Hayley Atwell Talks Marvel’s ‘Agent Carter’; Season 1 Will Be 8 Episodes

Published 11 months ago by

Agent carter Hayley Atwell Talks Marvels Agent Carter’; Season 1 Will Be 8 Episodes

Although responses to the first season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. were predominantly mixed (and saw a marked upswing during the last run of episodes) many can agree that it didn’t quite live up to the expectations of a television series existing within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As their next extension of the MCU, Agent Carter is poised to be Marvel’s second try at a television tie in to the studio’s wildly successful Avengers franchise.

During an interview with Marvel at the ABC upfronts, Hayley Atwell (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) spoke about the upcoming Agent Carter series – which is set to air during a midseason break of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – and touched on how the show will offer a more nuanced portrayal of the titular character, in addition to mentioning the length of the series’  debut season.

It’s been almost three years since Atwell first portrayed Peggy Carter within the MCU. Carter debuted in Captain America: The First Avenger, then appeared in the one-shot digital short Agent Carter that was released with Iron Man 3 on DVD, and finally made a cameo in The Winter Soldier. Now, Atwell is reprising the role again, and getting her own series – one that, according to the actress, will develop and explore the character further.

Here’s the quote from Atwell:

“I think the main thing is fans feel that they’ve seen her being capable, being sexy, being a femme fatale and they want to see something more. They want to see the complexities, the three dimensions of her, what makes her tick, what makes her crumble, what makes her crash and the limitations of who she is because that makes her all the more relatable.”

AgentCarter Hayley Atwell Talks Marvels Agent Carter’; Season 1 Will Be 8 Episodes

Though Atwell’s character is getting her own series — rather than a one-shot or a part in another hero’s film — Agent Carter will only run for a short first season consisting of 8 episodes. However, Atwell explained that showrunners Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas have planned both outward and inward battles for Carter in the show’s first season:

“I think over the arc of the 8 episodes there will be very different facets to who she is, which won’t disappoint the fans in making sure that she has a story within herself as well as the stories of each episode fighting who she fights against and still battling with her own demons and losing the love of her life and what a personal cost to her that is. So there’s many different ideas behind who she is and I think she’s going to become more interesting.”

One heartening aspect of Agent Carter’s limited season is that the show’s story must be compact in order to fit within those 8 episodes. So, while Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. may have suffered from having to fill out a 22-episode season (especially during those first 16 episodes), the story arc and character development for Agent Carter must be fully planned out and executed within a much shorter span of time. Though Agent Carter is running on ABC, perhaps the showrunners could take notes from other series with shorter seasons, like HBO’s True Detective.

Many fans may be disappointed by the limited run of the show’s debut season, but after Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. failed to meet expectations, 8 episodes might be the perfect number to test the waters before viewers – and the network – decide to commit to Agent Carter.


We’ll let you know when Agent Carter gets an official premiere date.

Source: Marvel

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  1. Hey, at least there’s no room for filler!

    • Exactly spot on! Nothing more annoying then filler EPs after a cliff hanger or something..

      It was torment in the dragon ball z TV show.. But kai fixed that up well :)

      I’m keen for this show, the marvel one shot portrayed it well and should do for a great foundation on how shield came to be. :)

  2. Finally watched AoS finale back to back with Arrow finale. Like night and day; AoS is such a better show. I’ve never understood how Arrow gets a pass for so much schlock while AoS gets called out for every little detail. Here’s hoping Agent Carter will continue on a good thing!

    • AoS is in the shadow of one of the biggest franchises in the history of film. Arrow is in the shadow of Smallville. AoS gets people hyper critical because it’s an extension of a hugely popular connected universe. Until DC gets their act together, people aren’t gonna look the gift horse in the mouth. Arrow is pretty great considering DC’s TV track record, and films which Batman aside have pissed off fans for decades.

      • and I actually really do enjoy Arrow.

        • Me too. Maybe it’s just the target demographic on the varying networks; Arrow gets a pass b/c it’s better at connecting to its audience. (Read: younger.) AoS has the tough job of appealing to a broader audience by virtue of being on ABC, therefore it’s got a heavier lift.

          • Except ‘Agents of SHIELD’ won the coveted younger demo every night it aired, all season, even going up against the competition it did in its time slot. So while its ratings aren’t the best, they happen to be the “best” kind of ratings: younger viewers.

      • Well…

        Smallville — DC for teen girls
        Birds of Prey — DC for feminists-lite
        Superboy — fail
        The Flash — DC with Tim Burton aesthetic
        Lois and Clark — DC for soccer moms
        Wonder Woman — DC for 60′s feminists and teen boys
        Green Hornet — Bruce Lee chop socky goodness
        Batman — DC campy 60s goodness, for children

        • DC doesn’t own Green Hornet.

