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Quint and Clark Gregg talk in-depth about Agent Coulson's big scene and some fan theories surrounding his turn in The Avengers!

Quint Interviews Clark Gregg about AVENGERS

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. Little did I know my nerdy ramblings about a certain big scene in The Avengers would lead to a discussion with Agent Coulson himself, Mr. Clark Gregg. I thought I was just releasing some of inner geek so it’d quit bouncing around my grey matter.

However, the spoilery piece (read it here) caught the attention of Mr. Gregg who not only tweeted it out with a “Hrmmm” but got in touch and volunteered to talk on record about Agent Coulson’s big moment in the film.

So, again… super spoilery stuff here. If you read AICN and care at all about Avengers spoilers then I have no doubt in my mind you’ve seen the movie by now, but in case one of you finally escaped a dark well, skin fully lotioned, and haven’t gotten a chance to check out the flick yet then do not read this. You’ll be sad you did.

Here’s a nice jump in case your eyes should flicker down the page before backing away in abject horror from the spoilers herein:




 

 

 

 



 

Welcome back. Now let’s talk Agent Coulson’s death. Mr. Gregg was very political about the theories involving his potential return, but the genuine feeling I get is that if Marvel is planning anything more for him they’re playing it close to their vest and he’s not in on it.

The tone of the interview was surprisingly somber. It felt like we were talking about the passing of a family member, but I love this interview… I hope you do, too. Enjoy!

 

 

Quint: So, what’s new with you? (laughs)

Clark Gregg: I guess everybody knows what’s new with me.

Quint: Since I wrote that article I’ve been kind of inundated with email responses that kind of run the gamut of “No, that’s bullshit. It would be a cop out if your theory turns out to be true” to “Yeah, I don’t buy it for a second.” (Laughs) No matter what, it must feel really good for you to kind of see this groundswell of love and support for the character. Having spent just a little time talking with you, I think it’s pretty clear there’s a lot of you in Coulson.

Clark Gregg: Definitely. It feels like a really good fit, which made it sad to kind of read those pages and on the days leading up to shooting that scene and the day shooting that scene. I was like “Wow, I really love this guy. I’m really connected to this, because this feels heavy.” (Laughs)

I was kind of “Come on man, relax. It’s pretend!” But I was kind of like “You know here we go. We are going to do this now” and my hands would be shaking a little bit. It’s just, you know, you have to connect to a certain extent to any character you’re going to try to make feel real at all, but this guy with five years and four movies…. You’re right, it’s really gratifying, because I love what Joss (Whedon) did with it and I loved the idea that he could go from you know being kind of connective tissue to really being kind of a force that could really drive the audience’s experience and make it ideally more moving instead of just funny or snarky and to kind of be aware that there is the power of that reaction and to have been in some theaters where people kind of gasped or called out.

You know, what’s underneath your drive to do this is you want to connect with people, you want to give them an experience that’s moving or entertaining and to feel such a palpable version of that is really rewarding.

Quint: I’ve seen the movie three times now and I just watched it again a couple of days ago and in every screening there have been gasps at your death scene, but like the one that I went to a few days ago, which is the first paid screening, there was not only that, but people started murmuring like “Oh no. No!” And I haven’t seen that reaction in a movie in a very long time.

Clark Gregg: They did it in a great way, like they kind of let you get to know the guy over a couple of movies and people kind of get who he is at this point and I’m lucky to be in this spot where of all the people with super powers or billions, there’s this one guy who is really just there because he’s kind of determined and the fact that Joss only kind of doubled downed on the audience connection by also revealing that he is a fan boy and that he kind of got into this because he grew up loving Cap in the comics, I think just so wisely connects him and really identifies who he has been for people just in time to cruelly crush them! (laughs)

Quint: Well, he did. He made Coulson kind of us and our entrance point into this crazy world and you very much so. Did you get to keep the cards?

Clark Gregg: Those damned cards! That’s one of the many things they took from me in this movie. (Laughs)

Quint: You didn’t get to keep the cards?

Clark Gregg: No, but I’ve gotten tons of really… I’ve got so much great memorabilia and cool stuff to last a lifetime.

Quint: Do you remember your initial reaction for when you first read the scene? I mean what jumped to your mind first? Like “Oh shit!” or “Damn it!” or like “Oh well, if I’m going to go, I’m going to go out in a blaze of glory.”

Clark Gregg: Well, this guy from THE HUFFINGTON POST who I spoke to, Mike Ryan, when I was kind of at the end of a long day… I just ended up talking about this, so some of this is in there and you might want to check it out, but they called me, you know? I really had gotten to know Kevin Feige and Jeremy (Latcham) and the guys at Marvel. I certainly had this weird experience where I knew they were maybe going to make AVENGERS, but I didn’t imagine it would have much to do with Agent Coulson with all of those big movie stars and superheroes in the mix and then when I was backstage at Comic-Con right before we went on to do the THOR panel Joss came up and introduced himself and said “You’ve got a big part in THE AVENGERS, can I introduce you as part of the cast?” I almost died of geeking out on the spot. I thought “That’s a nice intention, but by the time everyone gets their say… I’m just walking through with some crudite.”

Then Kevin called me and said, “Look, you do have a really important role and we want to do some shorts about Agent Coulson,” I was like “This is amazing!” And he said, “Yeah, you bring The Avengers together, because you know them all” and I was like “Cool.” “Yeah, well you know what happens to you is what brings The Avengers together” and I was like “Hold it now… What you talkin’ about, Willis?” (laughs)

I think I just said, “Is this my last Marvel movie, Kevin?” and he said, “I’m not going to say anything else, just look at the script” and then I don’t know probably a month later the script came in an armored car and a swat team around my house while I read it.

 

 

Quint: Wait a minute, they dropped that on you and then didn’t give you the script for a month?

Clark Gregg: Well, the script wasn’t done.

Quint: Well still, damn. That’s something to let live inside your brain for a while. (Laughs)

Clark Gregg: No, they just… I think they were preparing me a little bit, because I think they know how much fun I’ve had playing the guy. I got it and I just… First off, I never know how they are going to do this. I never knew how anyone was going to pull all of these characters and tie all of these movies together in a story that didn’t just feel like a patchwork quilt, you know?

Quint: Yeah.

