‘Agents of SHIELD’ SDCC Recap

‘Agents of SHIELD’ SDCC Recap

By Amanda Joyce Jul 25, 2016 01:00 PM
Photo Credit: Marvel/ABC

The series just got back to work on season four, and as a result, the cast (and the fans) of Agents of SHIELD don’t have a ton of details to offer up, right? You wouldn’t know that with the sheer volume of teasers, some big and some small, that have come out as a result of their weekend at San Diego Comic-Con. Here’s everything we learned about season four of the ABC series, and a few Marvel Cinematic Universe extras as well.

 

Ghost Rider is official.

This was the one bit of speculation that has been running rampant since ABC started casting for a pair of Latino brothers earlier this year. Most comic book themed websites, Marvel fans, and yours truly, had speculated that the Robbie Reyes version of the character would be added to the show in the coming season, though no one is clear on exactly how. At SDCC, not only did Marvel announce the addition of the character, but they also revealed his car, and the actor that will play him. Gabriel Luna will bring Robbie Reyes to life.

ABC, "Wicked City"

With so many versions of the Ghost Rider in the comics, why did the producers decide to go with Robbie Reyes? According to multiple interviews over the course of the weekend, including a quick chat with Natalie Abrams at Entertainment Weekly, Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon revealed that this version of the character was the one that fit in the best with their show. SHIELD has always had a focus on creating a found family out of its team, and with the addition of Robbie Reyes, whose actions are typically built around keeping his little brother Gabe safe in the comics, he would fit right in with that focus on family.

Of course, Whedon and Tancharoen also revealed that the reason they chose Ghost Rider is because he was their favorite of the options they were given. As has been the case for any comic book character used on the show, the executive producers have to make sure that they’re allowed to use characters from the comics before they begin writing for them. In this case, Marvel offered him up.

 

 

When can we expect the new character to show his face? The EPs promised that audiences wouldn’t have to wait long - or at all. It sounds like he’ll appear in the season premiere if fans are lucky.

 

Daisy has gone back to the beginning.

With the flashforward at the end of season three, we all knew that Daisy was on her own and on the run from SHIELD, but Chloe Bennet revealed one tidbit about her character during interviews over the course of the convention that she wasn’t sure if she could share or not - she thinks that Daisy is back in a van.

You might remember that when the series first began, Daisy was Skye, and Skye was living on her own in the back of her van, trying to do what she thought was right by doing her best to expose SHIELD to the world at large and provide freedom of information. Of course, after joining SHIELD and realizing just what kinds of things the organization was protecting the rest of the world from, she decided that hiding a little information from the world at large wasn’t a bad thing.

Given that she’s doing her best to protect those people who are different, or those Inhumans like her as she promised a fellow Inhuman in season three, she’s still moved forward as Daisy, but also reverted back to the person she was as Skye to a degree since she’s isolated herself so she doesn’t have to feel the same pain of losing anyone again, which should make for interesting character development moving forward.

It was also revealed, though in a rather roundabout way, that it might be Daisy who first interacts with Robbie Reyes on the show since she’s out in the world on her own. Maybe he’s the impetus to get her to go back to SHIELD?

 

Elena is back.

Natalia Cordova-Buckley was one of the newest “agents” of season three and audiences loved her as Elena “Yo-yo” Rodriguez. A new take on a comic book character, she and Juan Pablo Raba added some Latino characters to the very multicultural cast. While Raba ended up unavailable for much of the season, Cordova-Buckley made a few more appearances.

Clark Gregg worked with an artist out of the UK to design a t-shirt that was given out at Comic Con as a prize to Agents of SHIELD fans. The design featured the now six core characters, but it also featured Elena, which would seem to indicate that she would be back on the series in some capacity, though no one confirmed that at the panel.

Natalia Cordova-Buckley though, who didn’t attend Comic Con, did interact with fans on twitter while the Agents of SHIELD cast was busy with interviews and their panel, confirming that Elena would be back.

 

 

 

We could see more familiar faces.

Fans and press alike had one big cast question on their minds: With the spinoff series Marvel’s Most Wanted not moving forward, could we see Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) and Hunter (Nick Blood) again? The cast, of course, doesn’t know as much about what’s coming as the writers and executive producers do.

Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon wouldn’t say for sure if or when the audience would see the characters again, but they did say that they are trying to work out the details of the season moving forward and that there are people they’d like to have come back. Whedon also added, “once an agent, always an agent,” when discussing the actors during the press roundtables, while Jeph Loeb referred to that information as classified.

Given that attitude, I imagine the writers and producers would be doing their best to bring back familiar faces like Deathlok (J. August Richards), Weaver (Christine Adams), and Joey (Raba).

There was confirmation that John Hannah, who guest starred as Dr. Radcliffe last season, will recur throughout season four.

 

No one knows who the new director is.

