Hayley Atwell isn’t done with Peggy Carter just yet.
After landing the lead role in ABC drama pilot Conviction, diehard Agent Carter fans wondered if the star’s new project meant a death sentence for the short-order Marvel drama. But as of now, Atwell and the network are committed to making both shows work.
“That’s something ABC has talked about a lot [with me],” Atwell tells THR. “If [Conviction and Agent Carter season three] both got picked up, then we’d work out some way where I could do both.”
Insiders say Conviction could be a limited series designed to accommodate Atwell’s shooting schedule with the low-rated but critically adored short-order Agent Carter, but nothing has been officially announced yet.
“I don’t know the details of how that would work or when it would happen,” Atwell says. “But they said that in the same sentence when they offered me Conviction which I was very flattered to get. But they also said this doesn’t actually mean anything yet for Agent Carter. So we’re just out in limbo in that respect. All I can do at the moment is just focus on the pilot that I have to start filming two weeks from now and do the best that I can with that. And then I’ll just see what happens and see how people respond to it.”
While Atwell’s Conviction role was previously named Carter, it has since been changed to something else because of her now iconic Marvel character of the same name. “Now that it’s me that signed onto it, it couldn’t stay Carter,” Atwell says with a laugh. “It would have been a little bit confusing for audiences so that character’s name has been changed.”
As for if Tuesday’s season two finale of Agent Carter will have a typical Hollywood ending, Atwell says the finale does bring some closure — but it also leaves the door open for another round of the spinoff series that serves as a bridge show for Agents of SHIELD.
“There’s a balance with how it ends,” Atwell says. “There’s enough of a cliffhanger to suggest that that’s where we’ll go forward if the show gets picked up again. But things are nicely wrapped up in a way that I think the audience will find very satisfying. The audience won’t feel frustrated. If anything, they’ll come away satisfied but also curious as to what happens beyond, because thanks to all the Marvel films she has appeared in, we know that Peggy’s life goes on and she lives quite an extraordinary life and a long life. So there’s always room to revisit her in different ways, different decades and different ages.”
If the season two finale does wind up serving as a series finale, Atwell is satisfied with how Peggy ends her run on ABC.
“I’m really satisfied with where it ends and what happens to Peggy. I’m proud of this season,” Atwell says. “So if we get the opportunity to work on it again, then brilliant. Because then I’m sure I’ll have even more fun working on it than I did in season two which was a lot. I don’t quite know how to top that. But I’d love the opportunity to try. … The writers have very elegantly put together this ending. I definitely want more.”
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In Marvel’s big screen film Captain America: The Winter Soldier, an elderly Peggy revealed to her ex Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) that she eventually got married and had a family. But don’t assume that means her feelings for SSR Chief Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) will lead her down the aisle with him.
“I don’t actually know if she ends up marrying him, because I think it was said somewhere that she ended up marrying someone that Captain America had saved at one point,” Atwell says. “I think she said that in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, so I don’t know what they’ve got in mind for that really. So if Sousa and Peggy were to get together, that doesn’t exactly mean they’ll be together forever. It could really go either way.”
After struggling with their feelings for one another throughout seasons one and two, and since Peggy’s L.A. vacation is coming to a close, both she and Sousa know that time is running out for either one of them to make a move.
“They’ve been through quite a lot together so their relationship could really be summed up into bad timing,” Atwell says with a laugh. “It will wrap up in this season in quite a satisfying way for the audience in one way or another. I would say there is a conclusion that they come to. I know that they both have been quite frustrated and quite tired with how the situation has unfolded so far so it’s nice that they’re going to get the chance to finally come to some kind of resolution.”
And Peggy might find relationship inspiration from an unlikely source.
“Peggy never truly realized the strength it takes to live through what Jarvis [James D’Arcy] lives through and deals with it how he does. She really has a newfound respect for him after this season,” Atwell says. “And with Jarvis and Ana [Lotte Verbeek], she now has this mature, beautiful relationship in front of her that she can aspire to one day. She loves what she sees between them and she finds it very inspiring.”
The Agent Carter season two finale airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. on ABC.