Clark Gregg: So I was just going through the script going “Oh man, he’s got Tony Stark’s voice. He’s got it!” And “Oh my god, here’s Coulson. That’s right, Coulson doesn’t know Cap and of course he’s a fanboy. Fantastic!” When I knew that I was in trouble I felt like “Oh man, I’m going to be out of there by the Act One break…” and to really have him be such a big part of the story and to kind of read the scene... I had definitely a pang of “Oh god, this makes me so sad and I’m so… I’m mostly kind of much more prevalently just so thrilled to get to act that stuff.” It really felt perfect to me.

Quint: It’s weird, so many movies, especially big movies these days, kind of throw out those character moments in favor of a big spectacle and THE AVENGERS definitely gets to the spectacle, whether it’s the forest fight with Iron Man and Thor or the big invasion at the end, but I’ve seen a lot of movies where they would have just thrown away that moment. You would have shown up, you would have done your thing and then they would have moved on, but I liked that they kind of massage it a little, that you get to go out with…

Clark Gregg: They come back to it! You know what I mean? You do the big shocking thing and then they come back to it just to have the character moments between him and Loki and to give Coulson a chance to strike back. You’re right, I mean so many movies that have this much kind of action and effects, they don’t take that time with the characters. They don’t put as much work as Joss did into the characters, to their dynamics. They never would spend the amount of time that he spends getting into the dynamics of Natasha Romanoff or to her relationship with Clint (Barton, Hawkeye), which is so fascinating and ambiguous to me what their relationship is. It never goes down any obvious paths and I think it’s one of the reasons why when the action starts people care about who is fighting.

Quint: And the moment when you fire the gun and you actually get to see what it gets to do, that moment got cheers every single time I’ve seen it, so it’s like those moments are important and they do work for the audience. I don’t know if filmmakers worry about it being masturbatory or worried of losing the interest of the audience or whatever. I don’t know what their thought process is in usually skimming over that stuff, but it works.

Clark Gregg: I feel like the fact that some of those moments have seemed to have gotten that kind of reaction in a movie like that where it’s really pretty simple and old school, you know there’s no big effects and you know those are ranked up there, some of the other character moments are ranked up there, in terms of satisfaction, right where some of the amazing stuff with Hulk.

They did… (laughs) I kept making jokes as it got closer to the day when they were doing that scene where I was like “Okay, did any rewrites come? I’m looking for some pink pages here.” You know, like looking into the camera even between takes, like “I’m looking for a rewrite from the Governor. Is there any rewrite?” (Laughs) Then there’s this big emotional scene and I was kind of a wreck and my pal Jeremy Latcham from Marvel goes “Can I show you one thing that might make this feel better to you?” and I said, “Yeah.” And he brings over his iPad and he’s got the animatics version of Hulk final showdown with Loki.

[Both Laugh]

Clark Gregg: And he showed it to me and it was fantastic. I was like “You’re right. That really took the edge off.”

Quint: Now speaking of Jeremy and Kevin and those guys, Joss mentioned I believe in his recent AMA on Reddit that the order for Coulson’s demise came down from Marvel and didn’t come from him, which I think is another thing that’s getting a lot of the conspiracy theory fanboys like me all in a thither. So, I guess my question to you is will Vision just be your regular name or will it be an acronym like S.H.E.I.L.D.?

 

 

Clark Gregg: (Laughs) I have no idea. I love all of those theories. To me I just enjoy it so much that these guys have a Tumblr thing where they’ve got all of these pictures of people like writing “#CoulsonLives, “Coulson Lives” in sand… someone painted it on a bridge, another person arranged library books.

I just love all of that stuff, but you know I think I really am trying to kind of… And I never know what Marvel is going to do, but I have to kind of feel like I’m trying to do my own business with “I probably won’t get to play this guy again.” I love it, who knows? Who knows what the fans can make happen, you know what I mean? That would be hilarious to me if the fans somehow managed… It would be the fans who brought Coulson back to life, but I don’t think there’s any plans. They’ve got enough superheroes to now bring in to take his place, you know? I think people would rather see Wasp than me come back.

Quint: I don’t know about that, but I think that’s why a lot of people are grabbing on to these Vision rumors and they are grasping at straws admittedly like “Wanda was a cellist in one of the books, so maybe that’s the in” or all of that stuff.

Clark Gregg: Scarlet Witch?

Quint: Yeah. I don’t know, I think it could be done well…

Clark Gregg: If they can come up with a scenario where it isn’t lame, I’m sure they will be open to it. They would have to kind of field that kind of swell from the fans and they’d have to come up with a scenario where it didn’t undercut what happened in THE AVENGERS and it ended up being another moment in a theater that was really thrilling.

Quint: Are you contracted for more movies should they decide to go that way or would they have to do a new deal with you?

Clark Gregg: Um, I don’t know. I never know. I have to go back and look. There were so many movies at first and then some counted and others didn’t. I don’t know. That’s a good question. I’ve got to call my lawyer!

I’m not worried about it. Do you know what I mean? If it comes up, I’ll call them, but I have a feeling… I’m just trying to do my own grieving.

Quint: Yeah. We are in the denial stage and maybe we will come to accept it later.

Clark Gregg: Look, I’ve been keeping the secret and doing my sobbing for quite a while now.

Quint: So you have had significantly more time than us to put this to bed. Well before I let you go, you mentioned the mood on the set when you shot your scene… the days leading up to you were even kind of shaking. That was your mood, but what was the mood of everybody else on the set?

Clark Gregg: I don’t know. I don’t know what other people felt. It mainly was a big deal to me, you know? I know it seemed like it was a little uncomfortable for Tom Hiddleston, you know, but we had a job to do and you know we all knew it was a beautiful scene or we thought so anyway and I think most of it was just kind of like an excitement and a desire to really do it justice. There’s a lot of stuff where people are flying around in kind of little Vespa spaceships with the aliens and this was a scene where you really got to kind of push it out with some stakes and really go for something, so I think like a lot of stuff the feelings really come after and it really was about “How do we do this justice?”

Quint: Yeah and what’s great about how Joss handled the scene to me wasn’t just that “It’s a shocking moment,” but if you realize… I think that we only really see Loki take out one guy. Right when he comes in he evaporates a guy and it’s kind of a background thing, another agent gets vaporized by the staff… We see him do the eyeball thing, but we don’t know that guy and we hear about him killing 80 people or whatever, but the only one that we really see that they make a big deal of that happens at all in the forefront is Coulson. To me, that feels like a very specific choice and I think that that is one of the reasons why the scene is so effective. It really isn’t until that moment that everything is kind of on the table.

