Clark Gregg Talks Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Relationship With the MCU

There was a time when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. could be counted on to air episodes that directly tied into Marvel Studios’ theatrical releases. But as the seasons wore on, references to the movies gradually became more subtle. Many fans have complained about the lack of connectivity between Marvel’s film and television output. But according to Clark Gregg, this isn’t such a bad thing. While speaking with io9, Gregg reflected on the series’ history and asserted his belief that its quality improved when it broke free from the mainstream MCU.

“I think in the early days it was very much an experiment and honestly, Marvel was really one big company, and now it’s really not,” said Gregg. “I think it’s really two separate divisions and there was a real desire to thread very carefully what we were doing with the movies. You know, at the end of season one with the Hydra reveal in Captain America: Winter Soldier, it turned our show upside down.”

“But I think when the show started to really find its best stride was when our writers decided ‘Eh, screw it. We’re going to take what we can get and there’s a lot of stuff [Marvel Studios] doesn’t seem to be using,’” Gregg continued. “They don’t seem to be using L.M.D.s, they don’t seem to be using Ghost Rider or the Framework. At first we didn’t believe that we were doing Secret Warriors, but then it became clear—‘Oh, that’s Quake.’ They’ve ingeniously taken the parts of the Marvel universe—which is broad—that no one seemed to be interested in, and we’ve squeezed every drop out of them and really let our train go on its own track.”

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Gregg also commented on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s return this summer. Apparently, everybody involved with the show was pretty convinced that its fifth season would be its last. But when the series was picked up for two more years, they decided to let Gregg play a new role. And to hear him tell it, the agents might be about to face their greatest challenge yet.

“There’s some strange anomaly happening that feels like a very threatening rupture every time it occurs and there are these people, these humanoid people who show up in the footage and one of them looks a lot like Coulson,” teased Gregg. “He’s bad, he’s dangerous, and terrifying. He’s a different person and it’s difficult for everyone to cope with, but especially Agent May and Daisy.”

You can share your thoughts on Gregg’s remarks in the comment section below!