The first season of 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' has already played host to guest appearances by notably macho actors like Samuel L. Jackson ('The Avengers'), Bill Paxton ('Aliens'), and Stan Lee (co-creator of almost every major Marvel character), and will soon invite Adrian Pasdar ('Heroes') into the ranks. Now, 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' is preparing to welcome possibly its most badass agent to date: actor/comedian Patton Oswalt.
According to a report on Marvel.com, Oswalt will guest star as Agent Eric Koenig in an upcoming episode of the ABC series. Koenig's comic book counterpart was a member of Nick Fury's World War II battalion "The Howling Commandos," but as you might imagine, producers are going in a different direction for the character's Patton Oswalt incarnation. Details as to how Koenig's backstory will be altered have yet to be released.
Contrary to the usual wrangling that goes on before most Hollywood castings, Oswalt accepted his role the old-fashioned way: they called him, and he said yes.
"I got a call from my agent saying they want you on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and I said ‘hell, yes,’. I’m lucky that I’m visible enough that they wanted to bring me in to play this character. I’d worked with Joss [Whedon] before on ‘Dollhouse,’ and I guess I wasn’t too annoying and they decided to put me on another one of his shows. So I was very lucky.”
While 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' remains way more likely than not to be renewed for a second season, the show's ratings have been on a steady decline over the last few months. 'S.H.I.E.L.D.'s most recent episode (aired on March 11) earned only a 2.1 in the 18-49 demo, a far cry from the high 2s and low 3s the program averaged in the fall.
Bringing in Oswalt (who boasts more than 1.6 million Twitter followers, and has a giant fanbase among the 18-49 demographic) is very likely an attempt to spike those numbers, and hopefully get them back up in at least the 2.5-3.0 range. ABC hasn't revealed when Oswalt's episode will air yet, but it wouldn't surprise me at all to see it get the coveted May sweeps spot.