Hayley Atwell, who portrayed secret agent Peggy Carter in two Captain America movies and ABC’s Agent Carter television series, says she’s “tentative” about returning to the role — and it would take nothing short of doing “something new” with the character to lure her back.
“Well, I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to play a beloved character for so long, as is. It’s very unusual,” Atwell told attendees during a Q&A panel at ACE Comic Con Seattle on Sunday.
“I wouldn’t have thought starting off in my career that that would happen. You do one character for however many months and then you go and do the next. So I think it’s an unusual position to be in — it would be very unusual to have the choice to do that again.”
Fans have petitioned for Netflix to resurrect Agent Carter after the short-lived Marvel spinoff was cancelled by ABC, but Atwell would want to explore new territory — and do so with a bigger budget.
“I think the main thing, though, is if it were — if there were interest in Netflix or in her being in a film or something — that it would have to feel... it would have to feel right,” the actress explained.
“I wouldn’t want to go over old ground. It would have to be new, there would have to be higher production values so she could do more. I’d have to feel like it’s not just, you know, ‘a case a week with Peggy Carter.’ If she’s had an impact on audiences, let that impact grow, so it delights them, but I think it should be to do with more of the current climate now. What are smart issues to bring up? How to create any sort of kind of social weight, an emotional kind of gravitas to the show.”
Despite speculation Peggy Carter could return in the '90s-set Captain Marvel, Atwell is hesitant to reprise the role and retread old ground.
“So I think on the principle of it, if somebody approached me with it, I would be appropriately kind of tentative about it,” Atwell said.4comments
“Because I would go, ‘well, but, you’ve got to convince me of why we need this, and what for, and how is this a development of the two seasons that we’ve done?’ So that’s more of the question — I’d just want to do something new with her.”
Atwell recently told the Huffington Post her time as Peggy was “just a job to me,” saying, “I put as much into her as I have into Black Mirror or any kind of my stage work. It just happens to become special because, when you’re in a franchise like that, it has more commercial interest.”