Why ‘Agent Carter’ Needs to Return for Her Own Marvel Movie

Marvel Studios hasn’t been shy in green-lighting their vast collection of heroes in standalone TV series. It’s given us some incredible stories along the way, but in the process, also left some behind. Agent Carter was one of those shows that got left in the dust, after Marvel cleared the network TV decks following their continued expansion on Netflix in 2016. Their focus on streaming is clear too: While green-lighting a Punisher series for the streaming service, they canceled Agent Carter and the never-aired Agents of SHIELD spin-off, Marvel’s Most Wanted. Still though, that doesn’t mean that Agent Carter is done telling its own unique story.

In an interview with Comic Book Resources, Hayley Atwell admitted that she had asked Marvel about the possibility of an Agent Carter movie. Atwell went on to point out how “the great thing about Peggy [Carter] is, we know from [Captain America: The] Winter Soldier that she lives a long life, so she can come back.” It’s tough to argue against, and when you dig into the raw potential of a full-on film, you begin to see why this needs to happen.

1. Agent Carter was itself, an amazing TV show

Hayley Atwell in Agent Carter

Agent Carter was a fan favorite series. | ABC

The first question you have to ask yourself before adapting a canceled TV series into a film is simple: Was the original story a good one? The answer is, of course, a resounding “hell yes.” Over its two-season run, Agent Carter was progressive, compelling, and at times, even humorous, all while tying into the earlier years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) timeline.

Atwell perfectly embodied the independent and tough-spirited Peggy Carter. The plot itself was less “Marvel superheroes” and more a post-World War II spy thriller (more on that soon), and it worked wonderfully over its brief run on ABC. Now imagine a whole film with Atwell in the lead, building on the considerable story the ABC series already laid the groundwork for.

Next: Something Marvel has never done

2. The potential of a full-on Marvel spy thriller

Hayley Atwell as Agent Carter

The full story of Peggy could be amazing. | ABC

While Agent Carter often dipped into the Marvel canon for some of its larger-scale story arcs, it was largely rooted in post-World War II era spy-craft. Peggy and her team composed a top-secret government organization working in the shadows to neutralize threats to our country that the general public would never even know about. Think Agents of SHIELD, except with less of an ensemble cast, fewer direct connections to the world of superheroes, and more secret agent-centric intrigue. With Marvel continuing to push the boundaries of their film universe, an Agent Carter spy thriller would fit perfectly into that directive.

Next: The actress herself is beloved.

3. More Hayley Atwell in the MCU is always a good thing

Hayley Atwell as Agent Carter

Any excuse for more Atwell is welcome. | ABC

There’s little denying Atwell’s value to the MCU. In virtually every appearance, the British actor has been an all-out scene-stealer, helped by her on-screen charm and hard-nosed approach to the character of Peggy Carter. In short, Atwell has been a gift, and it’d be unwise to simply let her exit stage left. It’s why Peggy has popped up at various junctures throughout the MCU, from a brief cameo in a flashback sequence in Ant-Man, to a heartrending reunion with Steve Rogers in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. And while the character officially passed away in Captain America: Civil War, there are still plenty of years left to fill in for someone who in the Marvel storyline essentially built SHIELD from the ground up.

Next: More story to tell

4. Peggy Carter’s story is far from finished

Hayley Atwell as Agent Carter

There are so many options for storylines. | ABC

If a movie is going to work, we have to determine where exactly the story could go from here. That being so, it’s worth pointing out that there is a metric ton of story material to work with right now for Agent Carter. Season 2 wrapped up on a stunning cliffhanger that we still don’t have the answers to. Meanwhile, we have approximately 40-some unaccounted for years in Peggy’s life to fill in, including the yet-to-be-shown founding of SHIELD from the Strategic Science Reserve (SSR) that existed during the timeline of the Agent Carter TV series. Really the only problem a potential film would encounter is having too many options to hone into a single, focused narrative.

Next: Girl power

5. The world needs more female-led superhero movies

Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman

After the success of Wonder Woman, we’re more than ready for female-led stories. | Warner Bros.

Hollywood has only recently got the memo that a woman is capable of leading her own tentpole comic book movie, and it took far too long to get to even that point. Agent Carter holds the distinct honor of being the first female-led superhero TV series since Linda Carter’s short-lived run as Wonder Woman in 1975, and it’s inspired a host of others in its wake.

Marvel followed Agent Carter up almost immediately with 2015’s Jessica Jones, while DC followed suit with Supergirl later that year. With the success of Wonder Woman, the anticipation surrounding Captain Marvel, and rumors of a Black Widow flick hovering on the horizon, there’s no telling how well a Peggy Carter film could do. With that in mind, there would be a certain poetry in having Agent Carter rejoin the MCU as the result of the very same trend of female-led properties it kicked off in early-2015.

Next: Where else she could appear

6. Peggy joins the Avengers?

Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter

Will Peggy join up with her old flame? | Marvel Studios

Ahead of 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, the possibility of another Peggy appearance arose once more. Afterall, the heroine has shown up in various other properties, and in a huge, interconnected universe like this one, anything is possible. And if not in that film, what about 2019’s Avengers 4?

Next: Does Atwell want to come back?

7. Atwell chimes in

British actress Hayley Atwell poses for photographers on the red carpet ahead of the UK premiere of the film 'Cinderella' in central London on March 19, 2015.

Atwell is keeping quiet. | Jack Taylor/AFP/Getty Images

Marvel insists upon secrecy from its actors, even those who they’re seemingly done working with. So it’s no surprise that Atwell is remaining tight-lipped.

When asked about a return to the MCU, Atwell told CinemaBlend:

Because it’s a genre-specific superhero piece, I’m sure anything could happen. It’s such a huge world. I do think there’s something in the completion of the fact that they’re doing their back-to-back Avengers at the moment, which will complete an era, so I can’t see how that would be. But that’s what’s remarkable about Marvel is they keep going. Each film tends to further what they’re doing, so I wouldn’t rule it out.

It sounds like she’s on board, so let’s hope the powers that be agree.

Follow Nick on Twitter @NickNorthwest

Additional reporting by Becca Bleznak.

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