UPDATED 1/19/2014 – This is no longer a rumor – Agent Carter is officially in development at ABC, with Hayley Atwell attached to star as Peggy Carter. Go here for the updated news.
RUMOR: Hayley Atwell has officially been cast as Peggy Carter in Agent Carter, a long rumored TV show spin-off of the Captain America films.
“This is a massive deal for both Hayley and Marvel comic fans. It’s Marvel’s major project of 2014, and it will be a big budget production. Hayley is absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity and is incredibly grateful to Marvel fans who have basically been campaigning for a spin-off show for the past six months. It means moving to LA for six months but her friends and family are all behind her, and this is a huge opportunity.”
SOURCE: The Daily Mirror
ARE THEY A RELIABLE SOURCE?: Probably not. The Daily Mirror is a tabloid newspaper which has been around in the UK for over a century, and they do actually have a record of legitimate journalism. However, in matters of celebrity news they also have a record of occasionally just making things up. For this particular story, they provide no source or even hint of a source of their information.
Deadline first reported last September that Marvel was developing a television series centered around Agent Peggy Carter, a World War II Strategic Scientific Reserve (a precursor to S.H.I.E.L.D.) officer who had the googly eyes for Steve “Captain America” Rogers before he went and got frozen in ice. In Captain America: The First Avenger, Carter was played with butt-kicking gusto by veteran of British TV Haley Atwell, who reprises her role in Agent Carter, a short film which is an extra feature on the Iron Man 3 Blu-Ray. It’s supposed to be a secret, but Atwell is said to also have filmed a cameo as Peggy in the forthcoming Captain America sequel, presumably in old-age make-up as an older version of Peggy.
Here is what Deadline said about Agent Carter:
“Marvel is notoriously secretive about their development, and no one would comment, but I hear the company is working on a concept for a potential TV series inspired by Agent Carter […] Directed by Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito, Agent Carter […] chronicles her life as a budding secret agent after her boyfriend is stranded in ice. I hear the project is in very early stages, one of several in the works at Marvel, and is in the process of locking in a writer. It is unclear if Atwell would reprise her role if Agent Carter comes to fruition.”
It was unclear what had become of Agent Carter by the time Marvel announced its deal to give Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist their own TV shows on Netflix as a precursor to a team-up mini-series dubbed The Defenders. However, according to some reports it was still in development with its most likely home being ABC alongside Agents of SHIELD. We don’t actually have to strain ourselves too hard to imagine what an Agent Carter show would look like thanks to the Agent Carter Marvel One-Shot short film from the Iron Man 3 Blu-Ray:
So, a TV show version of this wold be like Alias but set during WWII. That…could be kind of awesome. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. also began its life as a Marvel One-Shot, Item 47. However, SHIELD is not a direct adaptation of Item 47. It features none of the same characters and/or actors. It was simply inspired by the concept of Item 47, which is the same type of language Deadline used when they said “a potential TV series inspired by [emphasis mine] Agent Carter.” That being said, Agent Carter is so specific to, um, I don’t know, Agent freakin’ Carter the the inspired by angle likely simply means characters introduced in Agent Carter, such as Bradley Whitford as her loathsome boss, won’t make the transition to a series.
When speaking to the Empire Film Magazine podcast about Agent Carter during Comic-Con, Atwell was clearly hopeful the world hasn’t seen the end of Peggy Carter:
“Peggy spin-off, why not? Let’s have some more strong women on screen. It’s timely, unfortunately, it’s still a relevant topic. We still have a long way to go before we have equality. A series like this or a world like this is relevant, but then it’s a lot of fun. She can do everything the boys can do, but she’s wearing high heels and a pencil skirt. She looks great, checking herself in the compact. She’s just as feminine as she is masculine […] I’d love to see Peggy again. I’d love to step in her shoes again, and see what other adventures she has in store for her. She has a great potential to explore, especially that era of the second World War and British espionage. She’s a trained spy so she probably has many skills under her belt. It would be really great to showcase those.”
Preach it, attractive British actress who is not my sister. Buffy Summers and Sydney Bristow were amazing female characters leading their own dramatic action shows, but their shows are long gone now. Continuum, Orphan Black, and Lost Girl carry on the tradition but on cable with far fewer viewers. An Agent Carter show would be an interesting new addition, likely rather similar to BBC America’s forthcoming Fleming just with a female James Bond because why not that’s why. Of course, it could just be a lot of Peggy mooning over her lost love Steve Rogers, but it’s hard to imagine this character not having the power to eventually move on:
Ultimately, it’s far easier to trust Deadline’s original report from last September than it is to trust The Daily Mirror‘s recent update. The Mirror offers no source for their information nor do they clarify the network upon which the show is meant to air. Also, Atwell moving to Los Angeles for 6 months would imply the show has bypassed the pilot stage and been ordered straight to series, which would be somewhat surprising if the network is ABC considering how horribly the ratings of SHIELD have tanked ever since its premiere.
So, don’t get too worked up about this, yet. However, would you watch an Agent Carter TV show? Has the mediocrity of SHIELD tainted your faith in Marvel to actually do a good TV show? Liked/didn’t like Atwell as Carter in Captain America? Let us know in the comments.