Clark Gregg: Yeah, I agree. I mean I do think that that’s all very carefully done. They walk a fine line. They try to make something that can be as exciting and as fun for kids as STAR WARS, you know? STAR WARS wasn’t gory and there’s only a limited amount of that that they can do and yet I think they found a way to get the maximum amount of… What is it? It’s kind of like grounding it in reality. There is a toll to this stuff.

One of the things I told Joss was like “Obviously I’m sad about it, but I really feel like it’s important in a movie like this for it to work,” because you’ve got to feel like something is at stake. If everybody is just shot in the arm and healing themselves with their superpowers and everything’s fine, but “Let’s sweep up all the dead aliens in Manhattan,” it just doesn’t land the same I don’t think.

Quint: Yeah, well I mean you also approach it not only as an actor, but as a storyteller yourself, so I’m sure you saw the value in it.

Clark Gregg: It’s true and that’s a lot of the reason why I was thrilled about it, which is more than anything else I would just like to be part of something that really works and to have what I’m doing help to make it work.

Quint: I’m just sorry that audiences aren’t flocking to see the movie and that it’s doing so poorly….

Clark Gregg: It’s too bad. Maybe we’ll get into a festival.

Quint: You were working on a noir type film, right?

Clark Gregg: Yeah. It kind of got side tracked with all of this. I ended up kind of going all over the place doing press for this and I’m just kind of glad I was free to do that, but now it seems to be ramping back up again. It’s hard to get an independent movie financed these days, but it seems a little easier after THE AVENGERS.

Quint: For some reason…

Clark Gregg: I’m getting a few phone calls, like “Maybe we are interested in financing it.” (Laughs)

Quint What’s the title again?

Clark Gregg: It’s called TRUST ME.

Quint: Good title.

Clark Gregg: Thank you.

Quint: Can you talk a little bit about what the story is?

Clark Gregg: (Thinks for a bit) It’s called of a neo noir, a contemporary neo noir about a loser agent for child actors who is always dumped by these kids, when they start to make it, for his nemesis. It’s really kind of about the moment when he stumbles on a prodigy and they really connect, but you know the most dangerous thing that can happen to you in Hollywood is a lot of success all of a sudden. It’s kind of a dark comedy and we’ve got some terrific people involved and we will put it together and shoot it this summer.

Quint: Awesome. Are you going to act as well as direct?

Clark Gregg: Yeah, I’m playing one of the main roles this time. It’s a world that I really kind of wrote and was like “Yeah, I want to play a bigger role in this one.” I don’t think I always will, but in this one I really want to.

Quint: That’s cool.

Clark Gregg: Then I’m going to go do a part in Jason Reitman’s new movie, LABOR DAY, with Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin that starts up in June.

Quint: Nice. Jason is good people. I like that guy. I haven’t been to any of his readings. I would actually really like to go to one.

Clark Gregg: I know. I’ve done a couple private ones, but I haven’t done one of his ones where he like reads classic movies.

Quint: That sounds like a lot of fun, but listen I won’t take up any more of your time.

Clark Gregg: Well, thanks and thanks for the cool stuff you’ve been writing. I really appreciate it. It’s good to have someone smart writing about this stuff. I like it.

Quint: I appreciate that, man. Yeah, well hopefully everybody gets what they want and you will figure out a non-bullshit way of returning to the Marvel universe and all of the fans will rejoice.

Clark Gregg: If that happens great, but I couldn’t be more satisfied with the run I had.

Quint: I appreciate you again taking the time.

Clark Gregg: Okay, thanks man.

 

 

Hope you guys dug the chat. Thanks a lot to Clark Gregg for not only being so open, but volunteering in the first place. He’s a super nice guy and I wish him the best in life, career, happiness and his future phase-shifting android body. Now I get a few hours of sleep before heading to France!

-Eric Vespe
”Quint”
quint@aintitcool.com
Follow Me On Twitter

Readers Talkback
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  • May 16, 2012, 5 a.m. CST

    First....and he's dead

    by MERV

    ...Jim.

  • May 16, 2012, 5:04 a.m. CST

    Second

    by Bitchassmother

    Again :( Also, who cares? In Game of Thrones they kill off favourite characters left right and centre.

  • Instead some dude dies that they hardly know and this "brings them together" to fight and defend the planet? I loved the movie but this was one of the weakest plot devices in there..just didn't make sense. And I'm sure this actor is a good guy but Agent Coulson was a boring character and glad he is no longer in the mix.

  • May 16, 2012, 5:37 a.m. CST

    Cru de te?

    by tonagan

    I frown on your gaffe, then readjust my monocle and top hat.

  • But in a way I'm glad they did. It was a well done scene and was definitely a big shock. So foo to all you haters.

  • May 16, 2012, 6:10 a.m. CST

    He's DEAD.

    by loafroaster

    All this talk of him becoming the Vision is so hackneyed and awful, and would ruin the emotional drive of the first movie. He died, Sam Jackson was sad, the Avengers avenged. End of. PLEASE.

  • Hey Cap, if we REALLY NEED him to come back, and wish really hard, he will.

  • May 16, 2012, 6:14 a.m. CST

    rupee88

    by loafroaster

    They were all for defending the earth, but they were all for doing it their own way, not working as a team, with no focus. Coulson's death gave the 'Avengers Initiative' a chance.

  • May 16, 2012, 6:28 a.m. CST

    What a cool guy

    by reaper28

    I hope his career explodes (in a good way) after Avengers

  • If he was truly dead, it would have been less ambiguous.

  • May 16, 2012, 6:37 a.m. CST

    by Johnboy40

    I don't like the idea of bringing Coulson back as the vision, but having clark gregg voice the vision (modulated metallic tone added, of course) would be kinda cool, as long as they make it plain it isnt coulson.

  • May 16, 2012, 6:43 a.m. CST

    nice interview

    by Dollar Bird

    That was a good read and Clark Gregg comes off as a nice guy who is a fan of the genre and also trying to do his job well. Thanks for the interview, gentlemen. (As for my vote, I like the Coulson reborn as Vision idea, but it would have to be done in a very clever way to not make it feel cheap.)

