As they did last year with their "Phase One" short film finale, "Item 47," Marvel Studios hosted a special San Diego premiere screening of the new 15-minute "Agent Carter" short, which will be included as a bonus feature on the Iron Man 3 Blu-ray release. While it's well-known that the film features Captain America: The First Avenger star Hayley Atwell returning in the role of Peggy Carter, the film also offers a wide variety of surprise cameos. We'll refrain from revealing the two big ones at the end, but if you want to stay completely spoiler-free, stop reading now.
"After the premiere of 'Captain America,' I went straight back to London to do a play," says Atwell of how the project came about. "I thought that was the end of it. Then months and months and months later, I got a call from Lou [D'Esposito] saying that this was something that we could make together. It was as new to me as it was to the fans."
"Agent Carter" begins with the final scene of Captain America as Peggy says goodbye to Chris Evans' Steve Rogers. Jumping ahead a year, we find Peggy working in a government office and none too pleased with her lot in life. She's the victim of gender politics of the day and, despite being an agent, winds up primarily doing glorified secretary work. That all changes one night, however, when she takes matters into her own hands and takes on a middle-of-the-night mission issued by a mysterious voice (Iron Man 3 writer-director Shane Black in a voice-only cameo).
We won't say where "Agent Carter" winds up, but it's safe to say that Peggy Carter has quite a potential future in the Marvel cinematic universe. In fact, it was Marvel Studios executive producer Victoria Alonso who shouted out during the Q&A, "Will you do the TV series, Hayley?"
"Well, if the scripts are good," smiled Atwell, before turning to the writer sitting next to her and offering a faux glare. "Eric."
Eric Pearson, who has scripted all the Marvel One-Shots so far, says that he has some ideas, too, about bringing back the Zodiac, which serves as the short's MacGuffin. Although nothing is set in stone and the entire crew admits to using the name primarily for its enigmatic qualities, producer Brad Winderbaum says he "wouldn't be surprised" if it returns in one form or another.
Thematically, "Agent Carter" also paves the way for a female-led superhero film. One fan in the audience, dressed as Captain Marvel, asked about the possibility of a short film focusing on Carol Danvers (She also had the entire audience cheering for a "Captain Marvel" adaptation rather than a "Miss Marvel" one).
"We should do that as a feature, though, right?" smiled D'Esposito.
Whether or not such a film materializes remains to be seen, but it's a good bet that we'll know a great deal more about Marvel Studios' future plans after tomorrow night's Hall H panel. You'll have the chance to catch "Agent Carter" for yourself, meanwhile, when Iron Man 3 arrives on DVD and Blu-ray on September 24.