More Marvel Cinematic Universe crossovers are in store next month as ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. heads into its final season 1 stretch with some added Marvel juice. The ABC superhero spinoff series returns to air Thursday, April 1 ahead of the Friday, April 4 theatrical debut of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Today’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. PaleyFest panelists hinted at Captain America crossovers with S.H.I.E.L.D., which will be back for seven episodes in a row starting April 8 culminating in the Season 1 finale, said exec producer Jeph Loeb. He danced around officially spilling on how the show will overlap with Captain America, but since they already welcomed Thor: The Dark World film co-star Jaimie Alexander on a ratings-lifting crossover episode following the events of that film earlier this month, “it wouldn’t surprise anyone if [events from] the movie you mentioned were to happen in the show we’re talking about,” he teased.
The series has yet to be renewed for a second season, and Loeb made an effort during PaleyFest’s fan-centric panel to thank ABC’s Andy Kubitz for scheduling their final seven episodes without further scheduling breaks. He and fellow EPs Jeff Bell, Maurissa Tancharoen, and Jed Whedon are heading into production on the season finale (“It’s a long season and everybody’s running on fumes,’ said Tancharoen) and they’re still holding out for an official Season 2 renewal. “Who do I have to shank?” asked one fan in the audience, inquiring after the show’s Season 2 prospects while holding a Thor plush in one hand.
Loeb, Bell & Co. would probably like to know the answer to that question themselves.
But if Sunday’s PaleyFest panel did one thing well, it was to show ABC suits how connected S.H.I.E.L.D.’s cast and producers are with their fans. Clark Gregg, who plays Agent Coulson, is the bridge between the Marvel feature films and the series. His death in Avengers led to him insisting Coulson could live, inspiring producers to bring the character back to life to anchor the S.H.I.E.L.D. cast. He leapt offstage twice at PaleyFest to greet and hug fans in the crowd, much to the delight of the other fans in the crowd. Asked which other Marvel characters he’d like to see stop by S.H.I.E.L.D., Gregg rattled off the names of Guardians of the Galaxy character Rocket Raccoon and Avengers: Age of Ultron‘s Scarlet Witch.
Also teased on the panel: More Bill Paxton as S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent John Garrett, in addition to the already announced upcoming appearance of guest star Patton Oswalt. Castmates Chloe Bennett, Iain De Caestecker, and Elizabeth Henstridge also fueled fan fires with talk of “shipping” though no hints of actual onscreen romantic subplots between characters were dropped. That is, unless you count Ming-Na Wen‘s dream episode in which Bennett’s Skye is revealed to be the love child of Wen’s Agent Melinda May and Thor himself. “We’ll have to flashback to those scenes,” she said.