  • May 16, 2012, 7:24 a.m. CST

    hst666 YOU are like the people that are...

    by Sephiroid

    idiots. Especially when Two-Face was CONFIRMED to be dead both by Nolan and Eckhart.

  • May 16, 2012, 7:27 a.m. CST

    Vision and Scarlet Witch

    by elsewhere

    Avengers 2. Make it happen.

  • That said, there's plenty of room in these Marvel movies for flashbacks, more one-shot shorts, or even an Agents of SHIELD prequel movie. Plenty of ways to see more of the character.

  • May 16, 2012, 7:58 a.m. CST

    Sphiroid - Do some research before opening your yap

    by hst666

    Eckhardt is reportedly in the new movie and why would Nolan have made the 'death' scene so ambiguous?

  • May 16, 2012, 8:05 a.m. CST

    Cool guy

    by thegrayghost

    Thanks Clark Gregg for spending the time sharing your thoughts to us geeks. Absolutely loved your character and will miss him. As for if he should come back in one form or another ... only if it serves the story and makes sense. In the theater I was in, one girl shouted out, "You asshole!" when you were back-stabbed by Loki. The scene was definitely well executed. Thank you Gregg and Joss!

  • Coulson was cool, damnit. He flys through the gateway in a spaceship then pops up in Avengers 2: Avengerering

  • May 16, 2012, 8:45 a.m. CST

    i saw agent coulson at a mcdonalds in cabo san lucas mexico..

    by vulturess

    and it wasnt a hologram. he lives.

  • May 16, 2012, 9:03 a.m. CST

    This guy is great

    by D.Vader

    I'll miss him in future installments. I do hope he becomes The Vision.

  • May 16, 2012, 9:08 a.m. CST

    LMD- Life Model Decoy....

    by Dark Doom

    Sheild has been using these 'droids' for ever, there's like 50 of Fury, and in the movie Fury says "They need a reason to work together" (paraphrased), so either they just let him die, (highly unlikely) or Coulson was a LMD and will be back. As for the Vision, he's the original Human Torch's android body (Not Johnny Storm) and IIRC Pym works on him and brings him back to life.

  • May 16, 2012, 9:09 a.m. CST

    well

    by JamesT

  • May 16, 2012, 9:11 a.m. CST

    cont..

    by JamesT

    One of the underlying themes in the movie is how Fury never tells the whole story. There ya go..

  • May 16, 2012, 9:14 a.m. CST

    Cool Guy - Great Interview Quint

    by rakesh patel

    Who would have thought this guy playing these bit roles in these movies would have snowballed to this? Clark Gregg sounds like an easy going bloke, he obviously loved playing Agent Coulson. It was cool of him to reach out and let us know his thoughts.

  • May 16, 2012, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Dammit Jim hes dead

    by Mark

    Bummer i really liked this guys character. Great interview Quint.

  • May 16, 2012, 9:28 a.m. CST

    He's being evasive about his contract.

    by tomandshell

  • May 16, 2012, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Is anyone really surprised?

    by slder78

    Joss Whedon's MO is to kill off a main character in the most random way possible because he thinks it provides the most emotional impact. It's manipulative, weak, and the same shit over again. Every thing he's been a part of has had that "random death that brings everyone together." Think about it. Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse, Serenity. It's the only way Whedon thinks he can get an emotional response. It's also one of the reasons why I don't hold him in as high regard as the other fanboys. He uses the same tricks over and over again.

  • May 16, 2012, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Life Model Decoys are the ultimate copout

    by rev_skarekroe

    If I was Editor In Chief at Marvel my first act would be to ban them from all stories. Also, Doombots and Thanosi.

  • May 16, 2012, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Wish you'd have asked him about the final scene with SLJ

    by Blanket-Man

    It's the only time we see genuine emotion out of Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury. Curious if it went down exactly as scripted, how many takes, all the usual geek stuff. Great scene!

  • May 16, 2012, 9:47 a.m. CST

    The Vision of Coul is playing coy about it.

    by Jack

    But he will comeback. :D

  • May 16, 2012, 10 a.m. CST

    The Salient Point

    by Amusetrubator

    When Quint asked if he were contracted for more films, Gregg didn't say no. In this situation, that means that the true answer is almost certainly yes.

  • May 16, 2012, 10:03 a.m. CST

    He made of my favorite movies of all time.

    by gotilk

    CHOKE! Underrated, under-seen. A really great film. I fell in love with Kelly Macdonald in that movie. And she steals the film, even with co-stars like Sam Rockwell.

  • May 16, 2012, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Gregg is a class act. And he said it best...

    by Cletus Van Damme

    ''If that happens great, but I couldn’t be more satisfied with the run I had.'' Sums up my feelings perfectly as well.

  • I have to say i agree 100% with the reasoning of those laying out the case for Coulson never dying. In fact, the emotion of that part of the film never worked for me because I thought it was so transparent that Coulson didn't die the first time I say it opening day. From the mention of LMD's, Fury saying he was down(not dead or gone) before the medical team even touched him, the scene about the bloody cards; I didn't have "doubts" about his death I never even considered he was really dead. All that aside though they really should let him live, and not just because we all love the guy and it would be neat. More importantly we need a wedge between SHIELD and the Avengers as a whole and Captain America in particular. The whole "Ultimates" thing was a cool way of forming the avengers in the movies but they cannot continue to simply be a group of mercenaries working for a shadowy government agency. They need to be above that, and separate from that . . .especially Cap. As great as it was to see Cap giving orders during the final act, all that respect goes away if he doesn't become completely autonomous from SHIELD. It's been said that Cap 2 will be a SHIELD heavy film, but they cannot simply have Rogers continue to be the super "soldier" and follow Fury's orders. Captain America can't and shouldn't be SHIELD's best agent, he has to stand on his own and decide who he is, what he stands for and who he will become in the 21st century. Caulson's fandom of Cap is literally his only emotional connection in the modern world outside the other Avengers, and I feel like Fury's deception about his death would be one of the few things that would resonate with Cap enough for him to make a break with Fury and SHIELD and become his own man . . . more than just a soldier taking orders. Beyond Cap, Fury faking Coulson's death would affect all the Avengers emotionally and be enough of a deception to potentially completely break ties with Fury and SHIELD. Cap would have to define himself as his own man, Avengers tower would be necessary if the support of SHIELD is gone, it could create an interesting dynamic as people like Widow & Hawkeye chose sides and you could even set up a recruitment dynamic as the Avengers and SHIELD each try to recruit new "supers" . . . and then of course Thanos shows up in one of these movies and fucks everyone's universe up. Plus it would be a blast to see that Coulson reveal, wouldn't it? How am I wrong here? PS While I don't think Coulson is dead or should be dead, I have to agree that the whole bringing him back as Vision meme that has taken off doesn't sit right with me. Making him a super would feel way too cheesy, convenient and forced not to mention the changes to Vision's origins, seems to be a bridge too far. Just my opinion.

