Beloved S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) returns to the Marvel Cinematic Universe next March in Captain Marvel, and given the fact that the film is set in the 1990s, characters like Coulson, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) will have to look about 20 years younger to make it more believable.
In a recent interview with ComicBook.com, Gregg, 56, revealed that he would be "de-aged" by combination of intensive gym workouts and special effects.
“That was a fun call from my friends in the Cinematic Universe, who I normally see [them] at these events, saying, ‘You know, we think once again we have some work for you, but it takes place in the '90s. Can you go to the gym?’ Yeah, I said, ‘The '90s? I mean, there is no gym that can get me back to the '90s.’ And they said, ‘Well, don't worry. We've been working on that technology, and we think we can goose you back a few years.’"
This wouldn't be the first time the folks at Marvel Studios made an actor look younger than they were. Both Michael Douglas and Kurt Russell got similar treatments in Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 respectively. And to be honest, the end results are actually really well-done, not to mention eerie, but in a good way. There's a trace of Uncanny Valley going on, but not as bad as the recreation of Peter Cushing's Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One.
When asked if his character might return to the modern day MCU, Gregg said:
“I don't know — that's above my pay grade. I just show up where they tell me to show up. If the day comes when I'm no longer playing Phil Coulson, I'll very gratefully bid him farewell, because it's been an incredible journey, but I've learned that it's best to just be grateful for where I am and make the most out of that opportunity that day.”
Coulson crosses paths with Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) on March 6, 2019.