Captain Marvel star Clark Gregg believes some of the original Avengers may know that Phil Coulson is still alive. Played by Gregg since the 2008 debut of the MCU, the character was the common denominator in most Phase 1 films, a period which culminated with Joss Whedon's The Avengers. However, Marvel Studios' first ensemble film was also the final time viewers saw the fan-favorite S.H.I.E.L.D. operative appear on the big screen, after he and Nick Fury (Sam Jackson) faked his death to motivate the heroes to band together against Loki (Tom Hiddleston).
Since then, Coulson has gone on his own adventures via ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., where he led a special set of agents in various missions. He's gone to space and even briefly become Ghost Rider - all of these missions, his Avenger pals supposedly don't know about. But as he makes his way back onto the big screen with the release of the 1995-set Captain Marvel, talk about whether or not Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and the rest of the Phase 1 heroes will ever find out about his true fate picks up steam again. However, if Gregg is to be asked, he says that he believes some of them already know that his character is still alive.
In a recent interview with Gamespot while out doing the press rounds for Captain Marvel, Gregg toyed with the idea that some Avengers are aware that he survived Loki's attack on him. As to who among the six know, the actor gamely broke down which ones might have an idea of his fate.
"We know that Nick Fury knows, obviously, we've seen him. And I feel like Tony Stark knows things--he just finds a way to know things - but I think the two of them have had a blunt conversation about it and decided not to share it further. And then we had Lady Sif promise not to tell Thor - but I don't know how much I believe that. And Maria Hill knows, she's spent time with him - but I think everyone else is just keeping it a secret."
Gregg's theory may have some merit. Considering that Stark has the means to know about things, not to mention that when S.H.I.E.L.D. was dismantled following the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, he took over in running the Avengers and even employed Maria Hill (Colbie Smulders), there's a good chance that he knows. Assuming that this is the case, one wonders if this will somehow play into Avengers: Endgame. Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb did tease that this loose subplot will be resolved in a surprising way, unless they do it on the small screen with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. instead.
Since Endgame will wrap up the 22-film arc that the MCU has been unfolding since 2008, and Coulson was a significant part of the franchise's early days, it makes sense that he'd be brought back, possibly for one last time. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo seem to be leaning hard on nostalgia. with the movie setting the core Avengers up for potentially their last mission together. Somehow including Coulson and even Fury into the mix would effectively make people feel nostalgic as if it's 2012 again. Fans will just have to wait and see how things pan out in the movie when it hits theaters next month.
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019