Marvel's Phil Coulson Teases His Possible Return to the MCU

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Updated:
Clark Gregg Phil Coulson

Clark Gregg, who portrayed Phil Coulson in several Marvel projects, responded to MCU return prospects in a new interview. 

Gregg's Phil Coulson was a mainstay of the MCU's Phase 1, but Loki killed the character during the events of 2012's The Avengers

Despite his death, Gregg reprised his role as Agent Coulson in ABC's Agents of SHIELD for seven seasons while also having a supporting role in 2019's Captain Marvel. The MCU veteran also made a comeback in the What If...? animated series on Disney+.

Clark Gregg Addresses Possible MCU Return

Phil Coulson in front of MCU Multiverse lines

Speaking with The Cosmic Circus during this year's Motor City Comic Con, Phil Coulson actor Clark Gregg shared his thoughts about a potential MCU comeback. 

When asked if there's a chance that he will reprise his role as Phil Coulson down the line, Gregg teased that "there's always a chance."

When pressed if he wants to come back for more, the Agents of SHIELD lead star implied that anything is possible in the Multiverse:

U.K.: “Is there a chance that we see you reprise the role of Phil Coulson?”

CG: “There’s always a chance.”

U.K.: “There’s always a chance, you’d always be down to come back for more?”

C.G.: “There’s just always a chance that- I mean, you know, it’s a multiverse.”

In a past interview with Entertainment Weekly in August 2021, Gregg reflected on his time as Coulson, admitting he would be "thrilled" to participate in the MCU's expansion: 

“I’m so grateful for just the chance to show up every once in a while to do this stuff. I can’t wait to see The Eternals; I can’t wait to see Shang-Chi. I just love the way they’re expanding [the MCU]. If there’s ever a moment when me or my alter ego can be of use and participate in any of that, I would be thrilled but right now I’m just enjoying it as a fan.”

When ask if he is aware of the rumors about Clark Gregg's possible comeback as Coulsin in Secret Invasion, the actor played coy about it: 

EW: “Speaking of, there’s been rumors recently going around that Coulson may be getting yet another second chance at life in the MCU in a future Marvel project… have you been reading those theories on the internet?”

Gregg: “Yes, I do. I follow it like an avid fan.”

EW: “Is that something you can comment on at this time?”

Gregg: “I’ve heard those rumors, that’s the comment I can make. I’ve heard those rumors.”

In the same interview with The Cosmic Circus, the outlet asked Gregg if the Coulson that fans knew in The Avengers was a Skrull all along. 

Gregg said that Marvel "confirmed" that he was a Skrull all along, but it's possible that the actor was confusing Skrulls with the plot line in Agents of SHIELD where he became a Life Model Decoy of Coulson in Season 7: 

U.K.: “It didn’t! But was the Coulson that we knew in 'Avengers,' do you think that he was a Skrull all along? Do you think he could come back in 'Secret Invasion'?”

C.G.: “Well, they’ve confirmed that he was a Skrull all along, haven’t they?”

U.K.: “No, they haven’t.”

When Cosmic Circus pointed out that Marvel didn't confirm it, Gregg said that he thinks the Coulson that fans saw was a "real life person:"

“Okay, maybe not. No, I don’t know. No, I think he was a real life person. I can barely keep track of all the things he became, or that he might show up as some other time. But I think he was, what made him, I don’t know what, stand out or connect with the fans was the fact that he was very, very human.”

Will Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson Return to the MCU?

Agents of SHIELD's series finale in Season 7 implied that the show is set in an alternate universe despite initially starting from the MCU's main Earth. 

If it was indeed set in a different universe, then Clark Gregg's quote about the Multiverse makes sense since it allows him to return to Earth-616 (or Earth-19999) down the line.

However, it is unknown if Gregg's Phil Coulson will make another comeback, especially after the character's perfect ending in Agents of SHIELD

If the character does return, then an alternate version of Coulson could suit up and make a comeback. 

For example, in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Earth-838 is in shambles after Wanda Maximoff's attack against the Illuminati. 

There's a chance that a version of Agent Phil Coulson is still alive in that universe, and he could be one of the pivotal characters who would assemble the remaining heroes of that Earth to try and seek revenge against Earth-616.

Agents of SHIELD is streaming on Disney+.

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.