By now, every entertainment publication and Marvel fan knew that this was a done deal, but I guess Marvel thought the last day of September was the perfect time to make the big announcement. Dominic Cooper will reprise his role as Howard Stark for Agent Carter in 2015. Cooper joins Haley Atwell (Peggy Carter), Chad Michael Murray (SSR Agent Jack Thompson), Enver Gjokaj (SSR Agent Daniel Sousa), James D’Arcy (Edwin Jarvis) and Shea Whigham (SSR Chief Roger Dooley) as part of the main cast. Stark will primarily be assigning secret missions to Carter, although I suspect a fun part of the show will be his interaction with Jarvis, if his son’s relationship with J.A.R.V.I.S. is any indication.
Not including Gerard Sanders posing as him in a picture in Iron Man, Howard was first played by John Slattery in 1970s film reel footage in Iron Man 2, and will reprise the role in Ant-Man for a flashback. However, when it comes to playing a younger Howard, Cooper has been Marvel’s guy. He had a supporting role in Captain America: The First Avenger and appeared at the end of the Agent Carter One-Shot. His picture was also briefly seen in The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where in the latter it was revealed that Hydra was responsible for the car crash that killed Howard and his wife.
Again, we all knew this was happening, but it’s good to hear that Stark will play an important role in Agent Carter. With Howard dead in the present (although given that this is the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s always the slim chance he’ll be brought back to life), he can only appear in flashbacks or recorded footage, and unless Marvel has another period piece in the works, Agent Carter is where Stark will truly be able to shine. I’m especially looking forward to seeing him create gadgets for Carter and her teammates to use. Sure they’ll be antiquated by our standards, but for the U.S. operatives of the 1940s, those gizmos will look like they came right out of a sci-fi magazine.
This leads me to a question that keeps popping up in my head: at what point does the transition from Dominic Cooper to John Slattery happen? Cooper is playing Howard during the 1940s while Slattery is playing Howard during the late 1960s-early 1970s. At what time period would they decide that Slattery is the more age-appropriate actor to play Howard. Late 1950s? Early 1960s? This may seem trivial, but I would be interested to hear other people’s thoughts on this. If we ever get a Marvel scene taking place during the Kennedy administration, this is going to matter!