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SDCC 2015: Marvel Television Presents: Agent Carter and Agents of SHIELD Panel

Laura Tormos ‘18 / Emertainment Monthly Contributor

While Marvel Studios may have skipped Comic-Con 2015, Marvel Television certainly didn’t disappoint when they appeared in San Diego on Friday to a packed Ballroom 20 crowd. Jeph Loeb, the head of Television for Marvel, acted as the host for the panel, which included cast from both Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter. After showing a sizzle reel from season one of Agent Carter, Loeb introduced (some of) the cast and crew that included showrunners Chris Dingess, Tara Butters, and Michael Fazekas, as well as actors James D’Arcy and Hayley Atwell.

Loeb began by explaining that one of the hardest challenges they’ve had to face in Agent Carter was casting an actor to play Jarvis, a popular character with a lot of comic and movie history. D’Arcy, who was making his first ever Comic-Con appearance, explained his apprehension to taking the role. “In the pilot, Jarvis is making a soufflé. So my apprehension revolved around soufflé making,” he joked. “The thing that really sold it to me was when Michelle, Tara, Chris and Jeph said, ‘Oh, he’s going to be with her on the missions.’ I’ve never actually had an opportunity to do anything comedic on film before, so I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but it turns out that I had to just be myself and it would turn out fine.”

Atwell, who has now played Agent Carter in four feature films, discussed what convinced her to do the series. “First of all, the quality of the writing. We’d seen aspects of Peggy in The First Avenger, so I jumped at the chance. She’s kind of taken over my life in an amazing way. She’s quite fearless. She can thrust herself into situations with such wild abandonment. I love that opportunity and it’s changed my life. I just loved her and I really hoped the writers would get her right—I was really adamant about that. I read the script and I had nothing but compliments. We’re working with such talented writers. You just turn up and read the lines, you don’t have to add anything.”

“For me, [the ‘I know my value’ line] is something she discovers over time,” Atwell continued. “Peggy doesn’t need praise from anyone else; she has determination. She knows her destiny. It’s been amazing to go to conventions and have little girls and boys come up to me saying, ‘I know my value, too!’ It melts my heart. It really gives Peggy depth.”

The big news about the upcoming season dropped when Butters said, “We are off to Hollywood.” The new season will take place in 1947, about six months after where the last season left off. “Things are different,” Butters explained. “People are in different positions, and not everyone is in New York anymore. There’s some history that we’re not quite sure about. Some people aren’t talking to each other. Then Peggy gets called to investigate a murder in Los Angeles, which was the same year as the Black Dahlia, and that intrigued us.”

Fazekas added that Jarvis is already in LA working for Howard Stark, who just bought a movie studio. Whether we actually see Jarvis’ wife in season two or not, however, is still a mystery. When asked about Peggy’s prospects in the love department, Butters vaguely responds that Peggy has put Steve’s memory to rest and has “a couple new opportunities.”

After a brief intermission and recap of season two, Loeb returned to the stage to introduce the cast of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. On hand were the newest cast members, Luke Mitchell, Henry Simmons, Nick Blood, and Adrianne Palicki, as well as the veterans, Iain de Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Ming-Na Wenn, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, and Clark Gregg. The actor who plays Phil Coulson walked on the stage with a rubber hand, a reference to his character’s fate last season.

Loeb began by asking Mitchell about his experience joining the show. “It’s bloody scary! Coming in, I kind of wanted to slip in unnoticed. I just wanted to work as hard as I could. But everyone made me feel really welcome from the start.” Loeb then asked Simmons, “Who is Mac?” To which the actor simply replied, “He’s the guy who kills Gordon.”

Palicki, who has a lot of nerd cred on her resume, talked about the pressure she felt joining the series. “It’s pretty awesome to play this huge comic book character. There was a lot of pressure coming in. You guys have been very warm and inviting,” she said to the fans.

After screening a very funny and charming blooper reel that included a lot of dancing, the panel took questions from the audience. Gregg was asked to give his initial impression of Bennet when they first met. “I loved Chloe Bennet from the moment I met her. She brought everything we needed to make this thing work. We’re so lucky to have this cast.”

Once the Q&A period was over, Loeb explained that the showrunners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tanchoren were unable to attend because they are in the office busy working on the upcoming season. However, Loeb then played a hilarious, pre-corded video of the two sitting around having trouble coming up with ideas for season three. But it wasn’t just a gag, as the video gives several hints to the upcoming season: The writers are no longer allowed to call Bennet’s character Skye, she is Daisy Johnson now and anytime they call her the wrong name they have to put money in a jar. They tried coming up with code names for Daisy including “Aftershock” and, of course, “Quake.”

Coulson and Daisy will be forming the Secret Warriors, a new team of super-powered people. They will also have a new plane called the Zephyr. There was a dry-erase board in the background that read, “Who To Kill?” that had all the character’s names written down below it. If you saw the end of season two’s finale, you know that Jemma’s fate has yet to be determined, but next to her name the words “Already Very Dead!” was written— which Elizabeth Henstridge brought into attention just as the panel wrapped up, leaving us to wait for answers until the start of the next season.

Be sure to check out the premiere of the third season on Tuesday, September 29 at 9PM EST on ABC!

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