Following a short hiatus, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will return with a brand-new episode directed by none other than Phil Coulson himself (Clark Gregg), who will be sitting in the director’s chair for the first time in the show’s five-year history. Titled “Fun and Games,” the new installment is described as a “mini-Marvel movie” by Gregg and will see Daisy’s (Chloe Bennet) life on the line following the return of Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) into the fold.
The episode will throw Daisy into the Inhuman fighting pit by Kree leader Kasius (Dominic Rains) following (ahem) Fitz’s suggestion at the conclusion of Episode 4 that since Quake is the destroyer of worlds, she should fight to the death, and as it so happens from the promo it's with the "freaky blue b**ch," aka Sinara (Florence Faivre). From Gregg’s description of the episode to IGN, it looks like we’re in for something epic.
“It's a big episode with some big stuff,” Gregg teased, “and they really went with my ideas. Coming from indie film, I've really done something that's at the farthest end of different and still is the same concept. It was like doing a mini-Marvel movie. It's that episode, as people will see, that's a little bit like our version of Downton Abbey meets a very bloody, sci-fi version of Gladiator.” With Bennet confirming that the episode will be “a big fight for me.” Judging from the promo below, that sounds about right.
Although this isn’t Gregg’s first directing gig (he previously wrote and helmed two indie movies, titled Choke and Trust Me), directing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. required him to adapt his style of directing to fit a certain mold.
“I would watch the episodes [of S.H.I.E.L.D.] be directed and I would go, ‘This is so different from anything I've done,’” Gregg added. “The role of a director of a television show is very different than when you're making an indie film and you wrote it or you adapted it, and you are rewriting it on the fly and you're the sole voice. You're not trying to fit into an existing thematic style [or] visual style. It's a very different beast.”
Even though he worked on several Marvel movies and on S.H.I.E.L.D. for five years, Gregg wasn’t ready for the quick turnaround needed for a TV episode and sought advice and tips from Kevin Tancharoen, Billy Gierhart, and Jesse Bochco before filming, who’ve “got it so that it's a perfect little Marvel movie boot camp, all compressed,” Gregg said, adding: “I really wanted to find a way to take the things that I love in some of those episodes -- the ways of telling a story, a lot of fast-moving cameras, the comic book feel -- and also keep some very heavy moments that happen, leavened at times with the Joss/Favreau model of tremendous drama followed by a joke.”
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns Friday, Jan. 5, on ABC.