Fans of Marvel and DC Comics alike have long been demanding more movies focusing on the massive backlog of female heroes (super or otherwise) both companies have in their catalog. There has been little to no luck on the solo movie front — it seems someone's still terrified of the Elektras and Catwomans past — but we might just be making headway on the smaller screens: Marvel and ABC are reportedly developing a TV show around one miss Peggy Carter, first featured onscreen in Captain America: The First Avenger.
Marvel has shown a lot of interest in testing the waters around Agent Peggy Carter for a while now, a one-shot short film (Agent Carter) focusing on Carter and her kick-ass tendencies having been featured on the Iron Man 3 DVD. If you've been following Marvel closely, you'll remember that a SHIELD one-shot — called Item 47 and featured on the Avengers DVD — is what led to the about-to-premiere ABC show Agents of SHIELD.
While the company circles around Captain Marvel/Ms. Marvel feature film rumors, the overall climate for lady-starring comic hero movies still looks bleak — Joss Whedon's been vocal about his desire to see more ladies featured in Marvel, and has in fact hired at least one additional female superhero for Avengers: Age of Ultron, but on the flip side comic book legend Stan Lee said in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter that “The thing is, the women like these movies as much as the guys. So we don’t have to knock ourselves out finding a female.”
Lee's comments are frustrating in a number of ways (artist Noelle Stevenson summed it up perfectly in this tumblr post), but we can gain at least a little bit of solace in the fact that it's Whedon who actually has a part in deciding the onscreen future of these characters, not Lee.
Basically: Things are still depressing, but if we side-eye the Lee and focus on the Whedon, there are steps being made in the right direction. This is especially true if these Carter TV show rumors turn out to be true. According to Deadline, the development is still in the very early stages, but Marvel seems to have faith in Carter (played by Hayley Atwell), and in her ability to draw in an audience — when promoting the aforementioned DVD one-shot, Marvel Co-President Louis D’Esposito spoke highly of the character:
“What we’ve discussed is that there are going to be more Peggy Carter stories that we need to tell. She is wildly popular. Hayley loves it, and we love it. What we’ll do and how we’ll do it has not been determined yet, but those discussions have started. It’s in our consciousness that we need to tell another Peggy Carter story, somehow. Yet to be figured out yet, though.”
Well, it seems they've begun to go about figuring it out. Agents of SHIELD premieres next Tuesday, and its projected success (we're crossing our fingers) would likely pave the way for future Marvel/ABC shows, and it seems Carter's first on their list for what comes next. It might even be enough to wipe out the bad taste that failed Wonder Woman pilot left in the mouths of TV and film studios alike.
P.S. Don't forget that ABC is also working on a show from the perspective of Esmerelda, heroine of Hunchback of Notre Dame. It will be a one-season show with limited episodes — much like the upcoming Once Upon a Time in Wonderland — and as long as they don't make the Roma character into a racist caricature we're pretty psyched for another ABC series starring a woman of color.