There are SPOILERS for the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 Finale below, so read ahead at your own risk.
Marvel fans are still reeling from the shocking events in the Season 5 finale of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It had been known since Season 4 that Clark Gregg's Agent Phil Coulson's time was limited after he made his deal Ghostrider, but that didn't make the end of the episode any easier. However, it was the on screen death of Leo Fitz, that was the real shocker for fans of the ABC series. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans were not expecting two deaths and now they're left picking up the pieces. But, could Agent Coulson be back for the upcoming 6th season?
In a new interview, Clark Gregg discussed the fate of Agent Coulson at the end of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5. The interviewer asks if his death is really final because it is not shown on screen. Instead, we see Phil Coulson say goodbye to the team and then head to Tahiti with May to live out his last weeks. Gregg explains.
"My understanding is that Phil Coulson is no longer alive. He's been brought back, he's been really clear that he didn't want supernatural measures used again. I always felt like he thought almost like he wasn't supposed to be here."
Though Clark Gregg believes that Agent Coulson is really dead this time, he has expressed interest in returning to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in any capacity that he can, even joking that he'd dress in a C-3PO costume to continue to hang around. But as far as coming back as Coulson, Gregg said that he having meetings to discuss his future on the show. It has been confirmed that he will be involved, but it isn't clear how. Clark Gregg had this to say.
"I have a meeting with (executive producers) Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen and the showrunners and I know there is some interest in having me involved in this 13-episode season six. I don't know in what form that will take, whether that will be flashbacks or hopefully some sexy dreams that Melinda May is having. (Laughs.)That would be nice. But that's all I know so far. There is some desire that is going to be explained to me but it's why this finale is so deep and emotional. I knew by then that this was really a farewell to that character and his life. It was also before we knew anything about whether or not we were picked up so the scene where he is saying goodbye to people was a scene that we couldn't even rehearse or read aloud successfully. We just had to figure out where we were going to stand and start shooting it because it was just so emotional for me and everybody there."
It has been revealed that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 6 will be an abbreviated season, with only 13 episodes instead of the usual 22. Additionally, the sixth season will take place after the events of the upcoming Avengers 4, premiering in the summer of 2019. When asked about the storyline in the MCU, Clark Gregg said that he was a bit relieved that they weren't going to have to deal with the mighty snap from Thanos on the TV series. Gregg says.
"I don't know what happens in the second half (in Avengers 4). As a fan I'm eager to know. We've got Ant-Man and the Wasp, Captain Marvel coming out and the second Infinity War before Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. becomes a summer show. There are so many unknown quantities in that question that I don't really have a good answer."
Speaking of Captain Marvel, Clark Gregg returns as a younger Agent Phil Coulson in the movie. The MCU film takes place in the early 1990s, which is how Coulson is able to be back. But as far as a future in the MCU, Gregg is tight-lipped. We could very well see some more of the fan-favorite character in the next phase of the MCU. For now, you can read the rest of the interview with Clark Gregg and his thoughts on the season finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at The Hollywood Reporter.