Hayley Atwell has been cast opposite Chris Evans as Peggy Carter in Marvel Studios’ Captain America: The First Avenger.

In the early Marvel comics the Carter character fell in love with Captain America while they fought together in the second world war. Marvel will update the character and setting.

Atwell’s feature credits include The Duchess, Brideshead Revisited and Cassandra’s Dream and she will next be seen in the eight-part miniseries Pillars Of The Earthon Starz and the television series The Prisoner.

Joe Johnston will direct from a screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. the film will focus on the early days of a solider called Steve Rogers who volunteers for a super solider project.

Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige will produce and Alan Fine, Stan Lee, David Maisel and Louis D’Esposito will serve as executive producers.

The film is scheduled to open in the US on July 22, 2011 through Paramount, which will also release Marvel Studios’ Thor on May 6 2011 and The Avengers on May 4, 2012. Iron Man 2 kicks off this summer’s blockbuster season on May 7.

Atwell is represented by CAA and United Agents.