Back at the New York Comic Con, Marvel and ABC revealed that Clark Gregg would be the lone cast member of The Avengers who will reprise his role in Joss Whedon’s upcoming “S.H.I.E.L.D.” pilot.
Given Coulson’s apparent demise at the hands of Loki during The Avengers, the initial speculation about Coulson’s return centered in part on the idea of “S.H.I.E.L.D.” being a prequel series. However, ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee has confirmed that “S.H.I.E.L.D.” takes place after the movie.
“There is no question that it is part of the Marvel Universe,” said Lee during an interview with IGN. “In fact, the story takes place after the battle for New York.”
“This is S.H.I.E.L.D. They’re following their own particular stories,” continued Lee. “There are characters in it, Coulson, who clearly come from Avengers. So it’s part of the world, but we’re going to be very, very careful that we don’t tread on the toes of the features and build a whole new world. And that’s what Joss Whedon does better than anybody else. He’s built a world for us.”
So, how could Gregg return as Coulson? The most popular theory is that the Coulson who died on the helicarrier or the Coulson who will appear in “S.H.I.E.L.D” will be revealed to be a Life Model Decoy; which is a concept that originated in Marvel Comics and it was even mentioned in The Avengers film.
Life Model Decoys are advanced androids that can mimic the appearance of humans almost perfectly. And they are among Nick Fury’s favorite tools of the spy trade.
The simpler explanation for Coulson’s return is that Fury lied about his death to manipulate the Avengers into coming together as a team; which is certainly one of Fury’s normal operating procedures.
“S.H.I.E.L.D.” will begin filming next week and it is very likely to make ABC’s fall schedule. However, Lee stopped short of guaranteeing that “S.H.I.E.L.D.” will automatically go to series.
“It’s the early days,” noted Lee. “We don’t know if it’s going to be everything we hope it’s going to be. We know the script is great. That’s all we know at this point. And we know Joss is the best!”
How do you think Phil Coulson will return in “S.H.I.E.L.D.”? Let us know in the comment section below!