The first series from Marvel Studios will officially see its story come to an end, as it was announced today that Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD will conclude after seven seasons.
The news comes from Deadline, who held an exclusive interview with head of Marvel Television Jeph Loeb. In the interview, Loeb touched on the decisions that were made in the lead up to the series ending:
“When you know that’s what you’re doing, you can take greater risks, of life and death,” Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb says of the conclusion of ABC’s Clark Gregg-led superspy series, which is currently in the last weeks of its explosive sixth season. “Those kinds of decisions suddenly now are real on the table because you’re not playing how do we undo this when we get to the next season. You’re playing that this is going to be the end of the story.”
At this year’s Comic-Con, Loeb will be joining Clark Gregg, fellow cast members Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Elizabeth Henstridge, Iain De Caestecker, Henry Simmons, Natalia Cordova-Buckley and Jeff Ward in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s inaugural Hall H appearance this afternoon. Executive producers Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon and Jeff Bell will also be there.
Loeb then went into detail about the ending of season 6, and how fans should be excited to see the “celebration” that is season 7:
“Well, the bitter side is nobody ever wants anything to end, but it’s going to be amazing, and here’s the best news: Season 6 isn’t over, and you’ve seen none of Season 7. That’s the celebration, there’s still more. It’s not as though we’re going to walk off the stage and say goodbye, you’re never going to see another one of these new stories again. You have to see how this ends, you have to.”
Loeb maintained that the show was going out on their terms, and that this wasn’t a cancellation. In fact, the cast crew were under the impression that the series was going to end after season 5. That is, until ABC called them asked for more after seeing the level of quality in the story.
“The simplest answer is so that we can end on our terms, really.”
“How many shows do you know that just suddenly ended, and you feel like, but wait a minute, there was more. Yes, in the chronology of this is we thought Season 5 was the end. If you go back and you look at the end of that season, it is written that way. Actually, the last episode of that season is called “The End.” Honestly, we thought we were turning out the lights and going home when we got a call from ABC that said, the material is so strong, do you think you have another season, do you think you have another 13 because we sort of like this idea of doing it again.”
When asked about if season 7 is a definitive conclusion, Loeb said that, while the series will end, Marvel will always be a “to be continued” franchise:
“I personally believe that every great Marvel story ends to be continued, but the short answer is, yes, it will conclude in a way that is incredibly emotional and in the best ways. It’s funny, it’s heartbreaking, it’s… (laughs) It’s a classic, exactly.”
Finally, when asked about special appearances in the final season… Loeb, of course, remained mysterious:
“You have to wait and see. Or as we used to say, that’s a level seven question.”