “I’m not sure even Coulson knows how much he’s changed.”

    • He’s the new robocop of the MU lol.


  16. Asgard resurrects him, Stark gives him his own Arc Reactor thingie, the DeathLok program, AI hologram, LMD, or a simple fib by Fury to call Avengers into action. Loads of possibilities.

  17. 1. We never really see that he’s ‘truly’ dead, it’s a vague fact
    2. Black Widow told Coulson on hellicarrier that “They needed you, THEY ARE STARTING THE FACE SCAN”
    3. Fury lied about the cards, and Hill confirmed it
    4. Stark hinted about life model decoy

    My guess is, the real Coulson is death, and the new decoy continued his role, or the other way around. I also believe this will be one of the major issue for the degrading of trust in Cap 2 or Avengers 2. Sounds intruiging, and I’m simply really glad that he’s alive…

  18. I actually thought this character was cool.

  19. When does the shows Pilot air??? has anyone heard??

    • Fall season. Usually late September, early October.

  20. “marital arts expert Agent Melinda May”. what are the marital arts?

    • i’m so o_0 drunk!

  21. I think a big plot of the show could be Coulson’s resurrection and the mystery surrounding it. Imagine if even Coulson’s himself is on the dark regarding the circumstances surrounding his return and a portion of the plot is dedicated to him seeking answers.

  22. I think a big plot of the show could be Coulson’s resurrection and the mystery surrounding it. Imagine if even Coulson himself is on the dark regarding the circumstances surrounding his return and a portion of the plot is dedicated to him seeking answers.

  23. I think deception is the best answer. It also ties in with Fury’s personality of giving info on a need to know basis. That would play out just fine. The characters in the SHIELD series sort of remind me of NCIS: Los Angeles blended with X files. Sounds good though. Hope it’s not limited to those guys alone cos SHIELD is a big organisation. It needs to be shown as one.

  24. Am I the only one who´s bothered by the new characters? I mean, there´s so many (already existing)SHIELD agents, why do they have to come up with new ones? They better show Quartermain, Woo and the rest of the gang as well!

  25. Coulson was brutally murdered in cold blood by Loki on the carrier. that is why Iron Man, Thor and finally The Hulk kicked his kiester on the roof of the Stark Tower in Manhattan (that big ugly thing in the middle of…)

  26. Very good and has many improvements and exciting new.

  27. Its clear tht coulson’s gonna be like Kenny from South Park. They’ll kill him off but he’ll return like nothin happened. Smart move on Marvel’s part

  28. I say he’s actually dead. The flesh and blood version of him anyways. What’s in the show, and he might not even know himself because they (shield, Fury) don’t have the heart to tell him is that he’s infact an LMD with Coulton’s memories, personality. So he’s a robot that still thinks he’s still human (hence the vague quote that he doesnt realize how much he’s changed). Boom. Mind blown. Your welcome screen ranters.

  29. Look. The “resurrection” ideas really are damaging to the film’s integrity. Coulson clearly dies. That’s it. Yes it was sad, but it was important. Don’t mess around. Leave him dead. Bring the character back via prequels if you want, but he’s dead. Mourn and move on.