Many fans turned out in full Marvel regalia and were anxious to get some answers about the fates of their favorite characters at Sunday afternoon’s Paleyfest sesh with the cast of ABC’s “Agents of SHIELD,” held at the Dolby Theatre.
After asking the audience not to leak any spoilers via social media and announcing, “You are now cleared to level seven,” exec producer Jeph Loeb introduced a special screening of the next episode in the season, which will air on April 1.
Loeb was then joined by stars Clark Gregg, Elizabeth Henstridge, Chloe Bennet, Ming-Na Wen, Iain De Caestecker and Brett Dalton and fellow exec producers Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen and Jeffrey Bell for the panel, moderated by Felicia Day.
With the release of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” looming, Loeb teased the show’s upcoming “Captain America” crossover episode, set to air April 8, but he and the other producers remained mum about the specifics of the episode.
Gregg, whose character Agent Phil Coulson was killed off in the most recent “Avengers” film and then resurrected on the show, joked, “I found myself suddenly free” when asked about how he first got involved.
“I was really dead. I was very clear – there was a lot of blood,” Gregg quipped. He also revealed a bit of what Coulson will be dealing with during the remainder of the season.
“The real dilemma has been Coulson starting to feel both physically the way a lot of trauma survivors do and experientially in the world around him. He doesn’t feel the same,” Gregg explained. “It raises a lot of questions because I only know so much about Agent Coulson from his life before this.”
As Bell pointed out, fans of the Marvel comics always knew that Coulson lived “in the animation world,” so bringing him back followed the Marvel storyline.
Gregg also cited Twitter campaigns will helping bring Coulson back to life.
“I have 11,000 Twitter aliases, all of whom were very integral to starting the ‘Coulson Lives’ movement,” Gregg said.
Tancharoen shared that Agent May was originally named Agent Rice, but the name no longer seemed appropriate after Wen was cast in the role, which she says has become a running joke.
With all the talk of Marvel crossovers, Wen revealed her own fantasy of sorts.
“I want Skye to be the lovechild of May and Thor. We’ll have to flash back to those scenes,” she teased.
Bennet also expressed her interest in working with Thor and Captain America, as she shared “Both Chrises (Hemsworth and Evans) would be nice.”
Henstridge said she’d like to be in a scene with Thor’s brother and “Avengers” villain Loki, though Gregg quickly reminded her, “You know, I’ve been in a scene with Loki. Somehow I suspect you would have a different result.”
Dalton, who plays black ops specialist Agent Ward, talked about his character’s reputation and love scenes, telling the audience, “It definitely doesn’t suck.” Bennet concurred, adding that she would bring along Dalton’s abs if she were ever stranded on a desert island.
During the audience Q&A portion of the panel, Gregg said he would like to see Marvel’s Rocket Raccoon incorporated into the show, while Bell joked that his real-life superhero is “Matthew McConaughey in 10 years.”
When asked about the stunt work on the show, Gregg explained that everything comes together in about a tenth of the time that would be allotted on a film set.
Gregg also got up close and personal with fans, hopping off stage once to retrieve gifts and then again to hug an audience member.
Bell said the crew is up for doing “anything that makes the fans happy,” but they’ll have to wait and see exactly what the future will hold. In response to a fan question about whether any characters appear in the new “Captain America” movie, Loeb simply said, “Do check out ‘The Winter Solider.’”
All new episodes of “Agents of SHIELD” begin April 1, and fans won’t want to miss any clues or hints revealed in Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which bows in theaters April 4.
(Pictured: Jeffrey Bell, Clark Gregg and Ming-Na Wen at the Paleyfest panel of “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD”)