'Agents Of SHIELD': Clark Gregg Confirms New Mystery Role Is Not Phil Coulson

Clark Gregg is returning to Marvel's Agents of SHIELD but not in his beloved role as Phil Coulson.

After Coulson's death in Agents of SHIELD's fifth season, fans were surprised to see Gregg appear in the first trailer for the show's sixth season. They were even more surprised when Gregg's character said he'd never heard of SHIELD.

Coulson retired to Tahiti (the actually island this time) to live out the few days he had left with his love, Melinda May. Speaking Marvel.com, Gregg confirmed that his character in the show's new season is not Phil Coulson, which is a strange shift for the actor.

"Very strange," Gregg says. "Very strange. The Coulson role and persona, though always evolving and always having new parts of him revealed to me by our writers, became a very familiar skin in a way and to kind of change all that and suddenly find myself playing this other very mysterious person, who is not Phil Coulson, and the mystery of who that person is and why he looks like that is something that they've done groundbreaking, wild stuff with that I'm really lucky to play."

Some fans think this new Coulson lookalike may actually be a Skrull. This is tied to Gregg returning as Phil Coulson in Captain Marvel. That film is set in the 1990s and will see Gregg playing a younger version of the SHIELD agent from before his days alongside the Avengers. The film also involves the shapeshifting aliens called Skrulls, who come to Earth as part of their war with the Kree Empire.

"That was a fun call from my friends in the Cinematic Universe," said Gregg, "who I normally see at these events, saying, 'You know, we think once again we have some work for you, but it takes place in the '90s. Can you go to the gym?' Yeah, I said, 'The '90s? I mean, there is no gym that can get me back to the '90s.' And they said, 'Well, don't worry. We've been working on that technology, and we think we can goose you back a few years.'"

Gregg is also directing the Agents of SHIELD season six premiere episode, titled "Missing Pieces."

Are you excited about the new season of Agents of SHIELD and Clark Gregg's return? Who do you think Gregg's mysterious new character is? Could he be a Skrull? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD will return for season six, made up of 13 new episodes, in summer 2019. The series has already been renewed for another 13-episode season in 2020.