A decade of Phillip J Coulson portrayed by Clark Gregg
Updated: Dec 31, 2019
We first saw Phil Coulson, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Iron Man which debuted in 2008. However, with that being out of the current decade we will first start this off with Iron Man 2.
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Clark Gregg made his return to the movies as Coulson to discuss going to New Mexico with Tony Stark. We not only was left curious about what's in New Mexico but we got to see a old Captain America shield while Coulson threatened to taze Stark while he watched Supernanny.
"If you try to escape, or play any sort of games with me, I will taze you and watch Supernanny while you drool into the carpet." Phil Coulson to Tony Stark
"A funny thing happened from the producers of Marvel, they had said we are gonna be working together I think in the future. I said okay but I actually didn’t expect to do this for any length of time because you hear that a lot more often than it actually comes true. So when they called and said we are setting up Iron Man 2 and we want you there, I said oh my god, for once that actually happened." - Clark Gregg on Iron Man 2 role (DVD Exclusive)
We quickly found out what exactly was in New Mexico when Phil Coulson found Thor's hammer "Mjolnir". Not only did we discover the hammer but this was Thor's debut in the MCU. Coulson was a big part of this movie in the franchise. As a matter of fact, Captain America: First Avenger & Hulk are the only movies he wasn't a part of, leading up to The Avengers.
How does it feel to be the superglue of the MCU?
It’s fantastic, it keeps hitting me in waves of gratitude I guess because I had a little part in Iron Man, and then it got bigger. Then I was told I was going to be in Iron Man 2 and then during filming that, I was told I was going to be in Thor which that was a incredible experience and today I found out ill be working on the Avengers and so I am a little speechless at how much fun and amazing work that this has turned into. - Clark Gregg (Comic Con 2010 Exclusive)
The Avengers (2012)
When Clark found out he was going to be in The Avengers movie alongside Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr and Chris Hemsworth, he admitted that he couldn't believe his luck. Phil Coulson was a Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. through and through and gave his life for it. He took on Loki by himself and the God of mischief ended up stabbing him through the heart with his scepter while Thor looked on helpless. Due to his death, Fury used that to bring the Avengers together and save the World. However, even though the movie had ended, fans didn't quite accept that Coulson was dead. They began a movement online with #CoulsonLives which ultimately to everyone's surprise, including Clark Gregg himself, brought him back to life in a new TV Series called "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D".
"And there's one other person you pissed off. His name was Phil." Tony Stark to Loki
Could there be a Phil Coulson Movie?
Now there is an idea, that’s a great idea. I have thought of that and I hear there is a loud clammer for the Agent Coulson movie but I think its mostly just coming from me. - Clark Gregg (Whedonopolis 2012)
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 (2013)
When we first saw Clark come on to the screen so many years ago as Phil Coulson once again, fans rejoiced. Clark Gregg walks from behind a dark wall to say "Welcome to Level 7" and once again walked back into our hearts. Throughout Season 1, we saw his new team that consisted of Leo Fitz, Jemma Simmons, Skye, Grant Ward and of course the formidable Melinda May. We learned on this long journey of 22 episodes, that Hydra would take over, Coulson would find out he was brought back to life after not just minutes but days. While we also saw him be tortured for information on said death, he later found out they used Kree Blood to do so. Season 1 was a roller coaster of a ride but thankfully this was not the last time we got to see our Beloved Hero in action.
It's a Magical Place!" - Phil Coulson
Return of Phil Coulson and #CoulsonLives movement:
I got a phone call saying you might not be that dead. The fans to my great shock was really upset when Agent Coulson was stabbed by that rascal Loki and they started a movement #Coulsonlives and it was sprayed painted on bridges and I was blown away. I am a bit of a nerd myself and I couldn’t believe I got to meet the superheroes never mind the actors that played them and then have it turn into this. I feel like I just have to laugh. - Clark Gregg (Good Morning America, 2013)
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 (2014)
After S.H.I.E.L.D. fell, we saw Coulson trying to desperately pick up the pieces and put them back together. All the while trying to battle this urge to carve alien symbols due to the alien blood GH-325. If that wasn't enough, Coulson had to battle another S.H.I.E.L.D. in which he had to prove he was the one and true director but also was still working with Maria Hill (Fury's Right hand). Once they cured Coulson of his impulse to carve, the team had to race against the clock to save humanity from Skye's parents so they didn't kill humanity or turn them Inhuman. For these efforts though, Mack ended up having to chop of Coulson's left hand in order to save himself, Coulson and Fitz from turning to stone.