  • May 16, 2012, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Hindsight

    by Loosejerk

    Wasn't done...so just wishful thinking, but Joss could have done a Han/carbonite theme with Coulson. Had the aliens either kidnap Coulson or "infect" him and have him disappear. Probably wouldn't have the emotional pull of his death to the Avengers, but still a gathering/fighting point. Then, you bring him back in the next one as Vision changing his back story as having been created by Thanos and the major cog in his plot to defeat them. Coulson knows the Avengers and could be used against them. Would have been an amazing reveal scene (kinda like Vader in the dining room on Bespin). Oh well, something for my revisionist fanfic.

  • May 16, 2012, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Vision has never been a great character....

    by DangerDave

    Coulson could make this great though..... But since we will not see The Avengers II until like 2016....who cares.

  • I'm sure Gregg appreciates the class act.

  • Coulson. Fuck Coulson, I've hated him since Iron Man 1 or 2 or whenever the hell it was. He better not come back.

  • May 16, 2012, 10:42 a.m. CST

    goldentribe

    by gotilk

    9 out of 10 motherfuckers prefer Trollios.

  • May 16, 2012, 10:44 a.m. CST

    Guy would make a mint on tv

    by Pabodie

    I want a Tales of Coulson series with no supes at first, as SHIELD is discovering they exist and gathering intel (series arc) and Coulson has adventures each week. Kind of Burn Notice meets The Boys.

  • May 16, 2012, 10:44 a.m. CST

    Coulson is dead. Gom

    by Jack

  • May 16, 2012, 10:47 a.m. CST

    As for Vision,

    by Pabodie

    No more white male Avengers, please. Pymms should be a black couple, kind of melding Ant Man w. Black Goliath (RIP).

  • May 16, 2012, 10:49 a.m. CST

    pabodie

    by Ian

    Brilliant! I would love to see that. Regardless, Gregg's role contained too much awesome and hopefully they find a reasonable way to have him return in future Marvel movies.

  • May 16, 2012, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Coulson is dead. Gone. Not coming back.

    by Jack

    Vision is not a resurrected Coulson, it is a machine. A synthezoid with Coulson's memories, probably because he's too valuable of an asset to SHIELD and Fury to let go. This doesn't take nothing of Coulson's meaning at all. It isn't like he's a cyborg, he's an android with Coulson memories, his face but nothing more than that. Can you imagine the implications of this? How this would piss the Avengers off? I think it's just a too good of a story beat to let it pass.

  • May 16, 2012, 11:07 a.m. CST

    hst666, Eckhart's PICTURE appears in TDKR

    by heylookoverthere

    He's dead. It's been confirmed dozens of times. You see his funeral/memorial in the trailer.

  • May 16, 2012, 11:21 a.m. CST

    The Visions csotume

    by rakesh patel

    is kinda fruity.

  • May 16, 2012, 11:39 a.m. CST

    hope they pull an Abraham Whistler...

    by Axl Z

    Get Wesley Snipe in The Avengers 2, Coluson was a vampire after he died all because Morbius The Living Vampire was also locked up in the Hellicarrier or some crap and he escaped when it crashed and he smelt Coulsons blood or whatever.. Coulson lives on in animated Spider-Man and the 616 now - talking of which - I'd love to see him cameo as Web-heads head teacher in teh reboot - they wouldn't have to mention his name or anything, just that he'd keeping an eye on Parker due to some intelligence or whatever.. or whatever...

  • THIS. <p> Are you listening Boborci?

  • And now he's playing it off like..."Um, I don’t know. I never know. I have to go back and look."

  • May 16, 2012, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Great interview. Love the mock Army of Darkness poster.

    by adeceasedfan

  • May 16, 2012, 12:15 p.m. CST

    That gun....

    by Sw0rdfish

    As powerful as the death scene was, what struck me most about the scene was that the big-ass gun Coulson had looked like it stepped from Kirby's board onto the screen. Nice to see such a direct influence on something only we old farts might conceivably notice.

  • May 16, 2012, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Terrific interview

    by ScorpioRising

    So sad to see Clark Gregg leave the Marvel universe. I hope they can bring him back somehow.

  • May 16, 2012, 1:09 p.m. CST

    Big deal

    by harry

    I dont understand the big deal surrounding this character. I understand why he was important to the movie, but the fangazm surrounding him is ridiculous. I enjoyed the Avengers, but it was nothing more than light, Popcurn fluff. Typical fanboy reactions....this movie wont be as loved years down the road. It is just new and fresh, so of course everyone loves it. Ugh...

  • Sounds like there is a lot of backstory to be told about Black Widow and Hawkeye. Nothing that I'd want taking up too much time in a future Avengers movie, but hell yeah I'd love a movie with those two as the stars with Fury, and of course Coulson. Throw in some HYDRA/AIM baddies and lots of Marvel easter eggs, and you've absolutely got another hit on your hands. Make it happen, Marvel.

  • May 16, 2012, 1:50 p.m. CST

    LIFE.MODEL.DECOYS?

    by ORV_BULLETHOLES_

    for fucks sake! how come NOBODY brings up LIFE MODEL DECOYS??????????? ARGHHHH

  • That scene was a focal point in why the Team came together officially to avenge Phil's death. he was great in the previous films (IM and Thor) but dammit, he's as dead as Fried Chicken. Let it go.

