New ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Trailer! More on the Team, Agent Coulson, and Just Who is the Hooded Hero J. August Richards is Playing?

It seems like Marvel Studios can do no wrong (depending on how you feel about Iron Man 3) with the latest trailer released for the upcoming Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series on ABC. We also learned recently that ABC will be airing the show as part of their Tuesday evening line-up, which is pretty terrible right now. Hopefully it won’t hurt the show prematurely, but certainly gives ABC fans something to look forward to on Tuesdays. Enough talk, let’s check out this trailer.

“Welcome to Level 7”

So much more to this trailer than the previous one, which obviously only ran for 7 seconds and offered a few glimpses at the team. This time we see more of the mission, thier place in the timeline of the MCU (after The Avengers) and of course, more of the increasingly popular Agent Phil Coulson, played by Clark Gregg. The trailer also introduces us to the rest of the team, who makes for an interesting group of characters.

The most intriguing part of the trailer has to be the ‘Hooded Hero’, who seems to be the focus of the pilot episode. This unnamed character is played by Whedon favorite and Angel alum J. August Richards, and from the early teaser a lot of online sources seemed to think that Richards would be playing Luke Cage, an Avenger who has risen to new heights of popularity over the last decade. While Cage is an enticing option, his arrival in the MCU will probably have to wait a little longer.

So who is Richards playing? There are a few other schools of thought, such as Richards playing a left over Extremis subject from Iron Man 3, or another character from the Avengers school known as Rage. This theory first came into being after taking a look at the Marvel bumber at the beginning of the trailer, which clearly shows a picture of Rage. Elvin Haliday was exposed to toxic waste which caused him to age, as well as gave him super strength that can increase as he gets all rage-y.

Marvel Bumper feat Rage
Marvel Bumper feat Rage

Rage seemed like the most likely candidate, but a recent interview with executive producer of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Jeffrey Bell shed some doubt on that rumor. CBR reports:

[box_light]In an interview with IGN, executive producer Jeffrey Bell denied that Richards would be playing the hero with unbreakable skin.

“[He] Killed it! He’s so good,” Bell told IGN in response to a question about Richards. “He’s so good, because we were looking for this character M– I almost said his name. It’s not the one people are talking about. … I’m going to say that’s an interesting Marvel character, but no. But he came in and killed it. Honestly, we were looking for this part, and we just said, look, all our parts are open to all diversity. So the fact that we have a black dude who is awesome and it’s J, was just because he was the best actor. It wasn’t like, ‘You know who…!'”

(IGN noted that the “M” sound Bell made could very well have been a strong “Hmm” sound when he stopped himself, rather than actually starting to say a name.)

The executive producer went on to say that the character may “not necessarily” be familiar to those who read Marvel comics.

“We’re going to draw from it, but Marvel has its thing, and we’re also going to be expanding forward, and this world is different since ‘The Avengers,'” Bell said. “So I think there will be people showing up, some from the Marvel Universe and some not. But to commit to anything more would be telling.”[/box_light]

So basically we are left with the realization that Richard’s could really be playing any character that isn’t Luke Cage, whose name may or may not start with ‘M’, and who may or may not be a black character in the comics. Splashpage has a list of possible characters Richards might be playing here, which offer some more interesting theories. Putting further questions out there are the quick clip that seems to show some sort of alien/tech device attached to Richard’s arm which also has no explanation.

Agents of SHIELD

Looks like we may have to wait for the premiere to learn any of these answers, but if the trailer is anything to go by, we won’t be left disappointed. As always keep it locked on the Griz for more news as it develops!

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