Joss Whedon Tells SXSW Crowd How He'll Bring Coulson Back From The Dead

A Joss Whedon Q-and-A has to have three specific elements if it’s going to be deemed successful. There must be a softball question that allows Nathan Fillion the chance to confirm his seat at the head of Whedon’s cool-kid table. There must be a teary fan thanking Whedon for … well, for being Whedon. (Today’s example was a weeping woman who stood in line since 1 a.m. for the chance to tell Joss that Buffy gave her someone to look up to. The director was eternally gracious and looked like he wanted to come down off the stodgy panel and give this woman, a true fan, a hug.)

Finally, there has to be at least one Marvel question. So while Whedon was in Austin to promote Shakespeare – notably his light, airy adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, he paused ever so briefly to answer a question about the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV pilot. Acknowledging the presence of seemingly-deceased Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) on the panel – Gregg plays Leonato in the Much Ado ensemble – Whedon tried to explain how the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent returns from the dead.

“I’ll tell you guys this, Heimlich,” Whedon joked, before effectively clamming up about the show. “I can’t talk about it,” he admitted, but said that he did bring Coulson back from the dead for the ABC drama. “Yes. For realsies.”

When pressed for a bit of information about the pilot, Whedon said that while he loves diving into the spectacle that comes with The Avengers, he’s also interested in the people who are “under foot” in the massive battles, but who “didn’t win the lottery and aren’t super” but need to deal with the fall out of an alien attack. He thinks the pilot turned out better than expected, and he thinks his interest in those agents will keep audiences coming back week after week.

Count on the girl who cried at the microphone to DVR Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D. program if and when it airs.

Whedon had even more to say about Coulson and his involvement in this potential TV show in a recent interview he did at SXSW. Read all about that here.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.