Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Clark Gregg revealed how fellow Marvel movie and TV directors inspired his own directorial turn on the series. Gregg has been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since it kicked off in 2008 with the debut of Iron Man. Since then, he appeared in a handful of movies before being killed in The Avengers and providing a tragedy around which the team could rally. Thankfully for fans of Gregg's Phil Coulson, the character was revived for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which premiered on ABC in 2013.
Over the course of four seasons, Coulson gathered a team of talented and exceptional S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, including Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet), Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), Leo Fitz (Iain de Caestecker), Alphonso 'Mack' MacKenzie (Henry Simmons), and Elena 'Yo-yo' Rodriguez (Natalia Cordova-Buckley). In the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 premiere, the agents ventured to an entirely new locale for the TV series: Space. Season 5 also marks two other major milestones for the show, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will hit its 100th episode, and Gregg directed his first episode of the series.
In an interview with Screen Rant ahead of Gregg's episode, 'Fun & Games', premiering tonight, the actor-director spoke about preparing to helm the episode. In response to whether he drew inspiration from the Marvel directors he'd worked with both on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as well as MCU films Iron Man and The Avengers, Gregg said:
The number one lesson that all those directors tend to follow is: Don’t start shooting until you have a really good script. I really felt like the script they handed me by Brent Fletcher was really big and fun and followed the template that I feel like all those directors, from Joss [Whedon] and [Jon] Favreau to Kenneth Branagh, adhere to and created, which is great action, heartbreaking drama, and then something funny. That episode really had all of that.
According to the synopsis for 'Fun & Games', Daisy's life will be on the line, but an old friend will be there to help rescue her. Last we saw of Daisy, she had been captured by the Kree leader of the Lighthouse space station, Kasius (Dominic Rains), and Fitz had made his triumphant return to proclaim the Destroyer of Worlds should be forced to fight to the death. The synopsis and where we left the agents in the future set the stage for an episode filled with action, drama, and humor. But since Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a TV series rather than a movie, Gregg also reached out to directors he'd worked with on the show in order to prepare to step behind the camera on 'Fun & Games'. Gregg said:
I actually reached out to - it’s such a specific beast to shoot the little, I called it a mini-Marvel movie that we do, and this one really felt like that. To do that in eight days with big visual effects, fights with people with powers, and invisible balls of destiny, it’s its own specific beast. So I was taking Kevin Tancharoen and Jesse Bochco and a lot of the directors we work with - Billy Gierhart - out to lunch just stoking them for tips of how to get that done and what makes the fight scenes work so well.
Certainly, Gregg has a great deal of experience in the MCU - both on the film and TV side. As such, he's particularly well-versed in the Marvel tone and is undoubtedly qualified to capture that by stepping behind the camera on an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode. Now, fans will get a chance to see Gregg's episode tonight, and based on what we know, it's sure to be an exciting hour of television.
Look for our full interview with Clark Gregg after the new episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., 'Fun & Games', airs Friday, January 5th at 9pm on ABC.