    • I will tell you why.

      While DC does have a better track record (so far) with their television series, they get so much love because the expectations from DC are so low. With Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy (and the story not carrying on in a shared universe format), to Man of Steel with no shared continuity (and all of the debate that came with it), to movies like Green Lantern, DC has a hard time telling on overarching, connected story. Arrow is coming close to that, with the Flash debuting next season. So any hint of it gets praise.

      Where as Marvel has pretty much embarrassed everyone with their shared universe, how rich it is, how connected it is. They have done such a good job interweving everything that if someone sneezes wrong, it is going to get exploited. Sure, the first half of the season was not great on AoS. However, go back and rewatch it now, and a lot more of it makes sense . . . it is not without its issues . . . but it is better in hindsight.

    • You fanboys never cease to amuse me!
      I will never understand the concept of how you can’t like one thing without disliking another.

      Likes it’s not possible for both to be good!

      I learned to appreciate AoS by the end, but anybody who doesn’t admit how awful it was in the beginning is a fanboy homer through and through IMO.

      And Arrow is excellent, I don’t care how many little Marvel fanboy whiners want to claim the opposite.

      • AoS is not synonymous with Marvel and neither is Arrow with DC. I for example love DC and Marvel equally (I like certain aspects of each better than the other), and that doesn’t change because I decide I like AoS better than Arrow. As other people have pointed out, the only reason AoS gets so much flack is because it has such high standards, where as Arrow can do whatever and still be praised for its originality. Quit assuming that just because someone thinks one of the shows is better than the other (ahem, you as well), they are automatically a ______ fanboy and only love stuff that comes from them.

        • ^This!!

          Exactly. I didn’t say I couldn’t enjoy Arrow. I said I’ve observed a huge double standard between how sites like this one, and others, assess the shows strengths as opposed to AoS’. Perhaps the differing expectations for these shows can be chalked up to their respective networks? CW is better at finding it’s target audience, perhaps, but then those of us who’d like Arrow to be tweaked for a different demographic are left disappointed that the show isn’t *quite* what we’d like it to be.

          Having said all that, I’m delighted that the writers didn’t kill off my favorite character in finale (Arrow). ;)

      • YoureAllCrazy…

        Excellent post…shame it’s falling into the cracks of the Marvel Zombie virus.

        …but hey, at least the fanboy trolls FINALLY posted their garbage on a MARVEL thread instead of (yet again) attempting to p9is9n a “random” DC thread.

        • Yikes…that weird looking word is POISON.


    • Wow, that’s an insane way of looking at it.

      I like both Marvel and DC but thought AoS was garbage and Arrow was brilliant. I assume you got them the wrong way round on purpose, right?

    • dude I seriously agree I mean look at all these series out there AoS is wayyyyy better they should have faith in it and keep on making the 2nd season seriously I felt like every single ep is a mini marvel movie :)

  3. Hope the show shines, huge fan of Agent Carter. Gonna watch Captain Ameerica: The First Avenger, love Atwell’s performance.

  4. now that’s what I want to see, I always thought they should’ve explore more into Peggy Carter. I guess it’s not suitable for a film but it’s perfect in a tv series format.

  5. Shorter seasons of different, but related, shows could be an interesting model. If they had only 8 episodes of AoS, 8 episodes of Agent Carter, and 8 episodes of another S.H.I.E.L.D. or Marvel TV show every year, that would allow all the shows to be a lot more compact and avoid fillers. It would basically emulate the format of certain comic books where you’re given multiple short stories within a single issue.

    • That is an interesting idea…I wouldnt mind that- to fit as many interesting characters of the Marvel universe in as possible, and it keeps the stories fresh. Short series works for Sherlock..how many British shows make it in the US and become popular? Think that could work for Marvel too

      • I don’t really mind shorter season. But Sherlock is seriously killing my patience. 3 episodes every 2 years, each series/season only run less than a month? I don’t want to wait that long, for God’s sake…

    • I think we are essentially going to get AoS season 2 broken into two arcs, fall and then winter. With Carter in between. I can totally see your model for season 3 of AoS if AoS fails to get ratings and Carter proves popular. Could we get AoS Season3(10eps), Agent Carter Season2 (8eps), Runaways/Moon Knight/Agents of Sword… And they could just launch new series going forward as previous shows end their runs.

      • Yeah, it would keep you coming back for something different, and it allows new viewers to pick up on a show without feeling they’ve missed too much of the beginning.

        And I would love to see Runways on the small screen. Maybe they could start it as a mini-series on Netflix and then movie to regular network TV if it proves popular.

        • *move to regular network TV

          not as in, straight to TV movie… although that might be an option if it doesn’t turn out to be that popular…

        • Well, they already have their shared Netflix Defenders universe planned out with Deredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Then “The Defenders” mini-series that includes all four.

