There are a ton of moments in The Avengers that we can't stop talking about, but one big moment in particular seems to be prompting a slew of fan theories about what happens next. Well, the actor who owns the moment has just weighed in. [BIG SPOILERS AHEAD!]
Before we go any further, just in case you didn't catch the warning above, we want to remind you one more time that there are MAJOR SPOILERS up ahead. If you're one of the few people in the world who hasn't seen The Avengers yet, you might want to click away now.
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We were all heartbroken when we witnessed the death of Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) midway through Joss Whedon's superhero epic, but some fans remain convinced that there's more to that moment than just an emotional hingepin that allowed Earth's Mightiest Heroes to truly assemble. We never saw Coulson's body, after all, and all we really have to confirm his death is Nick Fury's word. We know from other plot points in the flick that Fury was sometimes less than truthful with his heroes, so could this have been another of those times?
If so, where does that leave Coulson? Well, there's the basic theory that he's simply not dead, and that he'll pop up again in future flicks. Then there are the slightly more far-fetched ones that claim he'll be resurrected as the android Avenger Vision sometime soon. That theory ties in to the notion that since Coulson mentions he's seeing a cellist in the flick, Marvel could work in Scarlet Witch as his girlfriend, since she was apparently a cellist in at least one Marvel book. But what does Gregg himself think?
"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."
There are probably a few fans who would readily dispute Gregg's claim that we'd rather see Wasp than him in the next outing of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. But what about the logistical side of the "Coulson Lives" movement? If Marvel did want to bring him back, have they already locked Gregg down for more screentime?
"Um, I don't know. I never know. I have to go back and look," Gregg said. "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."
So, while some fans are still holding out hope for more Coulson in future flicks, the man himself is just trying to move on. Death in comics has never been a sure thing (unless you're Uncle Ben), but we might have to face the fact that death in comic book movies just might be forever.