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J. August Richards says he had no idea he was going to be Deathlok

02.10.2014

Just to give you an idea of how hush-hush Marvel has been with their movies and television series: actor J. August Richards recently revealed he had no clue his Michael Peterson was going to become Deathlok in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. In an interview with Hero Complex, the actor was asked how far in advance did he know he would be coming back for the show after appearing in the pilot, and Richards says everything is on a need-to-know basis with Marvel. Richards also says he had a costume fitting, but didn't know it was for Deathlok.

"Not far in advance at all. Everything with Marvel is on a need-to-know basis, so I didn’t officially know until the second episode I did, which I think was the 10th episode in the season. Information is carefully guarded over there. I definitely didn’t know that I was Deathlok. I even had a costume fitting, and I didn’t know what I was being fitted for!"

J. August Richards was then asked if he did any research for the character once he found out he was going to play Deathlok. Richards said he did, but he also collected and read a ton of comics as a kid.

"I did, but honestly, I feel like I’ve researched this role my whole life because I was a comic book collector as a kid. Once I found out that I was playing Deathlok, I unearthed my old comic book collection.  I was going home for Christmas and I have a collection of thousands of comics.  I was surprised to see that 90% of them were Marvel. So, I wanted to go through my collection and start there. Fortunately I had the “Guide to the Marvel Universe,” all of them, and I looked up Deathlok and read a little about him there. I started doing research on the Internet, and then Marvel was kind enough to give me access to some of the older comics. I read some of the Michael Collins versions of Deathlok and got what I needed from that, but I also wanted to make sure that my research and my information were based on what I was doing on the show."

So does J. August Richards have any details he wants to share on Marvel's plans for his character on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Nope.

"I can’t really comment on that ’cause there are things that I know and things that I don’t know, so any answer that I give you would be incomplete and would get me in trouble! What I do know is that I love characters where I can’t quite look to others to get cues from.  I have to create this since he’s never been done before, and I’ve never seen anything like it. It just requires me to show up and be on my game."

I know shitting on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the popular thing right now, but I'm very interested in seeing what Marvel will do with Deathlok. He's been a fan favorite character for years, and I hope Marvel finds a way for him to appear in a future film. Is there any chance we'll be seeing him in THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, or will the character only be used in the television series? I guess we're going to have to wait and see.

The next episode of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will air on ABC on March 4th, 2014.

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Source: Hero Complex

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11:32PM on 02/11/2014
Half expect this to be a blurred retcon origin for vision and ultron, you know introducing cyborgs/androids to the marvel cine/tv u. They already did marvel zombies with Coulson, I really expected a LMD. I think chemo would be a cool villain to bring in. Moon Knight could work also.
Half expect this to be a blurred retcon origin for vision and ultron, you know introducing cyborgs/androids to the marvel cine/tv u. They already did marvel zombies with Coulson, I really expected a LMD. I think chemo would be a cool villain to bring in. Moon Knight could work also.
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9:45PM on 02/10/2014

Isn't it standard

to have the first season mapped out when you pitch a show to the network?
to have the first season mapped out when you pitch a show to the network?
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9:08PM on 02/11/2014
Nope, that's actually pretty exceptional. Even shows with serialized stories like Heroes or even Breaking Bad didn't have very much planned ahead of time when they first start. Procedurals like this, that deal with stories on a week-to-week basis, are even less planned. Honestly, I'm surprised they decided it would be Deathlok so *early*. It wouldn't have surprised me at all if they'd only made that decision prior to shooting that episode.

What you're thinking of is the production bible
Nope, that's actually pretty exceptional. Even shows with serialized stories like Heroes or even Breaking Bad didn't have very much planned ahead of time when they first start. Procedurals like this, that deal with stories on a week-to-week basis, are even less planned. Honestly, I'm surprised they decided it would be Deathlok so *early*. It wouldn't have surprised me at all if they'd only made that decision prior to shooting that episode.

What you're thinking of is the production bible - this is a booklet that explains every character and location that will appear on the show, how episodes are supposed to play out, etc. Production bibles are notorious for leaving stuff like "how will the story end" and "what are the big reveals regarding these sets of ongoing mysteries" totally blank. See: Battlestar Galactica, Lost, X Files, etc.
2:42PM on 02/10/2014

Dafuq?

