Marvel Tackles Single Shot Take Fight Scene
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD hasn’t forgotten its coolest fight moment of Season 2: when Skye took out a room of Hydra agents in a scene shot in a single take. When it came time for director Kevin Tancharoen to once again helm an episode of SHIELD in Season 3, he and star Chloe Bennet were tasked with creating yet another epic one-take fight.
Fans had a chance to see the fight unfold in Season 3, episode 15, “Spacetime,” as Bennet’s Daisy Johnson (formerly Skye) took out another room of bad guys to try to stop inevitable events from unfolding. Tancharoen told IGN that this time the fight wasn’t just a pet project, but was written into the script by showrunners (and family members) Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon.
“They were like, ‘And then Daisy takes out a room full of assailants in a one-take, choreographed sequence.’ So it was kind of like, OK, I have to do it then. The person who wrote the script was my sister and my brother-in-law, so I think it was a ‘we’re going to make him do it again.’ It was fun,” Tancharoen said. “I don’t think any one of these versions is going to be better or worse than the other. They’re just going to be different. This particular one was in a smaller room, so it was a little bit more complicated.”
Watch the sequence play out in this exclusive clip from “Spacetime,” which does contain some spoilers:
Beyond just being a cool showcase of SHIELD’s technical capabilities, Tancharoen also sees a clear story purpose for these fight scenes. “There has been such an arc from [Daisy] being a computer hacker to a supreme badass. To see her expertly take out every single opponent, and not hide it by cutting and editing, I think speaks volumes about how far Skye/Daisy has come as a character,” he explained. “The more that you can highlight that her presence, her skill and her new agent abilities are really badass, I think it is better for the show to showcase her doing it all in one place.”
Tancharoen is best known for directing the web series Mortal Kombat: Legacy, but he’s also worked on other superhero TV shows by helming episodes of The Flash, Supergirl and a forthcoming Arrow episode. From his vantage point, he sees all TV series in this genre as pushing each other to be better — both in fight scenes and otherwise.
“We’re all in a very competitive space here right now on television,” he explained. “I think that there is a friendly competition to try to compete with each other in a very friendly way and push each other up a bit. I’ve had the fortune of working on some other superhero shows, and it’s always fun to go back and forth and see people say ‘let’s maybe do a better action sequence than that because it was so cool what they did. Maybe we can do better.’ I think it’s all a bunch of nerds in a room talking about the cool s–t they watched on TV, like, ‘OK, we can do that. We can try to one-up them as much as we can and it will be all fine and dandy and we’ll make it work.’ It’s a bunch of fans sitting in chairs watching a bunch of cool s–t and wanting to make something just as cool, if not cooler.”