Marvel announced at New York Comic-Con yesterday that Clark Gregg will be reprising his role as S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson in its new TV pilot for ABC. The character has proved immensely popular with audiences following his appearances in Iron Man
, Iron Man 2
, leading to a beefed-up part in this summer's The Avengers
. Heartbreakingly, however, Coulson met his untimely end in that film at the hands of Asgardian overlord Loki (Tom Hiddleston), meaning his involvement here pretty much confirms suspicions that the pilot will take place before events in, at least, The Avengers
The pilot is going into production immediately, co-written by Joss Whedon, together with brother Jed and his wife Maurissa Tancharoen, who previously worked together on Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. If all goes to plan, Joss Whedon will also direct the pilot, which has all three writers serving as executive producers alongside Jeffrey Bell (Angel, Alias) and Marvel TV's Jeph Loeb.
This makes perfect sense to me. Gregg was awesome as Coulson, who brought some real humanity, not to mention an arid line in dry humour, to the Marvel series, keeping things just the right side of campy and often serving as the audience's cypher to all the outlandish goings-on. It was a moment of genuine tragedy when he encountered the business end of Loki's evil staff thingy, but truth be told there were just too many characters in that film. Gregg, while excellent in the role, seems better suited in the long run to a career on the small screen, and by reprising his role as Agent Coulson, could well find himself with a lead role in a primetime network series, should S.H.I.E.L.D. get picked up - which is pretty damn likely. Shawarmas all round!
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