Game over, man: There is simply no better Marvel casting news than Bill Paxton joining the weekly action of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (Unless you count Michael Douglas’ casting in “Ant-Man,” because that news is also awesome.)
TV Guide reports that the “Aliens” and “True Lies” legend has been cast on “S.H.I.E.L.D.” as John Garrett, a character from the comics, and a veteran agent with Level 7 access. Paxton will appear in at least four episodes of the ABC superhero series, beginning in late February or early March.
“We wanted to bring in a rough-and-tumble former cohort of Agent Coulson with a little bit of attitude and cigar-smoking swagger,” executive producer Jed Whedon says of Paxton’s character. “When Garrett got his promotion to Level 7, he refused to sit behind a desk and doesn’t like the formalities of S.H.I.E.L.D. He’s going to help Coulson solve some mysteries and is not afraid to rig an explosive or two.”
“He is the type who wants to stay out in the field no matter how high-level he gets,” says executive producer Maurissa Tancharoen, who adds that Garrett will work alongside agents Ward and May “in a very surprising way.”
What kind of surprise are we in store for? Perhaps there’s a clue to be gleaned from John Garrett’s appearances in the pages of Marvel Comics. At one point, Garrett was gravely injured in the line of duty, forcing S.H.I.E.L.D. to resort to cybernetics to keep the man alive. That’s not exactly foreign territory for “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” as it was just revealed that Nick Fury went through great and terrible lengths to bring Agent Coulson back from the great beyond. Perhaps Coulson and Garrett have resurrection experiences in common, or perhaps Garrett will suffer his near-fatal injury during his time on the show.
No matter how he factors into the proceedings, Paxton’s arrival on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is a welcome breath of fresh air for a show that hasn’t fully lived up to its potential. The Marvel Universe is vast, and deserves to be explore in greater detail than we’ve seen on “S.H.I.E.L.D.” up to this point. Perhaps Paxton’s work as Garrett is a sign that the folks behind “S.H.I.E.L.D.” are aware of the show’s shortcomings, and are acting accordingly.
Are you excited to see Paxton on “S.H.I.E.L.D.,” or have you given up on the show?