Joss Whedon Discusses The Return Of Agent Coulson In MARVEL'S S.H.I.E.L.D.

While he doesn't explain the specifics of how 'Agent Coulson' will make his return in Marvel and ABC's S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series, The Avengers director does comment on the decision to kill him off in the superhero ensemble and why he wants to bring him back.

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By Josh Wilding - 12/24/2012

It's fair to say that Joss Whedon has something of a reputation for killing off beloved characters. It was inevitable then that SOMEONE would have to meet their maker in The Avengers, and it ended up being fan favourite, 'Agent Coulson' (played by Clark Gregg). However, it may comes as something of a surprise to you then that it was in fact not Whedon's decision to end his life in the superhero ensemble. "Coulson’s death was mandated in the first meeting by Kevin Feige. I can’t say that enough times. Apparently I have some kind of reputation that we won’t discuss right now, but I do love to kill people." So, if Marvel Studios want him dead, why bring him back in the upcoming S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series? Well, the writer and director of that pilot was coy with his answer when asked at a recent Q&A event. "Clark himself said when we were shooting that it was obvious that it had to happen, otherwise all of this becomes irresponsible. There’s no toll or actual downside to this very bad idea of bringing all of these people together. As a film it’s just irresponsible. That’s why we’re bringing him back for a S.H.I.E.L.D. series." It's a little difficult to understand what he means from that last sentence (it could be down to the transcription as it may have been taken out of context), but Whedon clearly has bigger plans for the character and doesn't have an issue with bringing him back, regardless of whether it contradicts the significance of his death in the movie. Sound off with your thoughts on these comments in the usual place!

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Jaspion - 12/24/2012, 12:57 PM
Uhh... so, why is he back again?
Luminus - 12/24/2012, 12:58 PM
Uhm, so, why is he back?
TheMadman - 12/24/2012, 1:11 PM
It might be flashback and setup bits, y'know?
"March 2003, Culver University, Virginia."
MattSpatola - 12/24/2012, 1:21 PM
LMD.
Tevii - 12/24/2012, 1:22 PM
Do we know if this series takes place in present day Marvel Universe, or PRIOR to Fury assembling the team?
If the series acts as a prequel of sorts, then that could explain how he's back,
bazinga85 - 12/24/2012, 1:27 PM
It better be a flashback
VictorHugo - 12/24/2012, 1:28 PM
Please, don´t bring the "Death is cheap" trope into the Marvel Movieverse,´cause next thing we´ll be seeing is "The Clone Saga", "Rob Liefeld´s Heroes Return", "teenage Tony Stark" and other abominations.
CaptainObvious - 12/24/2012, 1:30 PM
Having LMDs in the MCU takes away the sense of danger. If the characters can be brought back to life no matter what, then why should we fear for them whenever they are thrown into life-threatening situations?
TheGambitFreakIsBatmanOfCBM - 12/24/2012, 1:32 PM
LMD baby, LMD. Or......




;)
TheGambitFreakIsBatmanOfCBM - 12/24/2012, 1:34 PM
I say keep him dead, except for flashbacks and things of the sort. HOWEVER, keep the action figures coming, I want a 6 inch Coulson! Hell, give him his own ongoing comic book series. It'd be better than 50% of that Marvel NOW! shit anyway.
FoxForce5 - 12/24/2012, 1:41 PM
Whedon might have a history of killing people off but he has almost as much history bringing them back and Marvel has always "brought characters back"... it's sort of been their thing since the inception of the company - hell, you can even argue that it started with Captain America. Anyway, point is, if it's a "Marvel Death" it means there's always a good chance the character will come back. Let's just accept it and move on.

-Long live COULSON: THE UNDYING!!!
avengers72 - 12/24/2012, 1:45 PM
the son of coul needs to stay dead. end of story
Kevinwillpeabodyproperties - 12/24/2012, 2:02 PM
Son of coul. I wonder if they named him coulson just to use that line.
It was money.

I hope he is back in great flashbacks.

Does anyone know if this story if before or after the battle in manhattan? That's kinda important.
mrexcellent - 12/24/2012, 2:14 PM
I'd like to see Coulson back. I disagree with the notion that he needed to die. It's not so hard to believe that Fury would lie about Coulson's death to get the team to stop arguing and cooperate, or to believe that Coulson would cooperate with such a plan. Even if it is revealed that Coulson is alive, it doesn't cheapen the victory that was won in New York. The heroes still understand that by working together, they accomplished something that couldn't have been done by any one person. The victory doesn't go away, and neither does the lesson they learned.

I understand the argument that death is meaningless in comics, and I wouldn't want the movies to become like that either. But the way Phil's "death" was handled, I don't think that would happen by resurrecting him.
mrexcellent - 12/24/2012, 2:17 PM
Also, I'd like to point out in agreement with nachiwan that there were "breadcrumbs" indicating that Coulson may still be alive. That's why his resurrection doesn't seem so outlandish to me, and why I don't think it would trivialize death in the MCU.
Wildaniel - 12/24/2012, 2:38 PM
Coulson lives!
m0th3r - 12/24/2012, 2:42 PM
COULSON LIVES!! Told ya so..Josh wrote it so it was easy to back out of....The believers were always right..love it
Wildaniel - 12/24/2012, 2:43 PM
Chewtoy - 12/24/2012, 2:51 PM
I'm pretty sure that last bit from him was some self-deprecating humor.

