Caution: While S.H.I.E.L.D. casting does not directly spoil plot points for season four, the discussion includes many spoilers from the end of Season Three. Casting news also answers a question or two left open-ended last season. Proceed at your own risk.
Ever since SDCC, news has steadily rolled out about season four of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Most of this news relates to casting–and the latest gossip is no exception. The newest confirmed addition to the show is Jason O’Mara (Complications, Justice League Dark). O’Mara joins the cast as the new Director of S.H.I.E.L.D (Marvel).
O’Mara is a talented actor with credits all over the map. From Batman one-shots to television dramas, all the way to the Royal Shakespeare Company and back again, his talents will certainly translate well at S.H.I.E.L.D.
O’Mara is also Irish, which means he may have long-lost ties to Fitz. That adds competition to the “Dr. Dadcliffe” theories from season three. And yes–we know that not all actors have kept their accent on the show. We also know that Ireland is a different country from Scotland. Neither fact eliminates him from the running, in our opinion.
To the contrary, executive Producers and writers Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen confirmed that season four will delve more into Fitz and Simmons’ backstories. In an interview at SDCC, Whedon explained more specifically: “Now that [Fitz and Simmons] are together, the obstacles that usually come when you find someone is the people that come with them and the families. Everything will change.”
Let’s address the elephant in the room here: a new, white, male character is added to the show in favor of seeing May, Mack, or Maria Hill in a position of power. Watching a new character take the position of Director instead of these powerhouses feels like the disappointment Snape suffers every year when he’s passed up for the Defense Against the Dark Arts job. Again.
We know that May didn’t want to get back into the field circa Season one. Now that Andrew is dead and Quake on the run, many fans were holding out hope that she would take over the agency. Mack took the position of interim director several times, as well. While we saw him in the field with Coulson at the end of season three, there were still theories that he’d take the position officially while his partner is missing.
The possibility that Maria Hill would join the cast on a permanent basis was also among the Director theories. Keeping things in the “family” would downgrade the threat of another betrayal within the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D. Adding a new character brings that (now repetitive) threat back up to orange.
Questions Raised by S.H.I.E.L.D. Casting News
According to Marvel’s press release, the new director is a character “whose Marvel roots go back to the 1940s”, which doesn’t give away much. In fact it raises more questions than it answers, considering the only canon director with roots that long is Nick Fury himself. For O’Mara to play Fury, some uncomfortable retconning would have to unfold. We’re guessing Marvel isn’t choosing that route.
This quote also begs the question: are we talking “real” 1940’s, or MCU 1940s? Is O’Mara a brand new descendant of characters from Agent Carter? A Howling Commando? Someone completely new to the universe?
Who else could O’Mara play? Options for his character litter the field of possibility. This leaves us with more questions than answers. What do you think of this S.H.I.E.L.D. casting news?