New S.H.I.E.L.D. Mystery: Joss Whedon Casts Angel Alum in Pilot -- But as Who?!

SHIELD TV Show Cast J August RichardsA Whedonverse vet has stealthily invaded Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D.

ABC declined to comment, but sources confirm to TVLine that Joss Whedon — who is shepherding ABC’s Avengers-themed drama — has cast his former Angel charge J. August Richards in a super top-secret role.

RELATED | Joss Whedon Talks of ‘Hopeful’ S.H.I.E.L.D. Pilot, Plans for Maria Hill and Other Marvel Characters

The pilot — which wrapped filming in February and is being fast-tracked by ABC —  stars ER alum Ming-Na (as former soldier Melinda May), Clark Gregg (reprising his big-screen Avengers role as Agent Phil Coulson), Nashville’s Chloe Bennet (playing superhero culture-obsessed Skye), British beauty Elizabeth Henstridge (science expert Gemma Simmons), Scotsman Iain De Caestecker (tech whiz Leo Fitz) and Brett Dalton (rising star Agent Grant).

RELATED | ABC’s S.H.I.E.L.D. to Feature Agent Maria Hill? ‘There Are Definite Talks,’ Says Cobie Smulders

Whedon previously told TVLine that he wasn’t going out of his way to stack the S.H.I.E.L.D. deck with familiar faces from his past series.

“You look for the best person for the role, and if that person is someone you already know, then great. That’s some work done for you,” he said. “But as much as I would love to — and once did — make a movie just with my friends, you always want to increase the family.”

News of Richard’s casting was first reported by

Who do you think Richards is playing? Post your theories below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Michael says:


    • bend22 says:

      Ew. Hate this character.
      But it’s probably the good answer.

    • Eli says:

      OMG yes!

    • Alan says:

      possible but i get the feeling he is the villain of the first episode. that or bill foster maybe.

      • Jon Wagner says:

        Well based on the teaser released today, he is Luke Cage. Based on his yellow pants, skin-texture and the fact that he can fall without being hurt.

    • TV Gord says:

      I think he’s too small to be Luke Cage.

    • canadian ninja says:

      Not sure they’d cast Gunn as Cage given that it’s a potentially big role that could show up in the movies. And yeah, he’d need to beef up a bit.

      Since Marvel doesn’t seem interested in doing a Black Panther movie, is there ANY chance he’s playing Wakandan royalty???

      • hreyas says:

        But i have a feelin that this guy may be the black panther in the sequel ,he’s good lookin ,he is young and slim Which denotes the character of Black Panther .

  2. mia says:

    OMG YESS!!!!!!!! He’so so ridiculously talented, so so happy to see him back on tv. And yay to Whedon for bringing him back to us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Joe says:


  4. badlands75 says:

    Please be T’Challa’s father in a flashback!

  5. mawhi says:


  6. Avril says:

    Young Nick Furey? Son of Nick Furey? Who cares! It’s GUNN!!!

  7. OMG, if he’s someone like Luke Cage so they can have a regular “super” on the show, that’d be awesome. Be a great way to reintroduce a slightly lesser known character and test the water before a potential movie too.
    If he was just another agent there’s no reason they wouldn’t have just announced it.

    • Spencer says:

      Totally agree about the Luke Cage thing. That would be a great way to introduce a new member of the Avengers team for the next movies, without giving him a huge solo movie.

  8. Steve F. says:

    Two words: “Sweet Christmas!”

    And if it is Luke Cage, we gotta have Danny Rand, aka Iron Fist!

  9. Jason A says:

    Great! He is on Arrow this week as an assassin out to kill Green Arrow. My guess would be Luke Cage or Nick Fury’s son.

  10. SS says:


  11. Andy Neumann says:

    Love the guy, he’s a great actor, but unless he’s buffed up considerably, I don’t think I can honestly buy him as Luke Cage. Plus, on Angel, I could never fully buy him as being “from the streets.” Especially because I think that “from the streets” in L.A. differs from “from the streets” in Harlem. Hell, make him T’Challa. I could buy him as the cerebral, Wakandan king/superhero that way. But not rough & tumble “Sweet Christmas!” Luke Cage.

  12. I believe that the comics recently introduced Caucasian Nick Fury’s African-American son, so he could be Nick Fury’s son (though he’d be the son of the African-American Fury from the movies, I guess).

  13. Mr. John says:

    He does not have the frame for Luke Cage. I think he’d be a good villian. The ‘secret’ nature of his casting means the role wasn’t too large in the pilot (or it would have leaked earlier), so I’m guessing it is a recurring villian role. As we don’t know the context of the pilot episode, I’d have no guess as to whether it is a well known Marvel Universe character. However, I do think he would make an interesting representative from Wakanda.

  14. Atredes says:

    Just going to point out that he was an extra in The Avengers. One of the last scenes has him at a table.

  15. ggny says:

    He really doesnt have the Size to be Luke Cage. Maybe Nick Fury Jr but seems like to big of a role to cast him in. Maybe Cloak from Cloak and Dagger?

  16. Carrie says:

    Awesome!! I loved Gunn!

  17. mac says:

    YEEEEEES finally he’s back on our screens !
    Now Whedon needs to cast Alexis, James and Amy too =D

  18. brb123 says:

    J. August Richards is also going to appear in the next Arrow episode, at April 24, just saying..

    Can’t wait to see The S.H.I.E.L.D

  19. JASon says:

    I heard he is going to play Gunn(who is now a vampire) They are crossing over WHedon verse with Avengers verse!!

    • Hannah says:

      That would be a show I would pay good money to see. Could you imagine Slayers getting involved with SHIELD?

  20. Moe says:

    Not a fan.

  21. Charlie Schneider says:

    Nick Fury re-cast? Probably not though. Sam Jackson takes so many jobs, he totally cameos in the pilot. Guessing it’s someone from marvel canon, otherwise they would have said who his character was.

  22. Alan says:

    i doubt he is playing a hero, most likely he is playing the villain of the episode since we havent heard anything about what kind of bad guys the team will be facing and that fits with the secret nature of the role.

  23. it’s Gunn enuff said.

  24. the producers of S.H.I.E.L.D should also ask Allen Tudyk to be part of the cast

  25. Mike Mulholland says:

    Jake Fury?

  26. Jj says:

    Oh, how I’ve missed Gunn!! YAY!!! So hot!!

  27. Lewis says:

    Young nick fury?

  28. Tom says:

    Luke Cage is a good guess, but I’m going to go with a young Nick Fury.

  29. How about an alumni of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Gabriel Jones? We’ve already seen Jasper Sitwell, And Dum Dum Dugan has already appeared in Captain America. So why not Gabe?

    • Alan says:

      if i remember correctly they said they want to start off with a new set of characters so people wont come in with preconceived notions about how they should act. i think the article i read implied that once the world of the show is established we would get to see guys from the comics having a role in the show.
      its a smart move i think because this way the early episodes can be free of the usual complaints from people about how a character is being played.

  30. marlon davis says:

    He is not going to be Luke Cage or a young Nick Fury. They already said that the pilot follows after the Avengrs movie, which is why they have to explain how Coulson came back to life. He is too small to be Luke Cage and a young Fury jut does not add up for continuity reasons. He is going to be either Gabriel Jones or Agent Quartermain from the comic book series.