Marvel’s ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Pilot Features ‘Angel’ Actor J. August Richards in Mystery Role

Published 2 years ago by , Updated May 6th, 2014 at 9:56 am,

j august richards shield tv show Marvels S.H.I.E.L.D. Pilot Features Angel Actor J. August Richards in Mystery Role

We’re currently waiting to find out for certain if ABC is going to pick up Marvel and Joss Whedon’s S.H.I.E.L.D. TV pilot to series, even though production wrapped almost two months ago at this point. However, assuming that happens, it might be a while before any superheroes and/or important players from the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe make an appearance (which is partly because Whedon and his fellow showrunners have been too busy to plan that far ahead just yet).

There will be a familiar face from the Whedon-verse in the S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot – not counting Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) returning after his (apparent) demise during Marvel and Whedon’s The Avengers – and the individual in question is actor J. August Richards., which was the first to break this news, is confirming that Richards makes an appearance in the S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot, but is not sure whether or not he’s onboard for additional episodes; nor, for that matter, which character he is playing. Whedon has always been open about the fact that his Marvel TV series “needs to be its own thing” and won’t incorporate many characters from either the MCU or any comic books, so that makes it difficult to properly speculate about just what Richards’ “mystery role” on the show is.

That’s not to say that Richards – who was great as the street-smart demon fighter Charles Gunn on Angel and thereafter starred on the Conviction and Raising the Bar TV shows – won’t play a significant role in the S.H.I.E.L.D. proceedings. However, it is a fair bet that he won’t be portraying anybody that comic book fans have met in a previous form (be it on the printed page or in an animated TV series).

All the same, I speak as a longtime Whedonite when I say: any Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly or even Dollhouse alum who comes back to play some more in Whedon’s sandbox (like Richards) will be welcomed by me.

The S.H.I.E.L.D. cast includes Chloe Bennet, Ming-Na WenBrett DaltonIain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge, in addition to Gregg and Richards. Meanwhile, Samuel L. Jackson wants to show up as the organization’s commander Nick Fury in some shape or form, and Cobie Smulders could appear as Maria Hill (though, her commitments to Captain America: The Winter Soldier and How I Met Your Mother may prevent that from happening sooner, rather than later).


S.H.I.E.L.D. is expected to begin airing on ABC by Fall 2013.


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  1. I love watching something from Whedon, and seeing actors from his previous shows/movies popping up. Always liked Richards and am glad to see Marvel bringing out the big gunns for their tv show.

  2. That’s really awesome, really happy to see and Angel alum in this.

  3. It’s weird waiting for a Joss Whedon show after Firefly and Dollhouse I’m just hoping Shield doesn’t crash and burn like those other two shows have, also Nathan Fillion has to show up at one point or another.

    • Hmmmmmmm, no he doesn’t.

      • Well I don’t literally mean he has to, it’s not like if Joss doesn’t have Nathan Fillion on the show it’s going to crash and burn otherwise we’d all be waiting for the tenth season of Firefly. All I mean is “It’d be really good if Joss somehow got Nathan Fillion to make a guest appearance” since he is a good actor.

        • I’d love to see Nathan guest star!!

      • Uhhh… Yes he does

  4. He was badass in Heroes.

      • But they look alike.

        • I was once at the airport with a friend (years ago — think 1970s) and Greg Morris was sitting across the aisle from us (he’d been in town for a dinner theater production IIRC). I had to stop my friend from asking him what it was like working with Bob Crane.

  5. Luke cage Is my guess.

    • I really want them to make a Heroes for Hire movie with Luke Cage and Iron Fist as the main characters (and small Cameos from Daredevil, Paladin and a few other Heroes for Hire characters).

      • Same here. But This show could be a good way to set up characters not familar with the general public. If he’s cage in a few episodes here and there it might be a good way to introduce them. Similar to how they were going to make short films to introduce characters. They could use the show as a introduction

        • Exactly what I was thinking, also you could introduce the idea of Heroes for Hire. Maybe you could have the episode inspiring Luke to create Heroes For Hire. I’m really hoping they also get the character Paladin to show up at one point.

  6. It would be awesome if he turns out to be a Prince from Wakanda… ;)

  7. Great choice!

  8. This is my favorite casting post of ALL time. Charles gunn was a BAD ASS VAMP HUNTER! & to ser him under the whedon banner again is freakin awesome. I am officially stoked for this show

  9. I always hated gunn.

    • That’s funny, because I think he’s the only character in Angel that I did not absolutely abhor at one point or another.

      • when he got with whatsername instead of wesley(my favs) there was no redeeming, especially since it didnt work out and seemed random.

        And the the final season gunn was worthless so the magically made him a supernatural lawyer.

  10. It would be awesome if he turns out to be a Prince from Wakanda… ;)

    • That would be my guess (I think he is to small for Luke Cage).

  11. Glad to hear it!! Mr. Richards has been a long time gone from our screens, and JW’s loyalty to his troupe is always inspiring… I can’t wait to see this show, and how it works out!

    You go, boy!!

  12. Too “nice guy”, “baby face” and “clean cut” looking for Luke Cage. Look Cage needs to be “ruggedly handsome” like Idris Elba. Introducing Black Panther on a t.v. show without his film debut first would be disrespectful to such an iconic character.

    • Yeah I wasn’t gonna mention it but I don’t think he would be the best actor to play Luke Cage, I agree with your choice to be honest. I think Idris Elba would make a much better Luke Cage.

      • @james, I think Idris Elba would have made a great Luke Cage plus Idris Elba does a VERY convincing “New York” accent. I just personally don’t want to see him as Luke Cage now though after already being in the MCU as Heimdall. They someone similar to Elba but uniquely different and new face or unknown.

  13. That’s it? Richards will only be making an appearance in the pilot? I’ve seen the new cast. They don’t exactly impress me, with the exception of Clark Gregg. I think Whedon is making a mistake by not allowing Richards to become a regular.

  14. EASTER EGG!!! 54 minutes into the Pilot the new girl yells “Gunn stop!” and grabs him…..
    Could not stop laughing…..
    Like when they had Castle quote stuff from Firefly….
    Whedon really knows how to make you laugh!!!

    • So glad someone else noticed the “Gunn stop!” Been telling myself it wasn’t only in my head!!!