Joss Whedon Defends ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Comments, Says Marvel TV Gets ‘Leftovers’
A ways back, Avengers director and ex-Marvel mainstay Joss Whedon seemed to cast shade at ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. over Coulson’s resurrection, despite he himself directing the pilot, noting that movies would consider the character dead. Now, Whedon clarifies his comments, denying he regrets keeping Clark Gregg in his badass role, even as Marvel TV tends to get the movies’ “leftovers.”
During a lengthy Q&A session with the Oxford Union (h/t CosmicBookNews), Whedon addressed the candor of his previous comments on Coulson’s resurrection undercutting the films, noting that the internet turned the tone of his words meaner than intended, as the internet is wont to do :
You know who loved hearing that was Clark Gregg [audience laughter]. He was super thrilled. I do think that there is an element for somebody who consumes all the Marvel product that it might take the punch out, but generally I feel like the SHIELD audience and The Avengers audiences are not actually the same group, necessarily. No, I don’t regret bringing back Phil Coulson because he’s Clark Gregg, and he’s so bad ass.
That was an aspect of it that became a headline in the internet, because that’s what they do. It was sort of, ‘Oh, that’s the meanest thing he’s said, let’s use that.’ You have to go, ‘Well, okay, if you take it back in TV, does it take it back in film?’ That was the the thing, because it came from, ‘Why wasn’t he in the second film?’ I’m like, ‘Because I have time to explain that [sarcasm].’ It’s like, ‘In addition to introducing nineteen new characters, this [snaps finger] guy’s alive again .’ I couldn’t do that, so… It’s an aspect of it, but it’s a small one. It’s not how I feel about it.
You can also watch for yourself around the 11:30 mark:
Intriguingly, Whedon also makes note of the tendency for Marvel’s TV series to receive lower priority in certain regards, as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had originally intended to utilize Loki’s scepter before it became a major Age of Ultron plot point (around 35:02):
With a TV show, you just have to - [deep breath] - you just have to be careful. Which, unfortunately just means the TV show gets, you know, leftovers. One of the first things they said was ‘We got a great idea! We’ll use Loki’s scepter!’ And I’m like ‘Yeah … um, hold that thought.’
It’s no secret that Marvel’s movie and TV branches have grown increasingly apart, though at least someone with such an extensive TV background as Joss Whedon recognizes the occasional difficulty of navigating between the two.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will return in March after Agent Carter Season 2, presumably with some small tie-in to the setup of Captain America: Civil War, but could Coulson’s world one day play a part in the feature films again? How might plans for Season 1 have changed, had Whedon not earmarked the scepter for Age of Ultron?
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