This fall, the “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” will return to ABC for the fourth season of their hit television show — but, before that, Head of Marvel Television Jeph Loeb, Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Henry Simmons, Elizabeth Henstridge, Iain De Caestecker, and co-creators and executive producers Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen dropped by Comic-Con International in San Diego to reveal some all-new details about their big comeback.
Loeb took the stage first and greeted the audience to thunderous applause. “Welcome to the fourth time Marvel’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ to celebrate,” he said. “We’re on our way to 88 episodes with our incredible cast.” He then reminded the audience that the show will move to 10 pm from its former 9 pm timeslot.
As Loeb prepared the audience for what they’re about to see, Gregg took the stage. “I just was wondering if we could do the thing,” Gregg asked. Loeb shut him down, but promised him that they’d do “the thing” later. The cast then took the stage.
Loeb then cued a sizzle reel for Season 3, which closed with a new logo for the show that featured a flaming chain. The same image is featured at trolleys outside of the convention.
As to his favorite moment, Simmons recalled The Spy’s Goodbye, the episode where Mockingbird and Hunter left the team. “That was personal for me, one of the most personal moments in my career, saying goodbye to two people I care very much about.”
Loeb then rolled a gag reel of the cast. “Super professional,” Bennet joked.
Asked about their audition, De Caestecker and Henstridge tried to deflect. Nevertheless, Loeb rolled their third audition, which ended with Simmons delivering a kiss on Fitz’s cheek. “This is literally the first time they acted together,” Loeb said.
Whedon revealed that the audition scene later influenced the Season 1 finale, where Fitz and Simmons were trapped in a container on the bottom of the ocean. The cast also joked that Whedon and Tancharoen’s relationship was the inspiration for Fitz and Simmons.
Loeb also showed Bennet and Brett Dalton’s audition tape, revealing that “Avengers” director Joss Whedon guided the scene. “This is how Chloe met Brett,” Loeb explained. In the scene, Bennet’s Skye must pretend to be married to Dalton’s Ward, and the two riff back and forth about their short marriage.
“My first season — the second season — my character had to go down a rope or something like that… I don’t like heights, okay? They put me on this rope… and I was gripped with fear,” Simmons shared when he was asked about his toughest moment on set.
“It was literally eight feet off the ground,” Whedon said.
“And my buddy, who’s my double, comes over and goes, ‘Henry, I can touch you,'” Simmons concluded.
Asked what it’s like to play such a strong female character, Wen said, “It’s a tremendous honor, and it really kind of blows my mind, because — as a mom — to have all of the fans who are young, and the older women too, and the boys too, it is an incredible experience to play a strong female character and to have that effect, and the impact of believing in yourself when you watch these characters. It’s just, especially in this day and age, Marvel does it in this heightened fashion.”
“Whenever I do go to these cons, and having that feedback, it’s the perk of a job — I’m not a policewoman… I don’t do things that save lives, but I am truly enamored with this job,” she concluded.
“I’m not surprised by how many people have appreciated it, because it’s a reflection of real life, but it hasn’t been shown on television at all,” Bennet pitched in. She also praised Tanchanoren’s work with the characters.
A young fan asked when Bobbi and Hunter would return to the show, to which Loeb said, “That’s classified.”
“It’s definitely classified, but keep watching,” Whedon teased.
Another fan asked if Daisy would get a new love interest in Season 4. “We’re trying to cast that, because nobody seems to want the job because it has an expiration,” Gregg joked.
“I think she’s rattled,” Whedon explained, “but people find solace in other places, so prepare [for a new love interest].”
“She needs to get laid,” Bennet joked.
“Alright, here’s the thing. If we’re going to do the thing, it needs to be really, really dark in here,” Loeb said, finally acquiescing to Gregg’s request.
They rolled a brief clip of the standard SHIELD logo, which burned red with heat and burst into flame. As the flames rolled back, a flaming skull appeared, confirming longstanding rumors that Ghost Rider would appear on the show. The teaser closed with the tagline, “Vengeance comes this fall.”
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