The search is still on for the female lead for the upcoming superhero film Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but actress Hayley Atwell revealed in an interview with Timeout on Wednesday, Jan. 2 that she would not be returning for the sequel. Atwell portrayed the role of Peggy Carter opposite Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America in Captain America: The First Avenger, released in 2011.
The interview revealed the following information about Atwell's involvement in the sequel:
She won’t, she confirms, be back for the latter’s sequel, which moves the action into the present day.
Despite Atwell's exit, several other actors will be returning to the franchise, including Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, and Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill.
Peggy's niece Sharon Carter is rumored to be the female lead in the new film and several actresses are in talks for the role. The final few include Imogen Poots (28 Weeks Later), Alison Brie (The Five-Year Engagement), Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey), and Teresa Palmer (I Am Number Four) and Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones).