This most interesting Marvel Cinematic Universe newsbit this week – outside of the obvious milestone release of Thor: The Dark World in North American theaters – is the revelation that Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the first Marvel Studios live-action television series, will be building off of the events in that film. Or at least basing an episode around dealing with its aftermath, presumably in London where the Earthly portions of Thor 2 take place.
The series premiere shared a direct connection to Iron Man 3 and according to obvious speculation from fans, and now a rumor, the end of the season one of Agents of SHIELD will tie directly into the story of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
The first Captain America 2 trailer debuted the week before last, blowing our minds, so much so that it made Agents of SHIELD appear as if it doesn’t belong in the same universe. Since the film and TV series are both based on their mysterious SHIELD organization, we knew from the get-go that they’d likely crossover in some capacity. That is after all, part of the reason the series created by Avengers 1 & 2 writer and director Joss Whedon was greenlit and why it’s based in the same continuity as the movies.
We’ve known for quite some time that The Winter Soldier doubles as the often talked about S.H.I.E.L.D. movie and deals with the inner workings and politics of the organization, to the point where there’s a power struggle and all hell breaks loose, possibly even crippling S.H.I.E.L.D. (the trailer seemingly hints at that). So, when the Agents of SHIELD series aired, we questioned when in the timeline it takes place and when Agent Coulson returned from the “dead” to run his own black ops team of misfits.
Iron Man 3 took place only months after The Avengers. Thor: The Dark World – according to what Natalie Portman told us and what producer Craig Kyle said earlier this year – is based a full year after The Avengers and two years after the original Thor. Since Captain America: The Winter Soldier has the most direct links to Marvel’s first connected TV show and since the film also serves as a prequel to The Avengers: Age of Ultron (think of it is Avengers 1.5) its timeline is the most interesting (and important).
According to star Scarlett Johansson, Captain America 2’s release coincides with its position in the timeline and is based two years after The Avengers (i.e. in real-time). Knowing the Thor 2 episode of Agents of SHIELD occurs within two weeks of the film, and knowing the season one finale just happens to take place shortly after the April 2014 release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, logic tells us that the season’s final episodes will potentially lead-in or at least tie-in with the next Phase 2 film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
And that’s exactly what Comicbook.com claims to have heard the week before last on the day of the Captain America 2 trailer. The reason the news resurfaced now is because at the time, the source wasn’t credible and because any fan would come to that same conclusion based on the fact that both the show and film have overlapping events and both follow S.H.I.E.L.D.. It’s interesting now because of Marvel’s official announcement that there’s an episode based solely around the Thor 2 mess. It’s even more interesting that actor Clark Gregg, who plays Coulson in the films and TV show, retweeted it with a curiously teasing “hmmm” on his own accord.
Timelines aside, there’s also the obvious importance of the Captain America character to Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and the eventual return of Coulson in the movies. After all, The Avengers – according to Gregg – were deceived, and eventually Earth’s Mightiest will have to come to terms with the reality that Coulson is still alive and active. Perhaps Captain America 2 is when Coulson’s return from the death will be explained?
As for the reasoning why S.H.I.E.L.D. was nowhere to be found in Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Fiege hinted to us at the Thor 2 junket that their absence could be explained before Captain America 2, and we all previously heard that it would be explained in future films (likely Cap 2 and The Avengers 2):
Taking this up another level, we know the big bad of The Avengers 2 is Ultron, and he’s explained by Feige to be a threat the heroes see coming, it’s also possible that Ultron has something to do with what’s occurring in SHIELD.
“I don’t think it’s going to be about saving the universe every time. We’ve said that. It’s not about saving planet earth every time. It might be many times, but the threat that Ultron brings is certainly worthy of all the Avengers needing to come together and also the timing does play a large part of that. When you see a threat coming you have more time to assemble. There’s not a whole lot more I can say on that.”
Tell us your theories!
Cap’s next adventure is being directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo off a screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely and will release in 3D. Robert Redford joins Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Emily VanCamp, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Scarlett Johansson, Toby Jones, Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo, Hayley Atwell, Maximiliano Hernandez and Georges St-Pierre.
Iron Man 3 is now available on home video. Thor: The Dark World releases on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 31, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.
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