Agents Of SHIELD’s Clark Gregg: ignoring the movies helped the show “find its best stride”

Clark Gregg, who plays Agent Phil Coulson in Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., has been reflecting on the show’s early days and how distancing itself from the Marvel movies helped the show move forward.

Speaking to iO9, Gregg said this:

“I think in the early days it was very much an experiment and honestly, Marvel was really one big company, and now it’s really not. I think it’s really two separate divisions and there was a real desire to thread very carefully what we were doing with the movies. You know, at the end of season one with the Hydra reveal in Captain America: Winter Soldier, it turned our show upside down.

“But I think when the show started to really find its best stride was when our writers decided “Eh, screw it. We’re going to take what we can get and there’s a lot of stuff [Marvel Studios] doesn’t seem to be using. They don’t seem to be using L.M.D.s, they don’t seem to be using Ghostrider or the Framework. At first we didn’t believe that we were doing Secret Warriors, but then it became clear—‘Oh, that’s Quake.’ They’ve ingeniously taken the parts of the Marvel universe—which is broad—that no one seemed to be interested in, and we’ve squeezed every drop out of them and really let our train go on its own track.”

Certainly, it’s hard to disagree with Gregg here. Although connecting to the movies provided some strong moments (such as the HYDRA reveal), ignoring them altogether and doing its own thing really helped Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. find its own identity.

The show will return for its sixth season in May.