Rumor: Marvel Has Peggy Carter-Based TV Series In Early Development
According to Deadline, Marvel is in the process of coming up with a viable TV concept for Peggy Carter, the female lead of Captain America: The First Avenger, and the first female character to headline a project set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (if you count shorts, that is).
To be clear: this isn’t an official announcement, Deadline was unable to find a Marvel Studio representative to comment on it, and even if true “working on a concept for a potential TV series” is not the same as “putting a pilot into development” or “shopping to networks.” But lets talk about the ways in which this makes sense and doesn’t make sense.
Okay, lets get the part you knew we were going to say out of the way first. Like any major Hollywood studio, Marvel Entertainment is gun shy about pouring money into a movie with a superheroic female lead. And despite having a lead of seven movies on DC’s new shared universe, both settings have exactly one woman with superpowers. Sif, and Faora (Marvel has two if you count Pepper Potts, I guess). And while it’s kind of ridiculous that a studio riding on the success of The Avengers and with the backing of Disney felt more equipped to take a risk on the Guardians of the Galaxy than a single female superheroine, it’s not unreasonable to think that Marvel would want to hedge their bets by creating a woman-led TV series. Television series allow an expanded cast to actually be co-stars instead of secondary characters, and might lesson the visibility of the main female character to a show that follows a cast of male and female characters, to the point that executives would be less nervous about a female lead.
Additionally, the Marvel exec who recently made the always explosive name drop of Captain Marvel when talking about off-shoot films about female characters, Louis D’Esposito, is also the guy who directed Agent Carter, the short that brought Hayley Atwell back to the role of Peggy Carter. If he was talking about it favorably two weeks ago, maybe something is up.
On the other hand, period television shows are expensive. I’m not really sure how a Peggy Carter show could be set anywhere other than World War II and its aftermath, since it’s pretty clear that Captain America: The Winter Soldier is going to establish Sharon Carter as a character rather than some kind of time-lost Peggy. Additionally, the most obvious hook for a Peggy Carter show would be her building the foundation of the S.H.I.E.L.D. initiative with Howard Stark and the rest of the Howling Commandoes. The elephant in the room there is that Marvel is probably not interested in having two shows about SHIELD on television at the same time.
Deadline is usually pretty reliable, so I’ll be interested to see if anything comes of Marvel speculating on a Peggy Carter television show. To be honest, I’d just be happy with a slow series of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. flashback episodes that play out the founding of the service. Plus, that would leave Hayley Atwell time in her schedule to make Tomb Raider.