Hayley Atwell On Why ABC Cancelled AGENT CARTER And Playing A Role-Model For Young Girls
Hayley Atwell, star of the prematurely cancelled ABC series Agent Carter, recently discussed why she thinks the show was cutoff so soon and the positive effect the character has had on young female fans...
During an interview with The AV Club, Atwell said that her next project, the legal drama Conviction, probably seemed more appealing to the network than Agent Carter.
It’s a shame the network canceled it and wanted to put me in something more mainstream.
You know, Marvel didn’t want it to end. There’s lots of online campaigns to bring her back. Fans loved her. I think it was just a network economical thing: 'Let’s put Hayley Atwell in something more mainstream that’s less genre-specific and see if we can get higher ratings.' And unfortunately, that isn’t, as an actor, anything I’ve got control over. But maybe, in small ways, characters like Peggy Carter very slowly pave the way for it to be possible for other female-led narratives to exist.
The AV Club then asked Atwell whether an Agent Carter movie is something she'd still be interested in pursuing. Atwell of course didn't decline, but took the opportunity to praise Marvel and their "winning formula," whilst also mentioning the positive affect the character has had on some young female fans.
Yeah, I mean, I really love the people that I work with in Marvel. I’ve known Louis D’Esposito for eight years now, and Kevin Feige; they’re really good fun, and they’re good guys. And it’s a franchise that works because it has that tongue-in-cheek element to it that I think Joss Whedon also brought in. When I kind of look at anything now, I look at it in terms of the genre and the context and who its audience is. And I feel that Marvel have their winning formula at the moment of creating superhero genre that everyone wants to see.
And Peggy’s such a lovely character. I am kind of playing her with my eyes closed, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t play her again, because I like what she puts out into the world. Although, it’s not necessarily high brow, we’re not talking Shakespeare here, I’ve met girls at conventions who say they’re proud of having a strong woman to look up to, who doesn’t have any super powers, who uses her intelligence and her wit to fight the bad guys—and she also likes other women. They’ve really enjoyed that. They’ve projected onto her as a symbol for some positive things. And that’s really lovely, that’s really nice to know that part of the work that you’ve done is in someway, hopefully, in a very, very small way, contributed to someone having a good time for an afternoon.
The series centred around Steve Rogers' popular love interest from Captain America: The First Avenger. Focusing on Agent Peggy Carter's own adventures after her lover's supposed death. It dealt with the founding of SHIELD, Carter's evolving friendship with Iron Man's father, Howard Stark (reprised by Dominic Cooper) and more. Around the time of the show's cancellation, both Peggy Carter (in the present day, as an old woman) and Howard Stark (in a flashback) met their unfortunate demise, in Captain America: Civil War.
In the time since, Atwell has been open about her interest in reprising the role, recently saying that she wouldn't rule out Peggy returning to the MCU in the future. It's plausible that Peggy could make an appearance in the future, be it a flashback or full-on prequel film. Although, unfortunately, there has been no indication (other than some Avengers 4 set pics - which include World War 2 era vehicles) that Atwell has been cast in the upcoming Captain Marvel (which is set in the '90s) or that the return Peggy Carter is anything besides fan hopes and rumors at this point.
What do you think about Atwell's comments? Would you like to see Agent Carter return, both the character and/or the show?