J. August Richards Teases His Mysterious <i>S.H.I.E.L.D.</i> Role

Who is J. August Richards playing in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot? The actor isn't giving up the goods — and he has a very good reason to stay quiet.

"Marvel makes you feel like Iron Man is going to show up at your house if you say something you're not supposed to, and he'll kill you," he told MTV Geek about the secrecy surrounding his character. "I'm scared of the real-life Iron Man. I know he exists over at Marvel somewhere. That's why I'm not saying anything. I value my life too much."

However, Richards was willing to play ball with his interviewer, who suggested that perhaps Marvel and Joss Whedon went with "color-blind casting" for the role, opening up the possibilities on which Marvel character Richards was recruited for.

"Having worked with this company and this group of people before, they very much believe in color-blind casting," the actor said, speaking to his past experience with Whedon and friends. "You can read into that if you like."

Richards' character isn't the only big mystery of the S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot. There's also the question of Agent Phil Coulson and his continued survival after the events of Marvel's The Avengers. "I saw the movie. He died. He definitely did," Richards said of Coulson. But there's more to the story than that.

"If it's being written by Joss, Jed [Whedon] and Maurissa [Tancharoen], then anything can happen, and it's believable," he teased. "They know their stuff."

Airing Tuesdays this fall at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. stars Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson, Chloe Bennet as Skye and Brett Dalton as Grant Ward, and co-creator/pilot director Joss Whedon. The series also stars Ming-Na as Agent Melina May, Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Gemma Simmons and Iain De Caestecker as Agent Leo Fitz.

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