The full cast list for Captain Marvel has finally been revealed and though it offers some fun surprises, fans are sure to be disappointed that Hayley Atwell and her character Peggy Carter are absent. With news that Agent Coulson will appear in Captain Marvel, MCU die-hards have been granted a big wish: Clark Gregg will be back on the big screen. But he's not the only character from the era with the film set in the early '90s that fans have been clamoring for.
When we first learned of the time period in which Captain Marvel occurs, it seemed almost guaranteed that Peggy Carter would make an appearance. Nick Fury (and now Coulson) are both featured in the film, meaning a look at S.H.I.E.L.D. in the '90s will be a key part of the movie. As Ant-Man proved, Carter was still a big part of the agency into the late '80s, so it has to be assumed she played a prominent role just a few years later.
But for whatever reason, Atwell doesn't look to be in Captain Marvel — and that's a mistake.
Why Agent Carter Should Be in Captain Marvel
Atwell quickly won over fans with her appearance in Captain America: The First Avenger as S.S.R. Agent Peggy Carter, so much so that she led her own Marvel One-Shot following up on her adventures. She'd go on to land a two-season series on ABC, Agent Carter, which charted the earliest days of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Carter's role in shaping the organization. Though canceled after only two years, the series was beloved by fans and many still hold out hope for a resurrection — including Hayley Atwell herself. The character also popped up in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the aforementioned Ant-Man, confirming she lives a long life and spent most of it working with the super-spy outfit (her funeral was shown in Captain America: Civil War).
With Captain Marvel giving Marvel Studios their first solo female superhero, surrounding the titular hero with other powerful women from the MCU would have been a smart move. Though the characters returning are exciting, it's hard to deny that seeing Peggy Carter showing Carol Danvers the ropes would be a thrill. We'd also get a chance to dive more into how Carter shaped S.H.I.E.L.D. in its early days and the door would be once again opened for more of the character in the future.
But, whether due to scheduling conflicts, an already overstuffed story, or something else entirely, Atwell isn't among the cast members of Captain Marvel and therefore is unlikely to have a role in the film—at least not a big one.
Could Peggy Still Appear in Captain Marvel?
There's always the chance that a later development could see Atwell join the film, just in a small role. A cameo or an end credits appearance also seem likely, possibly setting up a role in the Captain Marvel sequel should the period setting continue. Even if it's a small scene, fans would certainly be glad to see Carter show up in the MCU once again and have Marvel Studios reaffirm their commitment to the character.
As it stands, we don't know why Atwell isn't part of the film. Though the origin of Captain Marvel and the Kree-Skrull War that will dominate the movie obviously take precedence, the movie clearly had the space for Coulson, Fury, Ronan, and Korath along with all the new characters. While it's great to have Fury and Coulson back, it seems like Atwell could easily have appeared in the place of one of them.
Fans have long wanted to see Coulson reunite with the Avengers and have Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. integrated into the larger MCU. Gregg showing up in Captain Marvel hardly accomplishes this. And while aging Atwell up with makeup might not have looked great for an extended sequence, it seems much easier than using CGI to make Gregg and Samuel L. Jackson look younger. There's still a chance Atwell could join the film, but for now it's somewhat bittersweet to see so many returning MCU faces join Captain Marvel but have Peggy Carter be left out.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018