  • May 16, 2012, 2:19 p.m. CST

    The Avengers were never meant to be run by SHIELD

    by TheNotoriousDRB

    Seeing that the Coulson affair was just more Nick Fury trickery could be the thing that causes Stark to split indefinitely from SHIELD and run the Avengers separately. NO hard feelings would be held against Phil, since he was only following orders. In the Movie Universe, it's a good way to separate SHIELD so that they can go have some Steranko-style spy business going on instead of your usual world-saving.

  • Hawkeye sucked. A forty-year-old who's five-foot-eight and shoots arrows. Black Widow was silly, too, but they needed a female lead. With Renner, I don't know what the hell they were thinking.

  • But remember, Fury is an asshole. An asshole that thinks that the ends justify the means. It's completely in character for Fury to "preserve" his good eye by making Dr. Pym to upgrade Coulson's memories inside a synthezoid with Coulson's likeness. It still wouldn't be him, it would be a robot. This makes for even more pathos in my book. He looks like him, he has the memories of him but... he isn't him. He's a robot. Can you understand the implications of this? If Tony and Steve were already mad at Fury for plan ning tomaking weapons out of the Tesseract, can you imagine how sick and disgusting they'd see Fury pratically violating Coulson's memory just so he could "keep his good eye"? Of course things will go out of hand. Ultron could probably upgrade it and turn it against them. Vision is a classic Avenger character, and I can't see a better fit for him in the Marvel Movieverse than basing him out of Coulson. The one that reunited these people together now going against them, to attack. Coulson knows their weakness, their abilities. Ultron could use the memories of Coulson and SHIELD database against The Avengers. Ths thing writes itself. I'm really excited for them going for this route.

  • May 16, 2012, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Emily Blunt for Wanda (Scarlet Witch) in Avengers 2

    by carlotta_valdes

    ...and there won't be a piece of crap Gulliver movie to screw things up this time! Make it so Marvel!

  • May 16, 2012, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Nick Fury Movie listed on IMDB

    by tacoshack27

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0482631/ According to IMDB`s listing for Clark Gregg. No date specified but as him listed as reprising role of Coulson. Looks like the movie is about Fury`s early years. Who knows...

  • We need eye candy too, Marvel. Not that Scarlett isn't a sight from heavens, but... MOAR. Also, SHIELD movie. Let's do some gigantic superespionage thriller.

  • May 16, 2012, 3:28 p.m. CST

    he'll be back

    by taff

    Too good of a character to leave dead. As soon as he died, but there was no ceremony or real discussion about it, I assumed he had not really died. He'll start the next movie on some weird life support system with his own hovercraft and maybe only his brain works and sends out transmissions into the minds of the Avengers...

  • May 16, 2012, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Isn't the Vision referred to as "The Ghost" also? *Goosebumps

    by pizzatheface

    I would love it if they pursued this storyline! Some aspect of Coulson combined with an android. Would the Avengers think this is solemn mockery of Coulson's memory? (This would really give us a chance to see Gregg's acting chops, too!)

  • May 16, 2012, 3:40 p.m. CST

    ijacksparrow

    by Jon Forbing

    Not that I think either of those actresses would do a bad job, but I hope they cast for reasons other than hotness. That's what got us Johansson as Widow, and while she eventually grew on me, I was PISSED when first I saw her in "Iron Man 2". "Why doesn't Natasha have a Russian accent? Why is she portrayed by one of the least threatening actresses on the planet?? This is bullshit!" My friends totally had to talk me down from my nerd ledge in the middle of the theater.

  • May 16, 2012, 3:48 p.m. CST

    tjcoolguy

    by Jack

    I thought that Scarlett was brilliant casting back then, but I thought she had almost nothing to do in IM2. She and Ruffalo are the surprise factors of THE AVENGERS imo, she nailed Natasha more than I thought it was possible. I want a SHIELD movie with her, Fury and Hawkeye as the main leads so bad that isn't funny.

  • And his character just got cooler and cooler with each appearance. I truly hope he comes back. I even started watching reruns of the New Adventures of Old Christine just cause of Clark Gregg. The guy's an amazing talent and I think as the Vision, he could be amazing. We'll see what happens. Either way, his character got some great moments and hopefully Clark Gregg will get more work as a result.

  • May 16, 2012, 4:20 p.m. CST

    @ thenotoriousdrb is right about sheild . . .

    by follyway

    Check out my comment a few above yours we are totally in the same page. As for trying to shoe horn coulson into vision or now even ultron as some of you suggest just seems completely illogical and misguided to me. If coulson were to come back as a replacement for a comic chrachter I think it'd make way more sense for his death to be proven untrue and he is hired away from shield by stark to run the day to day operations of avengers tower and become defectors Jarvis from the comics. Sorry as a vision fan and a coulson fan I dont see the leap.

  • May 16, 2012, 4:23 p.m. CST

    de facto and other typos . . .

    by follyway

    Sorry guys I'm on my phone and as we all know edit functions are something we'll have in a technological future when we all have flying cars and stuff

  • May 16, 2012, 4:56 p.m. CST

    avengers 2: the search for phil.

    by alice133

    the whole movie = the autopsy of agent coulson. and if whedon writes and directs it, someone will die during it.

  • May 16, 2012, 5:10 p.m. CST

    Coulson is dead, but Clark Gregg lives!

    by bluebottle

    great interview, really looking forward to "trust me", sounds like a dark, fun project.

  • May 16, 2012, 5:25 p.m. CST

    Bring him back as Starfox. ;-)

    by Dingbatty

  • May 16, 2012, 5:44 p.m. CST

    @Quint: question re an earlier statement by Gregg

    by Spaderific

    I could've sworn reading an earlier statement where Gregg said that Whedon wasn't killing him off, and that he wasn't going to die. Did you get into any questions about that earlier statement, or was any reconciliation made with that statement against this interview?

  • May 16, 2012, 6:02 p.m. CST

    Spoiler headline!

    by edwizard

    I live in Japan and can't see the film until August 17th. THANKS.

  • May 16, 2012, 6:24 p.m. CST

    Right there with you ijacksparrow ...

    by DrMorbius

    I want Olivia Wilde as Scarlet Witch and Amber Heard as Ms. Marvel. by ijacksparrow The scissoring scene alone would be worth the price of admission!!!

  • Could some of the power that would usually control someone's will have transferred into him when he was stabbed?