          So if that is a success maybe we get more series on Netflix later, but at the moment I’m just eager to see all the new series.

          And of course Agent Carter can open up the gates fore more shows too.

        • Well, they already have their shared Netflix Defenders universe planned out with Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Then “The Defenders” mini-series that includes all four.

          So if that is a success maybe we get more series on Netflix later, but at the moment I’m just eager to see all the new series.

          And of course Agent Carter can open up the gates fore more shows too.

  6. Looking forward to this!
    Loved Atwell’s performance in Captain America.

  7. hayley atwell very talented and beautiful but,
    1. no one asked for this show and don’t even know of any fans where iam at crying
    for an agent carter show.
    2. so far shield has gotten more attention on tv then in the comics, any shield show without
    costumed people is crap. its like here is the potato but we left the steak at the cinema.
    3. a female jack bauer is certainly not needed.
    4. this show will be canceled but of course not until avengers 2 is long and done at box office.

    • 1. If i remember correctly, no one asking for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. either. They make AoS because of Coulson’s popularity among fans. And i’m sure Peggy Carter aren’t that far behind…
      2. Sif, Lorelei, and Deathlok certainly fits in “costumed people”. I’m not sure whether to include the random pyrokinetic in early episode, since he doesn’t wear costume…
      I know that you probably mean costumed people as in superheroes. But MCU is just getting started, super-powered people just caught in the spotlight after The Avengers. Think AoS (and Agent Carter)as binoculars that gave you insight of the world outside big screen MCU. Like fries or onion rings on the side of hamburger.
      3. How many action-based TV series who has a female actress/character as the main lead character? The only thing come to mind is Revenge. I’m not sure about the Blacklist, since in my understanding both Liz and Red are the lead characters.
      4. Let’s hope it doesn’t go that way, but only time will tell…

    • I think this show will do fine if its a fast paced spy drama that also ties into AoU, the Human Torch will most likely have a role in this series and also play a role in the creation of both Ultron and the Vision.

    • Maybe no one asked for the show because why would anyone have even considered that Marvel would take her and throw her into her own show? Just because people weren’t asking for it (movie characters getting their own TV shows isn’t exactly common practice, so I don’t know why anyone would even suggest it), doesn’t mean it’s not wanted. Since the announcement, there’s been a pretty positive response (except for the die-hard DC fans who refuse to have anything to do with Marvel), so I’m sure plenty of people are happy about it.

    • I asked for it.

    • Well, I don’t know which corner of the internet you usually dwell in, but I saw a LOT of fans wanting more Peggy Carter and the support for it is pretty big among fans on the websites I’ve been visiting.

      Also, if Marvel wants to do something, they will do it, because they see potential in it, because they want to do it. They have their reasons.

      We’re also getting 4+1 Netflix series with “costumed” main characters, so they got that front covered as well.

      And I personally think that a female spy/government agent having to deal with everyday things after WWII (after the men come back from the war she is marginalized and reduced to small administrative tasks by her superiors), while going on secret undercover missions on the side is very interesting.

      It’s something new. It’s not a “a female jack bauer”. This is Peggy Carter, she’s not just a copy of the countless white male action heroes we see on TV. We need more shows that don’t just repeat the same old thing over and over again.

      I wanted a Peggy Carter show and I was very much not alone with my wish.

      Plus Dominic Cooper is coming back as Howard Stark. What’s not to love about this? I hope it will be as good as it promises to be.

    • It’s a proven fact that people don’t know what they want until they have it, so point one is invalid. Point two is purely opinion. Point three is sexist, and point four is unfounded since we know next to nothing about the show so we can’t tell whether or not it will become popular.

    • 3. I’d think it’d be more accurate to compare her to Sydney Bristow. And a strong female character who doesn’t need a man to save her, working in a male-dominated world, using her intelligence to defeat bad guys and rise up the ranks… yeah, why have that on television these days. Horrible idea!

  8. I like it,will break up the two parts of the shield season. Its short so it should get right to the point, no filler. Wont drag on and be boring.

    If its good it will get picked up for a second season.

  9. Good no time for filler, the pilot, a three story Zodiac arc, a three story Human Touch arc and the season final detailing the Jarvis back story for AoU.

  10. Seems to be alot of people comparing Agents of Shield with Arrow, some on one side, some on the other. Well, I like them both, and The upcoming show The Flash looks pretty cool too. I also have high hopes for Hourman when it comes on CW as well. And as for Agent Carter, I’ve got three words for ya:

  11. Gotham is basically “cops of Gotham” , that might be better to compare to AoS than Arroq

    • Except Gotham also puts some of the most iconic characters from the Batman franchise front and center of the TV show. AoS had Coulson, a made for movie character (should have been a one-off) front and center of the TV show. Don’t get me wrong, I love Clark Gregg, but Phil Coulson, by definition, is the least established character in the Marvel Universe.

