After a frustrating oblique panel for ABC's “The Whispers,” which is about something that was introduced in the original pilot but now won't be introduced until the fourth or fifth episode, it's now time for “Marvel's Agent Carter,” which is blissfully about what it's about.
The third “Agent Carter” episode aired on Tuesday night, so we've got some stuff to discuss, even though only five more episodes remain.
The panel includes Hayley Atwell, James D'Arcy, Chad Michael Murray, Enver Gjokaj, Lyndsy Fonseca and a whopping seven producers, including Marvel's Jeph Loeb, creators Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, showrunners Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters, plus two other guys.
Follow along below!
4:18 p.m. ET. So many executive producers.
4:19 p.m. We're starting with a clip from the next new episode, which will air in two weeks. Dominic Cooper returns! And Howard Stark and Agent Carter shout at each other!
4:20 p.m. The first question is for Fazekas, Butters and Lyndsy Fonseca. Did they take Fonseca's “Nikita” background into account for Angie? Fazekas says that Angie has an attitude and can go toe-to-toe with Peggy, pushing against her need to not make connections.
4:22 p.m. What is it about the stories coming out of Marvel that's resonating with audiences? “What try to do in all of our stories is hit three basic areas: We like to have our heroes come from a place that are very empathetic,” Jeph Loeb says, but they also have to be aspirational. “We also live in a world where Marvel is all about hope,” Loeb says. The secret sauce, though? “There's this bit of levity. There's this bit of humor,” Loeb says. He praises the cast for being able to play both the dramatic and funny side of life. And is that different from what DC offers? “We just know what we do,” Loeb says.
4:24 p.m. Can they comment on any “Avengers: Age of Ultron” crossovers with “Agent Carter”? “I think we should probably stay present for the show,” Loeb says.
4:24 p.m. When they did the film, did they know this might be possible? “We knew that Hayley was impressive,” Stephen McFeely says, but he says that they didn't imagine they'd be here. “I don't think we gave you that much to do in the first movie, but you took it,” Chris Dingess says. “We always knew we had something special. That's why we made the One-Shot. That's why we're here today,” says Louis Esposito. “I had no idea. I was over the moon to get the part in 'Captain America: The First Avengers,'” Atwell says. But she's loved getting to see her wit and her intelligence in this expanded version of the character. “It changed my life in many ways,” she says of the “Captain America” role.
4:27 p.m. Hayley Atwell has talked about hurting stuntmen in action scenes, but has she gotten any injuries herself? “No! None! Just the men,” she laughs.
4:28 p.m. Loeb says that the key to getting this on the air was Hayley Atwell, but also to have Chris and Stephen available to write the pilot. “It became really a family quicker than any of us really imagined,” Loeb says. Tara Butters raves about the closeness of the cast. “It would be more exciting work there if you guys hated each other more,” Markus says.
4:29 p.m. Atwell is half-American. She spent her summers in Kansas City. “I think that gave me a sense of how big the world was,” she says. She grew up going to the theater every week and that built her love for that. But she also was a fan of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and things that were “tongue-in-cheek and cultish.” She enjoys being about to take a variety of roles in a variety of locations.
4:31 p.m. “I think the safest thing we like to say is #ItsAllConnected,” Loeb says of possible crossovers with “Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
4:31 p.m. How did they fill the additional characters? McFeely says that she needed a confidante, so Jarvis was a good candidate there, especially when they realized that Howard Stark could be a major character. Since it was going to be in 1946, they populated the show with people impacted in different ways by the war. They put Angie's character in so that Peggy could have a home-life and so that there could be more female characters. Angie pulls Peggy into having a real life. “I love the era. I don't love it, but I think it's interesting to play the sexism that's taking place in the era,” says CM-Squared. He says that playing Jack Thompson has required him to unlearn everything he learned in childhood about respecting women. “There's a dark past to Jack Thompson that we're playing,” CM-Squared says. Enver Gjokaj's character is the opposite side of things. “I was so thrilled to be considered and to get the part. I think I'm aware that I'm in a show called 'Agent Carter' and I always want to be playing my role correctly to it's effecting her in the right way,” Gjokaj says. Gjokaj and CM-Squared joke about how everybody's always tripping on Agent Sousa's crutch. James D'Arcy apparently had initial reservations about playing a British butler. He praises the script and the main character and the showrunners, but he didn't want to play a character you could figure out immediately. “And also, I saw that it was written funny and I've never done anything funny before,” he says, seriously, admitting he's played a lot of psychopaths. “I fully understood what this job was and yet I had insane hesitation about my part in it, because I thought I may not be able to be fully of service,” D'Arcy says.
4:39 p.m. “You'll have to tell me. I'm not on social media,” D'Arcy says of Jarvis' wife and theories about her. “Maybe I've got Mother, my wife, hidden away in the attic,” he says. D'Arcy promises that each script offered surprises. “There's no stagnation at any point,” he says. He teases that now is really the beginning of what the show is. “We had hoped that they would have great chemistry and we were thrilled with what we saw on-screen,” Fazekas says of D'Arcy and Atwell. “It's almost wrong that we get paid to come be on that set,” D'Arcy says. “OK!” Loeb agrees. Atwell remembers that they sang “Les Miserables” together during a scene in a sewer.
4:42 p.m. Will Fonseca get involved in any action? “Yeah, Angie gets into actions of sort, but very different than my physicality on 'Nikita,' which is why the show is so fun for me. I've played a super-spy for four years and I can watch Hayley kick butt and I can be her support and be the wise-cracking friend,” Fonseca says. “It's so refreshing to see two women on-screen who are supporting each other,” Atwell adds. They're women who are genuine friends and support for each other. She's a true feminist, they agree. “The whole show is underpinned with that,” D'Arcy agrees. He has no problems with shows about anti-heroes, but he's glad to be on a show about somebody who's genuinely good.
4:44 p.m. Will “Agent Carter” follow in the footsteps of “S.H.I.E.L.D” with turning good characters bad. Loeb says that he wouldn't trust anybody on the stage. Everybody notes that we've never seen Sousa's fake leg, for example. CM-Squared says that there are fantastic Easter eggs coming next.
That's all, folks…