Phil Coulson will be making his Marvel Cinematic Universe return next year, though it will require going back in time.
Coulson, played by actor Clark Gregg, has been confirmed for next year's Captain Marvel, though while it hits in 2019 it will actually take place in the 1990s. ComicBook.com recently caught up with Gregg to ask him about his big return, and he couldn't be more thrilled about it...though some tech will be required.
“That was a fun call from my friends in the Cinematic Universe,” Gregg said, “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 was "killed" in the original Avengers film by Loki, but it was later revealed to be a fake-out initiated by Nick Fury to motivate the team with a common goal, revenge. It ultimately worked, but Fury never told the Avengers Coulson was alive and well afterward, having Coulson instead run an undercover ops team.
Gregg is still at work on Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, and when asked if he thinks he'll ever go back to the MCU in the present day he prefers to leave that decision to others.
“I don't know – that's above my pay grade,” Gregg chuckled. “I just show up where they tell me to show up. If the day comes when I'm no longer playing Phil Coulson, I'll very gratefully bid him farewell, because it's been an incredible journey, but I've learned that it's best to just be grateful for where I am and make the most out of that opportunity that day.”
We might not get him back full time, but at least we'll get to see him on the big screen once again in Captain Marvel.
Marvel Studios' Black Panther is still in theaters, whole Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters today. It will be followed by Ant-Man and The Wasp on July 6, 2018, Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.
Additional reporting by Scott Huver