Clark on the idea of Coulson and May's relationship:
There’s always been a complex relationship. I always feel like they have known each other the longest and there is clearly a deep bond. There are fans out there that we are told who“Ship” and long for the relationship to deepen between these two. I feel both ways about it and I love the possibility, the promise and the tension there is sexy in its own self. - Clark Gregg (Marvel Entertainment, 2014)
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 (2015)
Despite getting his arm chopped off, we see Coulson still trying to fight the good fight. He teams up with the ATCU and Rosalind Price to battle the Inhuman contagion outbreak. They began a romantic relationship once they realized they could trust each other and as soon as it began, Grant Ward showed up and murdered her while they ate. Coulson then was on a quest for vengeance, he followed Grant to the planet Maveth and murdered him by making his chest cave in with his prosthetic arm. Unfortunately, by killing Grant, they unleashed the first Inhuman which also went by the name Hive on to the world. Coulson and his team race against the clock to not only save Daisy Johnson but the world.
I'll be damned, Tatooine. -Phil Coulson
Now that LOLA is back, will the Director get some love?
Maybe not from Lola but I don’t know, I wouldn’t put it past him, that’s how deep the love goes. We have a nemesis and from a Coulsononian standpoint, a very sexy nemesis played by Constance Zimmer who is a very powerful figure in the new season. She has some similarities to Coulson and certainly rivals him in the superpower of sass. Um so far we just basically been taking each other on but if there at some point their combative sparks turns into the other kind, you wont get no argument from me. - Clark Gregg on S3 via Jason Miyashiro
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 (2016)
In the very beginning of Season 4, we find out Coulson is no longer Director and it was in fact his idea to give it up. He is once again a Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and teams up with Mack. Coulson and the team battle together to figure out who Ghost Rider is, whether or not he can be stopped and if they can finding the Darkhold which holds the Universe's secrets. While they battle these new obstacles, Fitz and Radcliffe create LMDs and the team is kidnapped and sent into the Framework which is a alternate universe in which Hydra won the war instead of S.H.I.E.L.D. Despite everyone but Director Jeffery Mace getting out of the Framework, the team only last a few hours before being captured and taken to the future.
Clark Gregg talks not being Director anymore and teaming up with Mack:
His first name is once again just Agent. He is back in the field but I don’t think he hates that. He was honored to be chosen Director of Shield for a while and to rebuild it from nothing. Maybe someday someone will give him the credit he deserves for achieving that task but in his heart I think he is a field agent and uh being a field agent secretly depends on how good your partner is and at the moment I think he might have a really good partner. Maybe the best yet, oh wait I haven't seen that script yet. I thought it was (you and me) *Talking about Mack as a joke* - Clark Gregg (SDCC 2016)
Fun Fact: Clark's daughter Stella Gregg appeared in Season 4 during the Framework as one of Phil Coulson's students.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 (2017)
Being taken to the future, Coulson tries off the bat to figure out where they are. Having found out that the world had been quaked apart, Coulson and his team have to not only figure out how to get back to the past (present day) but to change the events of the future so Earth won't be enslaved by the Kree. Once they are back from the future, the team also discovers that Phil Coulson is dying. Despite Phil telling May and Daisy multiple times that he was ready to die, they went behind his back to try and find a cure. In the end though, It was a decision for Coulson to make for himself. Take the serum or save the world, he let the team believe he took the serum until it was time to make it known. He gave Daisy the serum to defeat Graviton who was formally known as Glenn Talbot. Phil Coulson then decided that since he only had weeks, maybe days to live, he wanted to live them out in Tahiti with the love of his life, Melinda May.