    • Gotham seems like it is working from the Smallville model and using known characters at an earlier part of their lives to avoid having to use all the same tropes that tend to be recycled in comic book adaptions while still having recognizable character if only in name.

  12. recently I started rewatching the whole season of AOS, and I’ll tell you, there was way more planned out than I thought. There were hints at Cap 2 throughout the first 6 episodes. It was pretty surprising and cool. Less filler than I remembered.

  13. 8-14 episodes is usually the perfect amount. People always want more, but then you get filler which creates bad ratings which causes shows to get cancels.

    My unfortunate prediction: AMAZING first season, followed by second season with 20+ episodes most of which are filler causing show to get cancelled after second season despite awesome last fourth of second season. I call it the terminator tv show effect.

    • Actually , a 4 episode season like Luther on the BBC would be a perfect mid-season break for Aos. With AoS split onto two 9 episode parts.

      Agent Carter can take on Zodiac with Jake Fury as the main villain, and AoS would be best served focusing on battling fascism, Hydra, and Baron Von Strucker. In Season 2 Coulson’s S.H.I.E.L.D should recruit Rising Tide members, employee a number of LMD’s (ala Billy Koenig, possibly Agent Beefcake – A LMD that actually thinks he is Agent Grand Ward, and a new character Agent Cheesecake [Cast Megan Fox]), and hopefully, due to the Raina character Coulson discovers the Savage Lands.

  14. Agent Carter will be far superior to AOS for the mere fact of the writing team from Winter Soldier, plus should be a smarter offering not aimed at 14 and under.

  15. I would hope the show is stronger for a shorter season. If it provides a larger budget for each episode that may be a good thing.

    Despite my disappointment with AOS I am looking forward to this.

  16. Whoever wrote this article is full of crap. Agents of SHIELD had a bumpy start but the show gained momentum and really delivered. The “many” you keep referring to were those that expected everything from the movies to be ever present in the show. The show had to stand on it’s own two legs and you can’t blame the show for not providing what you hoped was in it. This is what happens, ppl create hype out of nothing, then said ppl get mad when their imaginary hype didn’t play out on TV.

  17. Geez enough of the Brits. The world is full of people why are Brits cast in everything ?
    Hire Americans or give some others a chance

  18. Man such violent hate about Arrow in these comments. I hope Carter does well. I am just not big on the whole writing mindset behind Marvel’s universe. I don’t like the quick one liners from virtually all characters. I’ll stick with the dark world of Arrow.

  19. I’d like to see Jeff Mace or William Burnside, Captain America successors, as guest characters on the series.

  20. I don’t know what I think about this show. I like the character and if comic book movies/shows were drugs I’d shoot that stuff right into my main vein, but I think there are so many other options that would have been more interesting. If you need a woman, Marvel has dozens of them.

    I think my main concern is that the “bad-arsed” fem fatal is so overdone. The novelty of a woman kicking butt simply because people think everyone loves a woman kicking butt has worn off.

    • The MCU may me going back to explore the past (ala X Men first class) and Agent Carter may be taking the reins from Nick Fury and Agent Coulson. Marvel Studios can stick her into any flashback scene or period piece. IMHO Atwell will most likely be the glue that holds the MCU together once Samuel L Jackson’s contract runs out. She’ll be the face of S.H.I.E.L.D.

      Think about it, wouldn’t a Black Panther movie set in the turbulent 60′s be more impactful then one set in 2020? We already know that Ant-Man is partially a spy film set in the 60′s, based on AoS; therefore, Bill Foster and Wasp could also be apart of the 1960′s. Captain Marvel has been deceased for some time as well. His characters timeline could also be based in the past (and by extension Ms. Marvel as well) Marvel is not making this TV show just because, everything they do is well planned out years in advance (minus Thor-tdw if you believe Alan Taylor)

  21. Typos: be (not- may ME going back) & Based on AoS, Captain Marvel has been deceased

  22. For as much as the fans loved agents of shield and it getting a second season, The critics sure like to attack the hell out of it. I’m sick of critics telling fans what they should and shouldn’t like. Entertainment is opinion based, you critics have yours, and we have ours, and lately, they haven’t been syncing up.

  23. Agent Carter is going to become the ultimate show on television when it arrives (I think because it’s just all fun). She became a favorite (for me) from the first time she punched out that guy in line, “Take a step forward.” She was such a great addition to the cast of CA:FA, fun character, great personality. Here’s hoping that she and Howard “fondue” in the show because that would be hilarious.

  24. Please renew Agent Carter. Love it.