J. August Richards

Announced last August... the espionage and secret military law-enforcement agency in the Marvel Comics Universe, known as S.H.I.E.L.D, is heading at ABC as a serial, with Joss Whedonwho wrote and directed the big-screen version of The Avengers, shepherding, along with his brother Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen (Dollhouse).

Since that announcement, the series' cast has gradually been firmed up (with Ming-NaClark GreggBrett DaltonElizabeth HenstridgeIan De Caestecker and Chloe Bennet all series' regulars) as many of us wondered whether there'll be any black characters in Whedon's S.H.I.E.L.D. 

Samuel L. Jackson was rumored to be reprising his role as Nick Fury in the TV series, but that seems unlikely.

On Friday, TVLine announced that Whedon's former Angel cast member, J. August Richards, is re-teaming with the director, assuming what's being referred to as "a super top-secret role" in the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series.

As you'd expect, fanboys and fangirls have begun speculating about what that secret role could be. Many believe he'll be playing a younger Nick Fury, but, again, all conjecture on their part; no confirmation of this. 

What role do you think he's signed up for, and why would Whedon want it to be kept under-wraps, especially when we know what roles the other actors will be playing?

J. August Richards played Charles Gunn in Whedon's TV series, Angel. The character was a series regular from seasons 2 - 5, introduced as the leader of a street gang which protects its neighborhood from vampires.