Who collects "thousands" of comics and is then surprised when 90% are Marvel? What he meant to say was "I looked it up on Wikipedia so I'm good to go." I like the show and I like the actor but come on, be honest.
Who collects "thousands" of comics and is then surprised when 90% are Marvel? What he meant to say was "I looked it up on Wikipedia so I'm good to go." I like the show and I like the actor but come on, be honest.
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5:04PM on 02/10/2014
It's possible, as a kid, he just didn't really pay attention to the brand. He just found a character he thought was cool.
It's possible, as a kid, he just didn't really pay attention to the brand. He just found a character he thought was cool.
1:01PM on 02/10/2014
I call bullshit! This article confirms more than anything that Marvel is making up Agents of SHIELD as they go. The pilot is so disconnected from anything resembling a setup for Deathlok. Why would they need the Extremis storyline to tell the origin of Deathlok? Sounds more like they realized a few episodes in that what they were doing is shit, so they did a retread on Mike Petersen to re-angle his story into Deathlok.
I call bullshit! This article confirms more than anything that Marvel is making up Agents of SHIELD as they go. The pilot is so disconnected from anything resembling a setup for Deathlok. Why would they need the Extremis storyline to tell the origin of Deathlok? Sounds more like they realized a few episodes in that what they were doing is shit, so they did a retread on Mike Petersen to re-angle his story into Deathlok.
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2:53PM on 02/10/2014
All writers make up things as they go. George R.R. Martin has a good idea of where the SOIF series will end up but the rest of his ideas are yet to be written. Vince Gilligan knew Walter White was to undergo a transformation but didn't have it all on paper so he wrote it out. The writers of Lost strung people along for six seasons doing this. At least Marvel is malleable enough to change their plans when they see something going awry with the fan-base. Now I don't know much about Deathok so you
All writers make up things as they go. George R.R. Martin has a good idea of where the SOIF series will end up but the rest of his ideas are yet to be written. Vince Gilligan knew Walter White was to undergo a transformation but didn't have it all on paper so he wrote it out. The writers of Lost strung people along for six seasons doing this. At least Marvel is malleable enough to change their plans when they see something going awry with the fan-base. Now I don't know much about Deathok so you probably have a point about the origin. Yet it seems they are connecting what is known of the Marvel universe and the TV series to Deathlok rather than the other way around which honestly is to their benefit since they are already more than halfway done with the first Season.
5:25PM on 02/10/2014
Yes it's not uncommon to retool a show mid season to make it better, look at a show like Parks and Rec the first season didn't work and they reworked it to the show it is today. Even shows like arrow reworked their formula from an different villian every week to a more serialized show and more characters from the DCU.
Yes it's not uncommon to retool a show mid season to make it better, look at a show like Parks and Rec the first season didn't work and they reworked it to the show it is today. Even shows like arrow reworked their formula from an different villian every week to a more serialized show and more characters from the DCU.
12:59PM on 02/10/2014
As long as Skye is back and well, I'm happy
As long as Skye is back and well, I'm happy
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12:03PM on 02/10/2014
i like j. august richards ever since i watched him on angel im glad he has a steady gig and i liked the episode which is rare most the time im meh about them
i like j. august richards ever since i watched him on angel im glad he has a steady gig and i liked the episode which is rare most the time im meh about them
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+8
10:39AM on 02/10/2014
Definitely didn't see that one coming! Now if they can just give him the iconic faceplate...
Definitely didn't see that one coming! Now if they can just give him the iconic faceplate...
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10:15AM on 02/10/2014

Of course he didn't know

Neither did the writers.
Neither did the writers.
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10:29AM on 02/10/2014
ZZZZIIINNNNGG!
ZZZZIIINNNNGG!
11:17AM on 02/10/2014
Beat me to it.
Beat me to it.
10:09AM on 02/10/2014

Yawn

Wake me up when Gotham airs!
Wake me up when Gotham airs!
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11:19AM on 02/10/2014
Good luck with Gotham... If you think Shield sucks (I do too!) I don't get your reasoning for thinking Gotham will be any better.

Gotham isn't interesting. A cop is boring. You are taking the world of Batman, taking out Batman and all of his enemies and making it about Gordon in his early days on the force. Sure there will be name drops but are you really going to go nuts when Gordon says "Penguin is dealing weapons to Carmine Falcone" only to never see Penguin or his goons and only see
Good luck with Gotham... If you think Shield sucks (I do too!) I don't get your reasoning for thinking Gotham will be any better.

Gotham isn't interesting. A cop is boring. You are taking the world of Batman, taking out Batman and all of his enemies and making it about Gordon in his early days on the force. Sure there will be name drops but are you really going to go nuts when Gordon says "Penguin is dealing weapons to Carmine Falcone" only to never see Penguin or his goons and only see Gordon arrest one of Carmines men??

There are a ton of cop shows out there these days, this will not stick out.
12:03PM on 02/10/2014
I find your lack of faith disturbing, Masterdebator88.
I find your lack of faith disturbing, Masterdebator88.
1:43PM on 02/10/2014
Masterdebator88@ I highly suggest you to read "Gotham Central" comic series. I really do hope they can pull it off with the flow and style of that comic. I do have my doubts as well but being a Gotham cop in a city over run by supervillians is far from boring.
Masterdebator88@ I highly suggest you to read "Gotham Central" comic series. I really do hope they can pull it off with the flow and style of that comic. I do have my doubts as well but being a Gotham cop in a city over run by supervillians is far from boring.
5:07PM on 02/10/2014
@Master Considering they've already stated that villains from Batman will be in the show. They've also stated that Bruce Wayne will be in the show as well. Perhaps it doesn't seem interesting to you, but Gotham and it's atmosphere of crime is pretty interesting. As well, Gotham is a hive of crime, which should make for a very interesting, dark TV show.
@Master Considering they've already stated that villains from Batman will be in the show. They've also stated that Bruce Wayne will be in the show as well. Perhaps it doesn't seem interesting to you, but Gotham and it's atmosphere of crime is pretty interesting. As well, Gotham is a hive of crime, which should make for a very interesting, dark TV show.
10:47AM on 02/11/2014
I think the difference between this show and Gotham is that this show has to stick to the Avengers universe, which restrains it from messing with any big characters, while Gotham, bbeing a standalone show like Arrow or Smallville, can just be as creative as they can.
I think the difference between this show and Gotham is that this show has to stick to the Avengers universe, which restrains it from messing with any big characters, while Gotham, bbeing a standalone show like Arrow or Smallville, can just be as creative as they can.
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