Joe Johnston and the folks at Marvel were absolutely determined to find a British Actress to play the part of Peggy Carter, the love interest of the title character in The First Avenger: Captain America and they got their wish.
After reports surfaced a few weeks back that the three names in contention for the lead female role had come down to Keira Knightley, Emily Blunt and Alice Eve, we started to see the choices narrowing. First, rumors pointed at Emily Blunt having been offered the role, but declining for a chance to play Catwoman in Batman 3. Then, we heard Knightley was no longer in consideration but another Brit, Hayley Atwell was. It was now down to Alice Eve and Hayley Atwell but Atwell got the job.
When Atwell's name was reported to be in the mix for the part, it was mentioned that Alice Eve was actually Marvel's top choice. Both actresses were called in for a second audition shortly after and we can assume Hayley Atwell blew them away.
Atwell will play the part of Peggy Carter (not Peggy Lee as previously reported) who is Steve Rogers' girlfriend during World War II. Carter also was an American Agent with the French Resistance and has training as a spy, not afraid to use a gun.
Luckily for us all, the casting process to pick the right Peggy wasn't nearly as convoluted and lengthy as it was with picking who'd play Captain America. You may not know Atwell yet, but this role were certainly bring her into the world's spotlight. She can be seen in The Prisoner TV series and next in the Pillars of Earth miniseries. Atwell also had roles in The Duchess and Cassandra's Dream.
The First Avenger: Captain America hits July 22, 2011.
Captain America sketch from Francesco Francavilla.