Problematic though Marvel’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ has proven, the recent announcement that Jaimie Alexander will put in an appearance as her 'Thor' character Lady Sif has us excited for Marvel’s TV adventure all over again. The addition of a fan-favorite actress and character with genuine and practical powers to portray on the small screen has proven the series’ smartest move to date, so we had to wonder, what other Marvel Cinematic Universe characters could ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ attract, from a purely practical standpoint? And how might they figure into the story?
We’d have to imagine that CBS wouldn’t allow altogether very much time for Kat Dennings to break her ‘2 Broke Girls’ schedule, but if we’re talking practical guest stars, a Darcy consultation (with plenty of her trademark snark) could prove a generally lucrative investment. Not to mention, with Lady Sif’s arrival on the horizon, who better to consult than someone with seemingly regular contact with the Asgardians, and not confined to a mental institution?
Dum Dum Dugan
True, Neal McDonough’s Dum Dum Dugan would likely better be served by appearances on any potential ‘Agent Carter’ TV series, but that wouldn’t necessarily exclude him from crossing over with ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..’ After all, varying Marvel accounts have given Dugan and the other Howling Commandos the same “Infinity Formula” that supposedly kept Nick Fury youthful over the years, though the movies have avoided going into much of the one-eyed director’s backstory.
In either case, Dugan’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ appearance could be achieved through any measure of sci-fi means, assuming we even needed to leave the past at all. Who’s up for a flashback episode detailing a mystery that goes back to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s very origins?
For as much good will as ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ continues to garner on Marvel’s track record alone, there can be no denying that the 2014 film will prove Marvel’s biggest gamble to date. And while it remains to be seen how exactly Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill became the Star Lord we’ll see later this summer, tasking the ‘Parks and Recreation’ star with an ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ appearance would undoubtedly drum up buzz for the interstellar franchise, if not before the ’Agents’ season finale, than perhaps some time in the second season. After all, we don’t necessarily need to imagine a green-skinned Zoe Saldana, or animated raccoons and trees popping up, but most anyone would rally behind an intergalactic action hero taking care of a little business on Earth.
Seriously, come on. Of the 1,001 potential plot points from ‘The Avengers’ that ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ could mine for future stories, how has this guy not been given a name, or at least been referenced yet?
Col. James Rhodes / War Machine
Much like Iron Man himself, the effects inherent to any War Machine Iron Patriot appearances might prove too expensive for ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’’s budget, though we’d certainly paint them in a far more realistic corner than, let’s say, the Hulk. And even so, the TV-friendly Don Cheadle’s James Rhodes has plenty of value outside his billion-dollar murder suit, perhaps augmented by a few scant pieces of armor, a la Tony Stark’s zip-tie escape in ‘Iron Man 3.’
Not to mention, ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ‘ could have any number of uses for Colonel James Rhodes, especially as S.H.I.E.L.D. itself seems less and less trustworthy.
Let’s face it, a Bruce Banner appearance with no Hulk-out would surely fuel the fires of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’’s aversion to superpowers, not to mention ignore the character’s most tantalizing feature, but hear us out. Whether or not we want to see ABC pony up for a pale imitation of ‘The Avengers’ Hulk effects, the fact remains that our only foreseeable doses of Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner will arrive in ‘Age of Ultron,’ or equally unknown future Marvel movies.
So why not at least offer the occasional guest spot to one of ‘The Avengers’ most understated successes, who could easily be brought in to consult on other gamma-related (and perhaps not as expensive to portray) threats?
We don’t pretend to have any insight on whatever purported issues arose between Marvel and Jeremy Renner over the course of his two-film tenure as Hawkeye, though the fact remains that the one-time ABC ‘Unusuals’ star remains contracted for future appearances. And while ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ would have seemed the most likely target for another Hawkeye appearance, so far, everything has been kept under wraps.
Further complicating matters would be Renner’s increased acclaim from ‘American Hustle,’ making a TV appearance unlikely, but should Marvel really want to beef up ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s credibility, Clint Barton would surely stand just behind Sif as a fan favorite whose abilities could easily be portrayed on a smaller scale. Barton himself has a fairly rich backstory that could make for any number of one-off stories, or more likely, a big gun to be called in for sweeps time.
Criminal as it may seem to include characters from the ‘Iron Man’ films without featuring Tony Stark himself, we have to doubt Robert Downey Jr. would ever do TV again, no matter how much Marvel ponied up. Still, short of any of the actual ‘Avengers,’ only one cinematic character comes to mind who could bring as much gravity to Phil’s resurrection as he himself: Pepper Potts!
Gwenyth Paltrow has proven no stranger to TV with her recent (and upcoming) ‘Glee’ stint, so why not a guest spot that revives their friendship from ‘The Avengers,’ especially now that Coulson has at least a few answers about his second life? Who knows, it might even give us a clue as to what Tony’s been up to since apparently retiring the Iron mantle.
Anyone From 'The Incredible Hulk'
Whether or not Marvel intends to keep any kind of blind eye toward Edward Norton’s ‘The Incredible Hulk,’ we haven’t forgotten the myriad of Marvel characters from the film that appear to have gone overlooked in the multiple movies since. Liv Tyler certainly isn’t averse to TV these days, but Ty Burrell’s Doc Samson and William Blake Nelson’s leader Samuel Sterns would be prime candidates for ongoing storylines, perhaps even William Hurt’s General Ross, or Tim Roth’s de-powered Emil Blonsky. We’d pay to see ‘Hulk’ threads picked up much sooner than the ongoing war against Centipede, given that Marvel won’t be giving Bruce Banner the cinematic spotlight anytime soon.
Sam Rockwell ranks very closely with Jeremy Renner when considering if such Hollywood A-listers would grace the smaller screen, though Rockwell has at least expressed his openness to return as Justin Hammer, even if the quote had only been given for the sake of diplomacy. Still, with Rockwell unlikely to appear in any future ‘Iron Man’ or even ‘Avengers’ films, what better way to return to the character than to tie his vengeance into the ongoing ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ plots?
Forget Centipede, what if “The Clairvoyant” was simply a showboating cover for a vengeful Justin Hammer? We did see the character using a variant on Stark tech to kill Edison Po over the phone, after all. Just sayin’…
We began this list under the presumption that ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ would most likely never attract any of the actual Avengers to the series, particularly if the lowest-tier Chris Hemsworth wasn’t courted for a tie-in appearance to ‘Thor: The Dark World.’ We have to assume that Chris Evans would be even less likely to put in an appearance for ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but given the movie’s S.H.I.E.L.D. focus, and a much clearer picture of ‘Agents’ ongoing struggles than we had back in November, we have to wonder if Marvel might decide to at least throw in a closing-credits cameo for Cap.