Agents of SHIELD star Clark Gregg says he would love to direct either a Marvel Studios movie and/or TV series for Disney Plus. The actor-filmmaker has been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since the very beginning, thanks to his role as SHIELD agent Phil Coulson in the original Iron Man. Gregg went on to reprise the role in two more MCU films and a pair of One-Shots before Coulson seemingly met his end at Loki’s staff in The Avengers. Of course, death isn’t necessarily permanent in the MCU and Coulson was thereafter resurrected for the ABC TV series Agents of SHIELD.
Gregg starred in Agents of SHIELD’s previous five seasons and will return in season 6 as “not Coulson”, following the character’s death (for real, this time) between seasons. He’s also playing Coulson in this week’s release Captain Marvel, which takes place in the 1990s and uses CGI de-aging effects to make him appear twenty years younger. Gregg’s expected to return for the already-confirmed Agents of SHIELD season 7 next year, but seems game to continue working on the MCU behind the camera after that.
During our interview with Gregg at the Captain Marvel press junket, we asked him if he’s interested in directing more for Marvel Studios, especially with the various Disney Plus MCU series that are currently in development. Here’s his response:
I’ve directed two episodes of Agents of SHIELD. It’s similar to Marvel. I directed two independent films that were very character driven and one had a little tiny bit of VFX. And the television show has evolved, the technology of it, the visual effects, the fight stuff. So, in a lot of ways it really has become a bit of a mini Marvel movie, and there are very many of them. So, they gave me the chance to do, you know, big VFX sequences, big stunts, car crashes, wire fighting, powered people fighting. And it really is exciting. It’s fun. It’s different than what I had done. So, you can’t do that without thinking, “Boy, I would love to originate one of these things.” And with Disney Plus, I’d love to, you know, yeah.
Directing an episode (or more) of a Disney Plus MCU series seems like the natural next step for Gregg, given that he’s already called the shots on a pair of Agents of SHIELD episodes. The streaming service’s MCU series are reportedly going to have $100 million budgets, which come out to around $12.5-$16 million per episode for each 6-8 episode season. This will ensure that they have the same level of production values as the MCU movies, but are quicker and easier to produce than the films. Gregg has already directed independent movies that are on the same level cost-wise (namely, Choke and Trust Me), and his experience directing for Agents of SHIELD would make it easier for him to handle the visual effects and stunts/action challenges of a Disney Plus MCU series. Of course, he would split directorial duties with a few other people, as opposed to helming all 6-8 episodes of a show by himself.
For the time being, however, Gregg is keeping busy with Agents of SHIELD and could end directing another episode for season 7. It’s possible he could go on to direct one of the Disney Plus MCU series after that, seeing as he and Marvel Studios clearly enjoy working together. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige is also known for working with the same people over and over, so that’s all the more reason to think he’ll find a way to keep Gregg around, once he’s finished his run on the TV side of the MCU. Either way, Gregg’s already spent more than a decade playing in the MCU sandbox, which is pretty impressive by itself.