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After leaving Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans in the dark about whether agency director Phil Coulson’s storyline had reached a definitive end during May’s season 5 closer, Marvel has confirmed the man behind the character, Clark Gregg, will return to the series at the top of season 6 — but not necessarily in the capacity audiences might expect.
Marvel confirmed via social media Saturday that Gregg — who has fronted the ABC series since its 2013 debut —will return to direct the season 6 opener titled “Missing Pieces,” written by series co-creators Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen. He has directed one S.H.I.E.L.D. episode in season 5 (“Fun & Games”), as well as two feature films (Choke and Trust Me) in the past.
“It’s amazing! He’s still the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. It’s really exciting,” Chloe Bennet, who plays Daisy Johnson on the program, told EW Saturday at Comic-Con. “He directed an episode last year, and he’s always been such a great leader off camera anyway, so it feels totally normal.”
Though Marvel has yet to confirm Gregg’s involvement in the episode beyond sitting in the director’s chair, the actor-filmmaker seemed convinced Coulson’s impending doom at the end of season 5 would remain permanent should the series continue into the future.
“I don’t get any sense that it will,” Gregg previously told EW when asked if there was more to Coulson’s story. “It doesn’t feel weird to me that it might go forward because I don’t know that that’s the case.”
Viewers will recall Coulson was prepared to die after the team stopped Graviton and broke the time loop. He was healed of his grave Avengers injury by a Kree serum, which burned off when he assumed Ghost Rider’s powers, setting him on a path towards death once again. The episode ended as Coulson was left in Tahiti with Agent May (Ming-Na Wen) for the remainder of his days.
“I know that they’ve picked up the show, I don’t know if it includes me,” Gregg continued, referencing the show’s 13-episode pickup, which is currently scheduled to air throughout mid-2019. “I don’t know if it’ll just be me in flashbacks or sexy dreams with Agent May.”