Warning: This article contains spoilers for Marvel's The Avengers.
Fans have been wanting to see the return of Clark Gregg as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson seemingly since he was killed in The Avengers. The real question is: Is Marvel working to make that happen?
The answer is: Maybe. It's easy to read too much into things that could be a mistake or have an easy explanation, but we'd really like to think a certain change in the home-video cut of The Avengers released in the U.K. was intentional. Bleeding Cool noticed a major difference between the original theatrical version of Coulson's death scene and the one used in the U.K. Blu-ray/DVD release, which leads to some questions about just how dead he actually is.
In the original version, we see Loki kill Coulson with his spear. The killing blow is pretty definitive, with the spear tip blatantly protruding from Coulson's chest. However, in the new version, the tip of the spear is removed, making Coulson's death less violent and shocking.
This all could be chalked up to censorship or something of that ilk, but it's worth noting that the U.K. screened the original theatrical cut of The Avengers in theaters. It's also worth mentioning that other nations' Blu-ray/DVD releases have the original version of Coulson's death in them. So is Marvel retconning the whole thing to make Coulson's return more plausible? Is there actually a chance Coulson could return as The Vision on Joss Whedon's S.H.I.E.L.D. television series? Or is this just one big mistake? We aren't sure, but we like to think the former.
In May, Gregg admitted he didn't think he'd get a chance to play Coulson again, but he loved all of the Vision theories. He also said he wouldn’t be surprised if fan interest brought Coulson back from the grave.
"I never know what Marvel is going to do, but I have to kind of feel like I’m trying to do my own business with ‘I probably won’t get to play this guy again.’ I love it, who knows? Who knows what the fans can make happen, you know what I mean?" he said. "That would be hilarious to me if the fans somehow managed... It would be the fans who brought Coulson back to life, but I don’t think there’s any plans. They’ve got enough superheroes to now bring in to take his place, you know? I think people would rather see Wasp than me come back.”
(Images via Movie-Censorship.com)