I don't care what way they go, as long as they give me an entertaining story out of it.
Fogs - 12/24/2012, 2:55 PM
Please keep him dead. Flashbacks will suffice.
BIGBMH - 12/24/2012, 3:25 PM
uh, what?
unknownfacts - 12/24/2012, 3:48 PM
First off Fury only said "The docs called it".His death was impiled not confirmed.There are some who will ask about the blood on the cards,any good collecter collect more then one copy of an item they like.So it's possible that the famous Nick Fury lied that's kind of his thing.Thought the Skrull thing would go perfect for a first season main story plot.This is just my opinion on the matter.
gunner - 12/24/2012, 3:58 PM
unknownfacts is right..
It was in my opinion never really confirmed.
Plus Coulson has "Star power" You're gonna need somewhat big names to pull off a TV show.
Bring him back (we love the guy)
facehugger81 - 12/24/2012, 4:59 PM
Quite clever @elguason, nice pic
Wildaniel - 12/24/2012, 5:25 PM
How cool would it be if in the after credits for Iron Man 3 we see Coulson's body laying on a table but ends up being a Skrull!!!
TheAbomination - 12/24/2012, 5:37 PM
Aw shit. They better not bring him back to life. His death was the whole reason the Avengers assembled in the first damn place! This show better be a prequel.
NeoBaggins - 12/24/2012, 5:41 PM
Retardism. He's dead. Anything else is poorly contrived.
IgnurRant - 12/24/2012, 6:08 PM
Killing him off in the first place was stupid. Superheroes dom't need motivation to save the world or a small borrough of NYC.
ToTheManInTheColdSweat - 12/24/2012, 6:58 PM
Death is Cheap
upside - 12/24/2012, 7:04 PM
I though the tv series was going to have nothing to do with the movie?
eleven59 - 12/24/2012, 8:25 PM
Guessing the pilot is a prequel..or all of season 1 is..

Or it was a LMD
Bread - 12/24/2012, 8:26 PM
His death was what brought the Avengers together, it was the key to Phase 1. Bringing him back would just ruin it. Flashbacks would be nice though.
IgnurRant - 12/24/2012, 8:35 PM
@Intruder

LOL. Coulson died because it was Whedon's (Fiege's I guess now) attempt to bring some gravity to the situation. It didn't. It was trivial and had no bearing on the plot.

As for name, they have been calling it the Avenger's Initiative since the IM post-credit scene before there was anything to avenge. There is no deeper meaning.

Now if they really wanted to give a deeper meaning they would of prolonged the NYC battle. It should have been two parts. One where they fight and lose control of NYC and thousands/millions of people die, so they truly band together as a team and 'Avenge' those lost souls. Instead we got a mini-attack on a single NYC borrough and aliens (who were proclaimed to be the greatest army in the universe) who have no battle tactics and just shoot sh*t randomly. That's not how you conquer an area, which is what Loki said he wanted to do. I stead he just cause millions of dollars in damage, just because.
IgnurRant - 12/24/2012, 8:37 PM
Pretty stupid killing off your fan favorite original character. Kill of Maria Hill, who nobody likes in the film or comics.
mgeoff88 - 12/24/2012, 8:46 PM
What if Coulson is brought back as a realistic looking hologram for the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series?

I wish we know the timeline of the TV show. That would clear up a lot. Joss Whedon isn't spilling too much, which is smart of him, but it sucks for us.
IgnurRant - 12/24/2012, 9:27 PM
@Intruder

Loki killing 80 people should have added gravity to the film but it didn't. There was never a sense that they might lose or that people were really in danger.

The squabbling was there because it had to be there per superhero formula team up rules. Which is okay but it should have been natural instead of doing it for the sake of dong it. Whedon (whom I normally like) turned all the heroes into plot points instead of letting them be characters.

And there was no Chitauri leadership to begin with. They just cause random damage and flew speeder bikes. They didn't attempt to set up any kind of forward base, defense perimeter or use any real basic strategy. Which doesn't make sense since Loki said he wanted to rule earth.
TheBumblingIdiot - 12/24/2012, 9:31 PM
the show takes place before the avengers thats what i think
elessarundomiel2382 - 12/24/2012, 11:38 PM
Fury already lied about the cards...even Hill wondered why he did that. If Coulson WAS really dead...bloody cards wouldnt make much of a difference. So IS he really dead. NO funeral was shown, medic bay wasnt shown. At least when Whedon actually kills off characters he has the decency to show a funeral scene like in Serenity where the characters pay respect to them. Its been left open for us to wonder. SHIELD is an organisation who lies to get what they want. And what Fury wanted most was for the team to unite and gel together.
sikwon - 12/24/2012, 11:49 PM
The force that came through the portal was a landing team. Think Marines securing a beach head. They come in waves. Stark slowed the first wave when he met them as they were coming out. Thor pretty much decemated the 2nd wave with his lightening. The 3rd wave had the Avengers on their heels. Hulk was being over run on the roof top, Cap and Thor were side by side on the st. Widow was near the Cube, Hawkeye was forced off his building into the offices. Stark was getting swarmed on the ground. The Avengers were all getting pushed back by sheer numbers till the nuke came. There is a word for what the Chitari were that came through the portal... shock troops. Bring overwhelming force through strength of numbers. Thats what they were doing. Blotzkrieg.
sikwon - 12/24/2012, 11:49 PM
Blitzkrieg*
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