Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) was a big part of the first phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but following his “death” in THE AVENGERS, Agent Coulson has largely been absent on the big-screen, but that will all change when he returns in CAPTAIN MARVEL, albeit as a younger version. Taking place in the mid-’90s, CAPTAIN MARVEL opens with Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) having already left Earth behind as she joins Starforce, an elite Kree military team, but when the Skrulls plot an invasion of Earth, Carol finds herself returning with new questions about her past. At this point in time, Phil Coulson is still a rookie S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who hasn’t yet learned about the larger world full of superheroes and extraterrestrials.
“There was something really special about going back to the early days when he was just kind of coming up the ranks,” Gregg told Entertainment Weekly in a recent interview. “I had to take innocence workshops and go back to when he was a little less crusty and jaded!” According to the actor, Coulson is “obsessed with MC Hammer and dresses just like him, and it makes Director Fury so angry. The genie pants don’t really go with the Armani.” CAPTAIN MARVEL will also include the first meeting between Coulson and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), which Clark Gregg describes as a “meet-cute moment.” Just like Samuel L. Jackson, Gregg will also be subject to some digital de-aging to peel back the decades, but the actor made sure to hit the gym nonetheless.
“When I got the call saying they wanted to do this and have Coulson be in this ‘90s world, they said, ‘Do you have a trainer?'” he recalls — but he jokes that he’s been sucking up to the visual effects team in the hope that they’ll make him look good. “People don’t know this but Robert Downey is actually 71,” he says. “So they’ve been doing that for him in all of these movies.”
CAPTAIN MARVEL will hit theaters on March 8, 2019.