[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3 ahead.]
Marvel and ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. hit the ground running with its season 3 premiere (titled “Laws of Nature”), as Director Coulson (Clark Gregg) and his agents found themselves scrambling to contain the un-containable situation that had resulted from the season 2 finale (read: Terrigen Crystals getting into the human food supply and activating the powers of Inhumans around the world).
Coulson has since struck a shaky alliance with Rosalind Price (Constance Zimmer) and the Advanced Threat Containment Unit – an organization with the public backing of the U.S. government – with the hope of getting on top of the Inhuman situation. It may prove to be a smart move on Coulson’s part too, as the latest Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. casting announcement involves a character who (by the sound of them) will present yet another “problem” for Coulson and Co. to deal with.
Marvel has announced that Powers Boothe will join the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. cast in a recurring role as Gideon Malick: “a notorious man whose loyalties remain a mystery.” Boothe has a long history of playing threatening figures onscreen, whether it be in the Sin City movies (where he portrayed corrupt Senator Roarke) or television shows like Deadwood and Nashville. Boothe also voiced the super-villains Gorilla Grodd and Red Tornado on the Justice League cartoon series from 2000s, and voiced Lex Luthor in the 2006 DC animated film Superman: Brainiac Attacks.
It sounds as though Gideon Malick will call for another villainous turn by Boothe, judging by how Marvel Television Head Jeph Loeb sums the character up:
“Gideon is incredibly menacing and in him we have a character that even the stone-cold Grant Ward would fear. Only someone of Powers’ caliber could deliver the type of ominous and powerful performance we needed.”
Boothe previously played a small role in The Avengers, where he appeared as one of the shadowy members of the World Security Council – which communicated with former S.H.I.E.L.D. head Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). It’s certainly possible that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will establish that Gideon Malick is, in fact, the character Boothe played in Avengers, but there’s a decent chance he will be a different person altogether. Boothe wouldn’t be the first actor to portray a glorified extra in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, only to return to the MCU as someone else; for example, Laura Haddock played “Autograph Seeker” in Captain America: The First Avenger before she portrayed Meredith Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy.
[UPDATE: Screen Crush reports it has reached out to Marvel and been informed that Boothe’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. character, Gideon Malick, will in fact be the same person he played in The Avengers.]
Loeb name-dropping Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) could be a hint that Gideon Malick will be connected to the onetime S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and his ongoing efforts to rebuild Hydra – either as a (dangerous) ally or an obstacle to Ward’s efforts. Alternatively, Malick may be connected to the Inhuman Lash (Matthew Willig) and his ongoing mission to hunt down other members of his kind. Hydra and Lash are the two main antagonistic forces at play in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3 narrative but a few episodes in, so it’s feasible that Malick will serve another purpose altogether.
Either way, Coulson and team will continue to have their hands full, for the foreseeable future. And not all of their problems may be Earth-bound either, now that Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) wants to return to the alien planet from which she only barely escaped…
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3 continues with “Devils You Know” next Tuesday at 9 p.m. on ABC. Agent Carter season 2 will air during the mid-season break in early 2016.