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Published On: Wed, Jan 10th, 2018

‘Agents of SHIELD’ season 5: Clark Gregg’s directional debut a ‘mini-Marvel movie,’

Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. returned from it’s Winter break. The episode, which is titled “Fun And Games”, was be directed by series star Clark Gregg.

After ten years in the Marvel Cinematic Universe spread across four films and five seasons, it’s been a long time coming and the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. spoke with IGN about directing the episode that he referred to as a “mini-Marvel movie”.

“It’s a big episode with some big stuff, 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.”

Co-star Chloe Bennet added that the episode will feature a really big fight sequence between Daisy Johnson and one of the season’s Kree villains and that it was “really fun to get to be directed by [Clark]. Fights take so much time, so it’s just kind of fun being with [him] — he’s one of my best friends. So it’s fun just getting to work with one of my best friends in a [new] way.” Bennet also added that Gregg had been“adding this really great texture to certain scenes, and really funny beats, that I don’t think someone else would be able to.”

This isn’t the first for Gregg in the director’s chair though as he wrote and directed both the 2008 adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s Choke as well as 2013’s Trust Me. 

Gregg was a bit hesitant to direct an episode of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. as it was quite a bit different than anything he’s worked on to date.

“I would watch the episodes [of SHIELD] be directed and I would go, ‘This is so different from anything I’ve done. 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.”

Gregg reached out to directors Kevin Tancheron, Billy Gierhart and Jesse Bochco to get tips on what to do and not to worry about prior to filming the episode.

“They’ve got it so that it’s a perfect little Marvel movie boot camp, all compressed. In a way it’s harder because it’s so compressed, but the way that they’re able to help you understand the way it’s going to work in a scene and how [visual effects supervisor] Mark Kolpack is able to adjust what he plans to do with the visual effects given the budgets to my ideas, it was really just a thrill.

“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. My job was not to turn this into something that felt like my films; it was really to just get the most out of that particular episode because I was doing something so different from anything I’ve ever done.”

Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs on Friday at 9/8c on ABC.

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