Obviously there has to be a little bit of retconning to bring Agent Coulson back to life in ABC's upcoming Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but we've been wondering how Clark Gregg's resurrection would pan out since his involvement in the planned TV series was announced. Well, /Film has the answer, and it's definitely not what we were expecting. Obviously spoilers for the TV series lie ahead.
According to the site, Coulson didn't actually die in The Avengers but faked his death in order to "motivate" the superheroes. "Some S.H.I.E.L.D. members were in on it (including, possibly, Maria Hill played by Cobie Smulders) but The Avengers were not. Their security clearance wasn’t high enough," /Film explains. Nick Fury ordered the ruse, which required Coulson to hold his breath for as long as possible to make The Avengers think he had been killed. Once things died down after the events of The Avengers, he was reinstated for duty in S.H.I.E.L.D.
Of course, Loki obviously stabbed Coulson with his scepter, so it's unclear exactly how that didn't cause his death. Maybe Coulson was dying but was saved just in time after he allegedly died. Also, the Avengers likely won't be too pleased about being tricked, which is something that will likely have to be dealt with in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase Two.
During a recent interview, we now realize Gregg gave a big tease about how his character's still alive. “After people see the show, they’ll have some clue as to why I’m still there, still breathing,” he said. “But I don’t think they’ll know everything.”
Targeted for ABC’s fall lineup, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. centers on the global espionage and law-enforcement agency that’s helped to provide the connective tissue between the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whedon directed the pilot, which he co-wrote with his brother Jed Whedon and Jed’s wife Maurissa Tancharoen. The project also stars Ming-Na as Agent Melina May, Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Gemma Simmons, Iain De Caestecker as Agent Leo Fitz, Brett Dalton as Agent Grant Ward and Chloe Bennett as Skye.