Clark Gregg on Season 5 Finale and the fate of Coulson:
The scene where we thought we was doing a wake for Fitz but instead we was doing a living wake for Coulson. We couldn’t even read it. After three or four sentences, we just had been through a lot together and there is a lot of commitment and love among these people, it’s a real family. It’s a show about family and we became family. We never know at the end of the season if we will ever do another one and we didn’t know this time and this was very much written as a conclusion and it felt that way. So we said that you know, you just better start shooting. Just tell us where we need to stand, and we will work out the marks where people were standing. Lets just start shooting it, and it was really, we was just drained by the end of it. It was like four-five hours later. It was really an amazing day and it felt like I got to say goodbye to everyone which was nice. - Clark Gregg via IGN
Fun Fact: Clark Gregg directed Season 5 - Episode 6 *Fun and Games*
I find the process of just doing my work pretty all-consuming for the most part. The idea that I would be prepping and acting during one episode, directing and acting during another episode, and editing and acting during a third episode…. You’re talking about five weeks of double duty. The thought was daunting. They finally pushed a little bit at this season. It seemed like time. I guess, honestly, I started going, “Oh, stop being such a chicken. You’ll be fine.” It had been so different from what I’ve done. It’s weird to step outside of your comfort zone around family. It was a silly thing to be so cognizant about. It ended up being, everyone was so incredible in terms of the way they everyone showed up and supported me. I was really moved. - Clark Gregg on directing via Marvel.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 6 (2019)
With Coulson's passing in Tahiti with Melinda May, the team finds themselves a year later trying to cope with his death. While they are coping, a new villain emerges from the shadows or shall we say space...and that person has the face of their beloved Phil Coulson. Sarge who not only wears skinny jeans and is angry with the world, the team must try and find out who this guy is, why he has Coulson's face and save the world yet again. However, Melinda May struggles with the fact he has Coulson's face for obvious reasons but while she is struggling, we see her have flashbacks of her time with Phil in Tahiti. Sarge is a 100% DNA Match to Phil among other traits but it is later revealed that he is indeed not Phil Coulson but a copy from what we remember as the fear dimension from Season 5. After the battle to find out if Sarge has any of Coulson left in him, Melinda May suffers a fatal fate. In the end though, Jemma and Enoch decide to create Phil Coulson as the most advanced LMD with Chronicom technology as Daisy hits the button to activate. They are left with, in the final moments of Season 6 with a "Hey Guys" from their beloved friend and mentor Phil Coulson.
Clark Gregg on Phil Coulson's return in Season 7:
"I never imagined i would get to play so many layers and hours into this particular character. Getting to be a completely dark and different person for a season was amazing. Despite all the requests he made, the team has no choice but to put his consciousness into a...you can say a LMD but its not a LMD. Its something so many eons beyond that. - Clark Gregg via Marvel
Fun Fact: Clark Gregg directed Season 6 Episode 1 " Missing Pieces"
Captain Marvel (2019)
Clark Gregg returned to the MCU films to reprise his role as Phil Coulson but this time as a rookie agent. We finally got to see what his first rodeo was all about. Coulson not only sifted through the blockbuster damage but proved his loyalty to Fury and allowed Carol Danvers to escape when all of S.H.I.E.L.D. was looking for her and Fury. Even though we didn't get to see to much of Coulson in this 90's throwback movie, we did get a scene were Coulson wonders about Fury's eye and offers him his choice of prosthetic eyes. Even as a rookie, we got to see why Fury always believed in Coulson and made the hard choice to bring him back from the dead the first time.
Clark Gregg talks Phil Coulson and who S.H.I.E.L.D. is in Captain Marvel :
As far as I know, as far as Coulson knows, S.H.I.E.L.D. is about managing Red Skull tesseract related technologies and Hydra mop up activities and that’s about it. So to suddenly have someone crash through the roof of a blockbuster which I think is one of the great entries of all time, turns out to be apart of an alien race and if anything, far more advanced than us. It’s really beginning of a chapter that we have seen will become very very important in the future of S.H.I.E.L.D. down the road. It really helps define what S.H.I.E.L.D. becomes, there’s a lot of the ground work that gets laid for the first Avengers movie here for Thor and for everything really. So it’s fun to go back and experience that discovery within these characters points of view. - Clark Gregg via Filmisnow
Now that the decade is ending and we have had 10 + years of Phil Coulson, What is your favorite scene? Tweet us, Instagram us or Facebook us to let us know.
Don't forget that Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will return for their final season which will include Clark Gregg reprising his role of Phil Coulson, in Summer 2020.
For a more detailed summary of each movie and season, go check out the Who is Phil Coulson & Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pages on the website today!