  • May 16, 2012, 6:28 p.m. CST

    Sorry, hst666

    by Kremzeek

    Eckhardt confirmed about 2-3 months ago he is absolutely *not* in TDKR. I'll find a link and post it. GREAT article. And Gregg really seems like a stand-up guy.

  • May 16, 2012, 6:31 p.m. CST

    Actually, no I won't post a link, but...

    by Kremzeek

    All you have to do is Google "eckhardt confirms not in dark knight rises" and about 500 pages with video interviews, etc come up. Two-Face is dead. And is absolutely not coming back for TDKR, per Two-Face himself. For the sake of The Avengers' franchise, I hope Coulson is too (thought I loved his character).

  • May 16, 2012, 6:33 p.m. CST

    *thought = though*

    by Kremzeek

  • May 16, 2012, 7:55 p.m. CST

    kremzeek...

    by firewhale

    I'm not a diehard conspiracy nut about Two Face returning, but I did your google search and the the two most recently dated entries on the first page talk about Eckhart being "coy" with CBS news about returning and then going on the record a few days later that, "Harvey Dent" was most certainly dead. While this sounds definitive, it's worth taking a look at the Two Face chapter in Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns" to see how an appearance by Two Face might be possible, even though Harvey Dent is dead. Lastly, Two Face making a cameo would be an interesting parallel to Scarecrow showing up for a small part in Dark Knight. And I totally understand everyone who condemns this theory as negating the power of the ending of Dark Knight, so don't jump down my throat about that. I just think it's a LITTLE bit suspicious how ambiguous the ending was and how Eckhart is phrasing his latest answers, AND how this fits in with a source that has been somewhat important to Nolan's trilogy. Whichever way it ends up, I trust Nolan to give us a kick ass conclusion to his trilogy. Oh, and Clark Gregg sounds like an awesome dude that deserves all the success that's coming his way. I, for one, hope we get to see him again in the Avengers universe, in some appropriate fashion...Vision could definitely work.

  • May 16, 2012, 8 p.m. CST

    all we gots is opinions

    by Anthony Torchia

    I say 75% chance he's dead dead 25% chance he returns 100% chance the scene was great But Marvel ordering the hit, that was news to me. Talking about how Joss loves to kill characters, and he does, becomes irrelevant. If it's true Marvel demanded this then the odds are closer to 50-50 in my book, but since I can't be sure whose idea it really was, I'll just shut up before I contradict myself again Or not.

  • May 16, 2012, 8:30 p.m. CST

    There, Coulson's dead. Now don't you all feel stupid?

    by Triple_J_72

  • May 16, 2012, 8:39 p.m. CST

    Man, it's annoying to read the (laughs)

    by Chuck_Chuckwalla

    It doesn't add anything to the interview. Yep, call me a wet blanket. If someone (farts) it's funny, though. To me anyway.

  • May 16, 2012, 8:52 p.m. CST

    Paltrow's cameltoe

    by carlanga

    Second picture...

  • I also enjoyed the One Shot: A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to Thor's Hammer. I hope we get one more Coulson One Shot on the Avenger's BluRay. I still think wiggle room was left to bring him back as Agent Coulson but I don't think they will. Coming back as Vision sounds cool.

  • May 16, 2012, 9:02 p.m. CST

    about Joss/random deaths...

    by jackofhearts29

    People who are whining that Coulson's death was "manipulative," that it's a gimmick, melodrama, etc... Whatever you want to call it, Whedon (+ whatever hired gun got the writing credit) did it right. He did what too many screenwriters don't have the balls to do: make us CARE. There has to be some kind of a stake, some kind of rooted emotion, to make you feel. Otherwise, it really is just guys in tights walloping each other. Think about it. Everyone knows the heroes are going to win. What sells the real story? Empathy. Yeah, call it cheesy, Spielbergian, whatever. It's also REALITY. People fucking die. When giant weapons are being slung around, it's gonna happen. And it's what distinguishes b-movie tier trash from the real good shit. Think about it. Star Trek II. Star Wars and Empire. These are classics for a lot of reasons, but one is that they make you feel there is something lost, something bittersweet, something to fight for. It's storytelling 101, people. Even kids understand it. Problem is, overthinkers, hollywood suits, and certain geeks are afraid of it. But it was the right thing to do, and it's one of the things that gave this movie the heart it needed. Coulson is dead. Long live Coulson!

  • May 16, 2012, 9:17 p.m. CST

    No compelling reason to bring him back at all tho.

    by dahveed1972

  • May 16, 2012, 10:20 p.m. CST

    why does everyone assume if..

    by torpor_haze

    ...Coulson comes back he's going to be a good guy? Especially if Whedon comes back for the sequel. He loves to make good guys bad and vice versa to make things even more tragic. Besides killing off beloved characters that's his other favorite thing to do and does it well. Another thing he likes to do is to fuck with people's heads like he is now.

  • May 16, 2012, 11:42 p.m. CST

    slder78

    by BadMrWonka

    Did you not read the interview? The decision to kill of Coulson was NOT Whedon's choice, it came from Marvel.

  • Hard to have everybody basically spoiling it but I was still hoping it wasn't true up until they pronounced him dead.

  • May 17, 2012, 6:29 a.m. CST

    VISION

    by my liege

    The original Human Torch was in the Cap movie, so you could easly have SHIELD having hold of that android, and having say, Hank Pym working on it and using Coulson's brain wave patterns to bring it to life. I'm not saying I would do that, but it's all there if they want to do it and it wouldn't feel forced at all.

  • May 17, 2012, 8:13 a.m. CST

    He's dead. Now put some fucking news in this space.

    by UltraTron

  • May 17, 2012, 9:08 a.m. CST

    @by my liege

    by ShadowVision

    Where was the Human Torch in the Captain America movie? Originally they talked about introducing the Invaders, but that never happened. Instead they had the Howling Commandos. Even when they mentioned the Invaders, the Toro was going to be the Torch that would be introduced.

