UK actress Hayley Atwell joins "Captain America"

Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:44am EDT
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By Borys Kit

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - British actress Hayley Atwell has nabbed the coveted female lead opposite Chris Evans in Marvel's "Captain America," which will shoot in England this summer.

Marvel conducted an extensive search for the part, with Emily Blunt and Keira Knightley among the names in the mix at one point. Atwell clinched the role after screen-testing in London last week.

Sebastian Stan is cast as Captain America's sidekick, Bucky Barnes while Hugo Weaving is still in negotiations to play the villainous Red Skull. Joe Johnston is directing.

The character Atwell will play is named Peggy Carter, 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.

Atwell is known among U.K. acting circles for her work in period movies such as "Brideshead Revisited" and "The Duchess." The actress appeared in AMC's recent remake of "The Prisoner" and will be seen in the upcoming epic miniseries "The Pillars of the Earth."

<p>Cast member Hayley Atwell attends a news conference for the movie "Cassandra's Dream" during the 32nd Toronto International Film Festival September 12, 2007. The festival runs until September 15. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>