Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Clark Gregg teases his mysterious role in the upcoming season, revealing he's playing "not Phil Coulson" in season 6. Gregg has been a mainstay of both the film and TV sides of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever since the very beginning. Gregg made his MCU debut as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson in 2008's Iron Man, and was "killed" in 2012's The Avengers. However, the character was then resurrected for the first TV spinoff of the MCU, ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. For five seasons, Gregg lead a team of agents as they went on covert missions in an attempt to save the world from various threats.
Gregg's tenure as Coulson came to an end in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5, when Coulson died from his Avengers injury - again. Of course, fans still held out hope that Gregg would be involved in future seasons of the Marvel TV show. After all, it wouldn't be the first time the series revived a dead character. And with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. renewed for seasons 6 and 7, fans had trouble imagining the show without Gregg involved in some form. Thankfully, the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 6 trailer revealed the actor would be back, but not necessarily as the Phil Coulson fans know and love. Now, Gregg teases his now role on the show.
In an interview with Marvel, Gregg was asked about his role in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 6 and the actor understandably played coy about what fans can expect. He joked that he was like the cockroach of the MCU, surviving despite being killed multiple times and making it through Thanos' snap. When asked about playing this different role, Gregg explained:
The Coulson role and persona - though always evolving and always having new parts of him revealed to me by our writers - became a very familiar skin in a way, so to kind of change all that and suddenly find myself playing this other very mysterious person, who is not Phil Coulson… And the mystery of who that person is and why he looks like that, is something that they’ve done groundbreaking, wild stuff with that I’m really lucky to play.
Fans will no doubt have their theories about who Gregg's character is in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 6 - whether he's from the future, an alternate reality or is an LMD of some kind. But based on Gregg's comments, this not-Phil-Coulson character's identity will be weaved into the story of season 6, indicating fans may not get answers right away. Instead, it's more likely the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. writers will drop clues throughout the episodes before eventually revealing his identity and how he factors into the plot.
While fans may have been sad to see Coulson go at the end of season 5, they can take heart in Gregg remaining involved with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 6. As Gregg mentioned, he truly has become a mainstay of not only the Marvel TV series, but the larger MCU. The actor is set to return to the films next month as a young Phil Coulson in Captain Marvel, so fans will get to see the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent once again before Gregg's new character is introduced in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 6. As for whether Gregg continues to stick around for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 7 - either as this different character or someone else - that remains to be seen.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 6 premieres Summer 2019 on ABC.