  • May 17, 2012, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Avengers 2: The Search for Coulson

    by chris

  • May 17, 2012, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Btw, Can't stand Jason Reitman's movies...

    by chris

  • May 17, 2012, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Human Torch in the Captain America movie

    by b_profane

    @ Shadowvision - He was on display at the World's Fair, though inanimate. To anyone having a problem with Coulson-as-Vision because of that not aligning with the comic's canon, do you also have a problem with Cap being a founding member of the Avengers or any of the other artistic licenses taken for the sake of producing this fantastic movie? To be consistent you should. I want to see the Vision in the next movie. Not necessarily as "Coulson reborn" but that wouldn't bother me at all so long as the writing was on par with this film. Also consider- Coulson is (most likely) dead. Thanos has been teased for the next film. Thanos is infatuated with (the embodiment of) Death. Coulson has emotional importance to the Avengers. Sounds like a backdoor opportunity for a resurrection to me, IF written and handled well! Though I'd prefer to see more Coulson in prequel type scenes or flashbacks. Or finding he didn't die in the first place. As long as Whedon writes or guides the script I think it'll be satisfying. I have faith.

  • May 17, 2012, 4:39 p.m. CST

    Save Vision for Avengers 3

    by DrAwkward

    If Antman is the TBD Marvel movie, then Pym (and probably Wasp) would be the two new heroes for Avengers 2, replacing Hawkeye and Black Widow. Those two wouldn't stand a chance against Thanos anyways. Pym could build Ultrons to fight Thanos's forces, much like he did on Earth's Mightiest Heroes to fight the Kang, I believe. In Antman 2, Ultron turns bad and Pym has to stop him. Growing to Goliath, perhaps for the climax? During this movie, Ultron could download all SHIELD files and discover Coulsen's brain patterns were saved and place them into LMD and adding density shifting properties to it. The Vision is born at the end and this leads to Avengers 3. Wanda could be brought in to reason with him. Then at the end, the Scarlet Witch says "No more nerds" and you all disappear.

  • This might be a spoiler, but I don't give a fuck. Clark Gregg has signed on to star in his own Agent Coulson movie that will come out in 2013. It will be a prequel, since his character died in The Avengers, and it will deal with a plot from HYDRA. It will mainly be an action/comedy, and it will be unique, because his character is obviously gay. Another spoiler is that Captain America will make a brief cameo in the movie, because Agent Coulson was on the team that found him.

  • May 17, 2012, 6:20 p.m. CST

    Coulson as Vision could actually work

    by beane2099

    If they are working on an Ant Man movie that takes place in the past, you could have Coulson show up there and establish that he's friends with Hank Pym (or whoever they go with). Avegers 2, Pym is working on a new AI and uses Coulson as a model. It could work. I'm reasonably certain it could work. I'm like 85%-90% sure it could work. Maybe 65%-75%. I'd even go as low as 50% sure. But definitely no less that 30% sure. Okay, 15% sure. But that's still pretty sure.

  • May 18, 2012, 8:16 a.m. CST

    Life Model Decoy?

    by Babba-Booey

    Why not?

  • May 18, 2012, 8:53 p.m. CST

    Nothing about Joss's Much Ado About Nothing?

    by oisin5199

    He had a prominent role (Leonardo, I think). The part that Tony Head (Giles) was supposed to play. That will be cool to see.

  • May 18, 2012, 11:52 p.m. CST

    Casting suggestions... and more!

    by BrashHulk

    Whomever nominated Emily Blunt for Scarlet Witch earlier up the thread is right on target. I've never been a big fan of EB, but she would be perfect for Wanda. EB has that "almost bursting into tears at any moment" face that would be perfect for the emotionally-fragile hexy mutant. And she's a cellist, so that fits in well with Coulson's backstory of dating one. Also, bringing back Coulson as The Vision is a great idea. He was stabbed by Loki with a weapon that blended magic and tech, using the Cosmic Cube as a power source (or as some people have theorized, one of the Infinity Gems). And SHIELD is in possession of that weapon right now. Don't believe me? Black Widow was the last person to have the weapon in the movie, and when Thor takes Loki and the cube back to Asgard, the weapon is nowhere in sight. That's because Tasha knew the cube was out of SHIELD's reach, and she gave the weapon to Nick Fury so SHIELD could still work on the Phase 2 weaponry. So the weapon is on the Helicarrier, and they're experimenting on it. There's a flash of light, and an LMD of Agent Coulson is animated with the original's soul/mind/spirit that was trapped within the weapon's power source (kinda like the wands in Harry Potter). Due to the magic infusing with the tech, the LMD is imbued with some strange abilities - density alteration, solar energy storage, etc. Hey, it's a comic book story - stranger things have happened!

  • It was a good death scene, sad and impact-full, taking that away does harm to the story.

  • May 19, 2012, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Don't read many comics, eh Yamato?

    by BrashHulk

    A hero's death can be powerful, moving, and "impact-full", as you so interestingly put it... and still not be permanent. Coulson's death served as AN impetus, not THE impetus for the group to go to NY and fight the invasion. I'm not saying that Agent Phil's death was superfluous, but it served more as a catalyst for Iron Man and Captain America to cease hostilities and work together than it did for the team to join the fight. Hulk and Thor didn't even know that Coulson was dead, and Black Widow and Hawkeye were pretty much unaffected by his death - which you would expect from professional assassins. I'd also argue that it was Banner's return to the team that galvanized them more than Coulson's bloody Captain America cards. Up until that point, there was an air of desperation around the team - but when the Hulk crushed that first dragon-ship, they all regrouped and kicked ass.

  • May 20, 2012, 4:47 a.m. CST

    YOU ALL MISSED SOMETHING..........

    by Bazzo_Tazzo

    When Stark and Coulson enter the carrier command room for the first time; Stark is talking to Coulson about flying him to Portland? dropping by about something? Is this about a tune up or R&D fix but What? Food for thought!!

  • May 23, 2012, 5:59 p.m. CST

    rumors: Cap 2 takes place prior to Avengers.

    by Arcadian Del Sol

    There's a portion of Cap 2 that takes place before Avengers and Coulson could be in that.

  • May 24, 2012, 9:58 a.m. CST

    comics are gay, FACT!

    by duke of url

    http://theweek.com/article/slide/228335/the-surprising-rise-of-gay-comic-book-characters-a-visual-history#

  • May 28, 2012, 12:45 a.m. CST

    SOMEBODY is going to be the Vision

    by jeremie

    Ok, easter egg spolier supreme, ala Jos' crazy sense of fandom. At the end of the movie, during the MSNBC sponsored montage of New Yorkers describing their feelings, the top left corner of the screens say: DATA FILE A-113 go google the cover of Avengers 113... tadaaaaa