Or if any of the cast does know, they aren’t telling. While we all know that someone new is in charge as a result of the season three finale flashforward, the cast all seemed to indicate that they didn’t know who the new director is when they were asked about the new person. Now, so far, the cast has only had the table read for the season four premiere, so it’s entirely possible that the character hasn’t been revealed to them yet.

Clark Gregg though might have indicated that the cast knows more than they’re saying about the new director. When asked how the team is getting along with the new director during the press roundtables, he did indicate that SHIELD might not be on their own anymore. While his response was filled with plenty of “maybes” and “possiblies,” he did indicate that as a result of the Sokovia Accords in Captain America: Civil War, SHIELD could be back under government control.

Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon echoed that sentiment during their own press interviews, repeatedly mentioning that as a result of the film, SHIELD is taken steps toward becoming a “legitimate” organization again instead of hiding in the shadows. They did go as far to tease that whether or not SHIELD will enforce the Sokovia Accords, which provided for those superpowered individuals being under government control, would be a decision the group would have to make.

That means that whomever is now in charge of SHIELD is likely a government employee, so it could be someone the audience already knows, but it could also be someone completely knew.

On a Marvel livestream appearance though, the cast was asked who they thought of the core six would make the best and worst leaders of the organization, whether or not that would ever happen. Funnily enough, the cast seemed to unanimously agree that Simmons would make the best director because she’s capable of making the hard decisions while Fitz would be the worst because he doesn’t want to make those hard decisions. It seems unlikely that either of them would be placed in charge any time in the near future though.

 

The cast will learn more about their character arcs this week.

When the cast hit up SDCC press lines and roundtable sessions, they had only filmed a single day of footage for the new season. They were all very clear that they didn’t know what was coming for the characters beyond the season premiere as well. Ming-Na Wen, who participated in the press roundtables with Iain de Caestecker, did reveal though that in seasons past, the cast has been brought together with the executive producers for a conference of sorts at the start of the season where they’re given the broad strokes of what to expect to help inform their performances.

While Wen said she wasn’t sure why they hadn’t done that yet, de Caestecker revealed that they would be doing that in the next week. The duo joked back and forth about not getting messages or not checking their messages, but given that they’re just getting back into the swing of things, we’re going to take de Caestecker’s word for it.

 

We also got a blast from the past.

Not only did Marvel bring a season three gag reel to SDCC, but they also brought screen tests and unused scenes.

Joss Whedon shot a scene with Chloe Bennet and Brett Dalton before the pilot was filmed to test their chemistry for the network. The scene was never used for the show, but it featured the two of them preparing for an undercover operation as a married couple:

 

 

Also shared at the panel was the first time Iain de Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge ever appeared on camera together. Their chemistry test in front of executives was a scene that would later inspire both the dramatic conflict of season one, episode six, for Fitz and Simmons, and of the season one finale in which they were trapped at the bottom of the ocean:

 

 

Both the actors and the executive producers have been talking about their auditions and this screen test for the last three years as evidence that these two actors were meant to play the roles, so fans were incredibly excited to finally see it.

 

The Inhumans movie appears to be dead.

This isn’t exactly Agents of SHIELD news, but since the show is the first Marvel Cinematic Universe property to feature Inhuman characters, it seems worth mentioning.

While Kevin Feige went on record in the past as saying that even though the film has been removed from the release schedule for the time being, it would make its way to theaters at some point, that’s not the vibe coming out of the press roundtables. There was a lot of discussion amongst the executive producers and press representatives about whether or not the show had more freedom to play with “classic” Inhuman characters. And the answer was yes.

Up until now, the Inhumans we’ve seen on the show have either been created specifically for the show, or they’re characters whose powers were not the result of an Inhuman gene in the comics, but who were adapted for the series. The show has been staying away from the Inhuman royal family and related characters because they were reserved for the movie. It sounds like the movie being “on hold” means they might get the chance to play with some of those characters if they want to.

 

That’s all the pertinent info for the show that we found out this weekend, but the cast also had fun interviews with MTV, Nerd HQ, Blastr, and more, if you want to see them answer questions unrelated to the show.

 

Agents of SHIELD returns with all new episodes this September on ABC. It will move to Tuesdays at 10PM. Check out the first artwork for the season, featuring Ghost Rider haunting the core cast members, in a Comic Con exclusive poster below:

Marvel/ABC

 

Tags: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (2013), Inhumans (2019), Gabriel Luna, Chloe Bennet, Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Henry Simmons, Elizabeth Henstridge, Iain De Caestecker, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, John Hannah, Jeph Loeb, Comic-Con (2016), Marvel Cinematic Universe
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Having graduated with a BS in Psychology in 2008, Amanda opted not to pursue a scientific field, but freelance writing instead. A bit of a pop culture junkie, ...
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