Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. News Round Up: Cast Interviews, Joss Whedon Speaks, That’s NOT Luke Cage, And More

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shield bannerThe ABC Upfront party took place last night, and Joss Whedon and the whole Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. team was on hand to talk and tease all kinds of Marvel goodness. There’s a lot of stuff rolling in today from the party, but we’ve tried our best to compile it all into one convenient place. There’s some quotes from Joss Whedon, Clark Gregg, and even some info on the mysterious character J. August Richard is playing. Spoiler Alert- He’s not Luke Cage like a lot of people thought. Read on for all the details.

coulsonThe first stop on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Hellicarrier is a new interview with Clark “Agent Coulson” Gregg. Entertainment Weekly caught up with the actor and tried to squeeze some info out of him. Gregg revealed that we get some hints as to how Coulson came back to life, but we’re not going to get the whole story in the first episode. The actor teased we’ll have to wait and see what the truth is, but we’ll get some clues in the pilot. However he comes back, Gregg tries not to be too flippant about being resurrected:

I have a feeling if they killed me off again it would be for good so I’m very careful to read the end of the script every time I get one. It’s like getting struck by lightning. I kind of hope it hits somebody else first before it comes back to me.

Agent Coulson represents the people who don’t have superpowers, the guys who actually can be killed — or at least seem to be and yet come back sometimes … Marvel has such a lock on how to do really incredibly visual affects and stunts that we’ve got stuff on our show that I just don’t think we’ve seen on TV before.

shield 3During the actual Upfront presentation, Joss Whedon took the stage to say a few words about the project. The superstar director was joined on stage by the show’s cast when he tried to pitch everyone on the project. Deadline had a rundown of Whedon‘s speech. According to the site he was nervous as he gave his speech:

“I’ll be brief. I was born…” But then he grew serious. “I wasn’t born. I was grown in a lab… and fed on Marvel Comics — and that turned out OK for me.” As to why Avengers was so successful, Whedon said, “It worked because everyone felt included” and predicted the TV show would have the same effect on viewers. He praised S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s unorthodox leading man Clark Gregg as “an actor so talented even I couldn’t kill him” so Whedon said he “built S.H.I.E.L.D. around him” because he “had a story to tell [how] to be an ordinary person in an increasingly extraordinary world. We wanted to say that everybody could be a part of this – men, women, children and “grownups who love comic books”.

The third stop in the S.H.I.E.L.D. news tour is a video from Access Hollywood. They caught up with three of the cast members on the red carpet. They couldn’t say much, but they did tease some pretty interesting developments with their respective characters.

j august richardsCatch your breath, we’re at the final stop. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. executive producer Jeffrey Bell spoke with IGN today about the show. Again, he couldn’t say much but he did reveal that J. August Richard is not Luke Cage. Richards was spotted in most of the show’s trailers sporting some yellow pants while he was doing big, heroic things. Many began to speculate that he would be the famous Hero for Hire. This is what Bell said when asked the Cage question:

I’m going to say that’s an interesting Marvel character, but no. But he came in and killed it. Honestly, we were looking for this part, and we just said, look, all our parts are open to all diversity. So the fact that we have a black dude who is awesome and it’s J, was just because he was the best actor. It wasn’t like, “You know who…!”

I mean, we’re going to draw from it, but Marvel has its thing, and we’re also going to be expanding forward, and this world is different since The Avengers. So I think there will be people showing up, some from the Marvel Universe and some not. But to commit to anything more would be telling

J’s a guest star in it, and we talk about it like this: If you take all the Marvel movies, really only Captain America and the Hulk are the only real “superheroes” in all those movies. You’ve got an alien god, but in all those movies, there’s been, like, three [superheroes]. So if we trot out a superhero every week, it would be weird. But we’re saying the world is different and things are changing, so we will be finding other people — so whether it’s science or whether it’s a result of [what happened in] New York or whether they’re from somewhere else, we’re open to everything. Whatever makes cool stories.

There you have it. Everything you ever wanted to know from the Upfront red carpet presentation and more. Be sure to click to the sources, especially the IGN piece, because there are still several tidbits and teasers about the show. The biggest thing in there (probably) is J. August Richard‘s character. The past few days have seen people moving away from the Luke Cage speculation and more toward another character- Rage. Rage is best known as a member of the New Warriors. He has superhuman strength and invulnerability, so it fits with the few amazing feats we’ve seen in the promos. What do you think about all the news? Any guesses on who or what J. August Richard is?

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