Agents of SHIELD Season 4: Jason O’Mara Gives Details on New Director Role

How long will the new director be around? And what will his relationship with Coulson be like?

One of the big mysteries of the Agents of SHIELDseason 3 finale was the fact that Coulson was no longer director of SHIELD and new, mysterious authority figure had taken his place.

Though there has been much speculation that it would be Agent May stepping up to fill the role she would so obviously rock at (not to mention that she so obviously deserves), Agents of SHIELDwill actually be bringing in an entirely new character to head the agency — and he will be played by TV veteran Jason O’Mara.

O’Mara, who has been previously seen on such shows as Terra Nova, Complications, The Good Wife, and Life on Mars, will star as a character “whose Marvel roots go back to the 1940s,” so start guessing. What else do we know? O’Mara chatted with The Hollywood Reporter about what we can expect from the “high status” character, saying:

Suddenly he comes in and he’s the boss, telling the other characters orders. Here I come in after [the other actors] been doing this for four years and I’m telling them what to do. It’s a little awkward, even for me on set!

It sounds like, at least initially, the new director’s true allegiances may be mysterious, with not even O’Mara himself knowing is his character is a hero or villain — or for how long he will be on Agents of SHIELD, for that matter. O’Mara called the role “open-ended,” saying: “If the fans hate me and if the writers hate me, maybe I’ll be four episodes and done.”

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The character’s roots in the Marvel universe.

As for the tease that O’Mara’s character is someone we already know from the Marvel universe, O’Mara elaborated:

We know that he’s out there already. He pre-exists. But no doubt [the writers] will do their own modern spin on it, as they do. No doubt he’ll be riddled with flaws, as they do. But they don’t tell us much further than the script we just received.

I like the secrecy. It’s frustrating as an actor sometimes because the more information you have, the more you have to work with. But I do like this idea that stories should be surprising. It’s also a good marketing tool to not even release the name of the director of SHIELD. It builds the mystery so I’ll go along with it.

The Coulson/new director relationship.

Though O’Mara called the relationship between his character and Coulson “huge,” defining it as “a power struggle kind of dynamic,” it sounds like it might be a different character who the new director might be sharing more scenes with: Simmons.

I had a scene with Elizabeth [Henstridge, who plays Simmons] this week and she is so funny and charming and sweet. My character is going to lean on her quite a bit to make sense of a lot of the science stuff because he’s new and needs it to be turned into laymen’s language.

On the possibility of sharing scenes with Ghost Rider.

As for whether or not the new director will be sharing any screentime with Ghost Rider, aka Robbie Reyes, who will be joining the show this season, O’Mara had this to say:

I haven’t had any scenes with Robbie Reyes yet but maybe I will have scenes with him down the line, which would just be so cool. I’m just enjoying all that Ghost Rider stuff as a fan right now. But it’s conceivable: I could be in a scene with Ghost Rider!

Frankly, O’Mara seems like a big Marvel nerd himself, which is kind of great. We’ll have to see how long his character sticks around Agents of SHIELD,but he could be a fun addition to the cast. To find out more about what’s in store in Agents of SHIELDseason 4, check out what we learned at San Diego Comic Con