ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” returns this Summer with a shorter thirteen-episode sixth season and an agency that has to carry on without Clark Gregg’s Agent Phil Coulson. That said, Gregg is returning in the new season as a new character.
Speaking with ET Online to address the mystery surrounding him, Gregg said he only agreed to return to the show if he could do a role that was both something special and markedly different from Coulson:
“It may be a little disturbing, but this is a very different person. There’s a big mystery here. And I think that this person is as surprised as they are, that they seem to recognize his face… I probably wasn’t supposed to say that!… That’s what I like about the show. They have a great bravery in terms of throwing out all the rules and taking risks. And they’ve really taken one this year.”
Gregg also says the new season will see the team split up with half of Earth, led by new S.H.I.E.L.D. director Mack, and the other half in deep space searching for a frozen Fitz and Enoch:
“I know that season six starts out with the S.H.I.E.L.D. team on Earth, grieving, trying to take on on the duties of S.H.I.E.L.D. and dealing with these strange anomalies that have wreaked mass chaos, and they seem to get some images of people from somewhere else who are committing these things. The other half of the team is off in space, looking for the frozen Fitz from the future… And suddenly, it becomes clear that one of these people is wearing a very familiar face.”
Gregg also indicates that news of the show’s renewal for not one but two additional seasons came as a surprise to everyone:
“We had this really wonderful end of season five — the [season finale] episode was even called ‘The End’ — and we had reason to believe that we were done. We’d had these wonderful five seasons and a very tight family, and it was very, very sad. And then they called everyone up and said, we’re actually gonna do two more short, 13-episode seasons, which is really the number we thought we always could do best at.”
The series is slated to return to the air in July.