Agent Coulson lives! What other dead characters would you revive for TV shows?
ABC has officially ordered the Avengers spinoff Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for its fall schedule. The show won’t actually feature too many characters from Avengers — with one rather notable exception. As Marvel godfather Joss Whedon announced many months ago, the show will feature the return of Clark Gregg’s Agent Phil Coulson. Of course, as we all know, Coulson appeared to die in The Avengers. And by “appeared to die” I mean “Yes, of course, they could have faked his death, but we saw blood running out of his mouth, and his death formed the emotional core of the film’s third act.”
Does it cheapen the end of Avengers to bring Coulson back to life? Reply hazy, ask later: We should at least wait to find out exactly how they’re bringing Coulson back from the beyond. And, more to the point, Clark Gregg is great, and the Coulson character was one of the best inventions of the onscreen Marvel-verse. It’s intriguing to see what will happen when the character takes center stage, and it got us here at EW thinking: What other dead characters could be revived into their own TV shows?
My first thought was of one of my favorite movies of the last ten years: Michael Mann’s Collateral, which features Tom Cruise in one of his great Bizarro-Tom Cruise roles. Cruise plays Vincent, a terse professional hitman who likes jazz and is utterly sociopathic. Collateral turns Vincent into a kind of fairy-tale monster, with hints of a crazy backstory and a life you can barely imagine. There’s never really been a show about a hitman; I’m seeing a spinoff series, possibly on FX, where each season Vincent gets a new list of people to kill in a single evening. It would be like 24 meets 100 Bullets meets a fitted suit.
But the possibilities are limitless. Could Matthew from Downton Abbey, having faked his death in an unlikely automobile accident, embark on adventures across ’20s Europe? Or maybe your favorite dead character from Lost could get their own solo show? Could there be a beloved/dead supporting character in a movie that deserves to be more fully explored in TV form, like Goose from Top Gun or Boromir from Lord of the Rings or Werewolf Gary Oldman in Harry Potter? Or maybe the time is finally NOW for the long-awaited Sopranos spinoff, Big Pussy: The Series? I threw the question out to some of my EW colleagues, and got some intriguing answers/corrections:
Melissa Maerz: Lane Pryce! Though it would be hard to explain why he was found hanging in his office. I like to imagine him married to the “Chocolate Bunny.”
Denise Warner: Ned Stark (because Sean Bean ALWAYS dies and it’s time he comes back to life and can’t they just put magic blood into him or something?), Lexie and Mark (from Grey’s), Matthew Crawley from Downton Abbey (obviously).
Erin Strecker: Gary Oldman was not a werewolf. He was a dog. Lupin was a werewolf. If you’re asking if I would watch a show that was just a werewolf and a dog, voiced by Oldman and David Thewlis, running around (SOLVING CRIMES!) then yes. Yes I would.
Jeff Labrecque: Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) from LA Confidential. Coach Ernie Pantusso from Cheers (though in this case, the actor died). Henry Blake on MASH. And Maude Flanders!
Adam Carlson: Nikki/Paolo being spun off from Lost in a show about Kiele Sanchez and Rodrigo Santoro themselves playing Nikki and Paolo — a behind-the-behind-the-scenes look at what it means to be a well-hated television character on a massive hit. Limited series run. Written by Chris Carter, making his TV return.
1. In season one of Once Upon a Time, they killed off Sheriff Graham and people flipped out. If the inevitable billion OUAT spinoffs follow the new Wonderland, why not have one where Sheriff Graham is somehow resurrected through magic, Frankenstein’s lightning power, or some bulls—, then have him start a budding romance fueled by their back and forth banter with Aurora (that also solves the whole Aurora/Phillip/Mulan love triangle thing) where they’re, oh, I don’t know, in like King Arthur’s court of something.
2. Francie had sort of a lame death on Alias. She never got to know that Sydney was a spy and she was killed right when her restaurant was getting off the ground. So, she should probably get a new show where she’s just like, owning a restaurant and living her life. Oh, and she’s also an international spy (so maybe she knew about Sydney all along, twist!!). J.J. can write it. Also, I hope I’m not like, vastly misremembering Alias and she actually did come back to life (because they did that a bunch).
3. So, this is a boring one, but I know everyone was pissed when they killed off Wash in Serenity. So they should just some kind of prequel with him before he met the Firefly crew. I mean, I know we love him with Zoe, but hearing his backstory might be interesting.
Martin Schwartz: The Buffyverse of course! Anya, for her lack of filter on any new show. She’s a great sassy demon, ya? Glory, because an evil God with minions — who still sees the benefits of a loofa — is my kind of “it” girl. Fred, because every geek guy, and not a few gals, need a new crush.
Abby West: I’d want Kutner from House to come back to life and have his own show. Hey, guys! You didn’t really see my body, right?
Tell us your own answers in the comments!
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