By now, the creative team behind “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and its audience are all well aware that Marvel Studios films that hit theaters each spring typically feature some manner of major game-changing development in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It stands to reason, then, that the intrepid peacekeepers within S.H.I.E.L.D. will feel the impact in a significant way.
“Captain America: Civil War” promises a deep division among MCU characters regarding the oversight and accountability applied to the growing population of super-powered individuals. It’s a storyline that will dovetail neatly and significantly with the ongoing Season 3 storylines and themes in “AoS,” which have focused heavily on the repercussions of an influx newly powered-up Inhumans, both across the globe and within the team, and how all the characters feel about the dangers those powers pose.
Joining the press at WonderCon in Los Angeles, a contingent of the cast and creative team — including Marvel’s Head of Television Jeph Loeb, co-showrunner Jeffrey Bell and castmembers Clark Gregg, Chloe Bennet and Henry Simmons — hinted at how the growing divide amongst the S.H.I.E.L.D. team has set the stage for whatever paradigm shifts emerge from “Civil War.”
Jeph Loeb: The reality is that we’ve been, from the beginning of the season, telling a story about how powered people interact with non-powered people. We’ve been doing it on a very ground level… This is a show that started with the idea that not all heroes are super, and now it’s very much a part of it. So that feeling of whether or not you’re going to be tolerant of someone who’s different is really, at the end of the day, what is at the heart of “Civil War” and what’s part of what we’re doing for the rest of the season — and possibly with what’s going into Season 4.
Chloe Bennet: We’ve been kind of dealing with the themes of “Civil War” throughout our season for a while now, in some ways… Basically we’ve been having a civil war for a while now, and they copied us! [Laughs]
Jeffrey Bell: I would say even last year when Daisy was the first to change, there was a big split between how people thought about a person with powers and people not having powers. Then, as that’s grown, we’ve complicated it with — there are people who have powers who are also like, “I’m not sure I want to have powers or not,” versus people like, “This is my God-given right — of course I have it.” We play that, internally,
Clark Gregg: I think it’s something that’s gone on since the end of last season, when Coulson made Mack and Daisy partners. One’s an Inhuman, and one seems to be the most suspicious of aliens and Inhumans. That division is very much manifested in our team. Our show is looking at this Inhumans outbreak, and that’s really where the concept of a civil war — our own version of it — is happening. For my money, our focus is very much on dealing with it within our own show. It seems logical, from what I know about “Civil War,” that that’ll have repercussions on our show.
Henry Simmons: Yeah. I think there’s a great deal of potential for it to happen. Like, from Mack’s perspective, he’s very suspicious of people with powers, and so is Simmons as well. And of course, we have people with powers on our team. So I think there’s potential for there to be a problem if it comes up where this registration act, the team’s going to be divided. It’s just inevitable.
Bell: Bringing in Talbot, bringing in the ATCU as we’ve been in this season, hopefully you are feeling that split kind of growing as we go forward… We just can’t destroy buildings and punch people as often as [the movies] do. Hopefully it all feels like we’re having the same kind of conversations, because thematically, it’s a real relevant thing to talk about in general. I’m not saying there’s metaphors at stake, but there might be metaphors at stake.
Loeb: When you think about what’s going on in the world around us, Marvel really shines when things in the real world are put through a prism that then takes you back out to the other side. Right now, I don’t ever remember a time where the feelings about race, and religion, and gender, and tolerance towards man, and man’s intolerance towards man, hasn’t been so much on the front burner, that we’re going to have to figure out how to get along. We’re going to have to figure out how to understand that, just because people are different, [it] doesn’t mean that they aren’t our friend. That, in its heart and core, is what we’re doing with the show.
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