As the new era of "franchise universes" takes shape, Marvel Studios continues to the lead the pack in terms of building an all-encompassing multi-media universe for fans to indulge in. As the main "Phase Two" storyline continues to develop in the string of upcoming films - such as Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier - the Marvel Universe will continue to expand outwards into the small screen, with Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series poised to make a big splash in the fall 2013 premiere season.
S.H.I.E.L.D. will examine the role of normal (albeit highly-skilled and trained) human beings adapting to a superhero world; however, word is that for their next TV project, Marvel could be venturing into further exploring a normal human who has already run with superheroes: Peggy Carter, Steve Rogers' fellow combatant/love interest from Captain America: The First Avenger.
Played by actress Hayley Atwell in the film, Agent Carter recently got her own Marvel One-Shot short as part of the Iron Man 3 Blu-ray release. Past one-shots like "The Consultant", "A Funny Thing Happened..." and "Item 47" all included elements that formed the foundation of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series, so it's not overly surprising to hear that the "Agent Carter" one-shot could similarly be intended as a primer for yet another television idea the studio is hatching.
Deadline dropped the exclusive, citing sources close to Marvel for this leak about the possible new TV series. There is no confirmation that it has been given the green-light; word is a writer is currently being sought to shape the pilot. No word on whether Atwell would step back into the role or if it would be handed off to someone; to her credit, though, Atwell does have a pretty extensive history working in TV over in the UK, so headlining the show wouldn't be outside her wheelhouse - and would be much less problematic for fans hoping for continuity.
As seen in clips from the 'Agent Carter' one-shot, the short will detail what happened to Peggy Carter after Steve Rogers' disappearance - presumably up until we see the character again in The Winter Soldier. That's a large gap of time which could be filled with the adventures of a kick-ass female spy (the Alias comparisons have already begun) - it's also a great way to better sketch the history of the Marvel Universe that led to the modern S.H.I.E.L.D. agency and Avengers team we know.
Would side characters like Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) or Col. Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones) be included in the show? While the actors who played them might not return, having the characters (and other members of Cap's Howling Commandos team) would definitely be a more attractive lure for fans of the Marvel movies looking to get that all-immersive experience from the TV show(s).
Ever since the first film, fans of Captain America have wondered if we would ever again see the WWII era of the Marvel Universe - a problem that has plagued the filmmakers of The Winter Soldier throughout that sequel's development. An Agent Carter TV show is one way to both fill that gap of history and give the Marvel Universe a leading female character to root for - and that latter point is something that producer Louis D'Esposito was recently speaking about, in a quote that all of a sudden seems a little too on-the-nose to be coincidence:
“There’s obviously a drumbeat that is banging louder and louder that we want a female lead superhero. We have strong female characters in our films from Black Widow to Pepper Potts to Peggy Carter and you never know. Maybe there’s an offshoot film with one of them. Or Captain Marvel, you know?”
Given the track record of Marvel marketing, a quote like that makes us think that this Agent Carter TV show may be closer than any of us think; the ratings for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will likely be the final measure whether or not this project comes to fruition. We'll soon see.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. AND the Iron Man 3 Blu-ray will both arrive on "Marvel Day" - a.k.a. Tuesday, September 24th.
We'll keep you updated about the status of an Agent Carter TV show.