Hayley Atwell Cast as Female Lead in ‘Captain America’

ON

Heat Vision reports British actress Hayley Atwell has been cast as Peggy Carter, the lead female role in Joe Johnston’s The First Avenger: Captain America.

Atwell was among the names short-listed for the role after Emily Blunt reportedly turned down the role leaving Atwell to contest with Alice Eve (She’s Out of My League) and Keira Knightley. Eve was reported to be the clear frontrunner, but Atwell clinched the role after screen testing in London last week.

Peggy Carter is the love interest of Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), who in comics lore not only dated Captain America but was an agent helping the French Resistance. She later became the aunt of Sharon Carter, Captain America’s love in modern times. There is no word on how exactly she’ll be portrayed in the film.

Atwell got her first big break playing the girlfriend of of Ewan McGregor in Woody Allen’s Cassandra’s Dream and also enjoyed roles in Brideshead Revisited and The Duchess. She will next be seen as Aliena in the Canadian miniseries “The Pillars of the Earth” based on the Ken Follett novel.

Captain America is set to begin production in England this summer for a July 22, 2011 release.