Vital Thrills got a chance to talk to the cast and crew of Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye, which will premiere with two episodes on Disney+ November 24. We’ve also got a new behind-the-scenes featurette that you can watch below.
Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye is an original new series set in post-blip New York City where former Avenger Clint Barton aka Hawkeye (Renner) has a seemingly simple mission: get back to his family for Christmas.
But when a threat from his past shows up, Hawkeye reluctantly teams up with Kate Bishop (Steinfeld), a 22-year-old skilled archer and his biggest fan, to unravel a criminal conspiracy.
The series also features Vera Farmiga, Fra Fee, Tony Dalton, Zahn McClarnon, Brian d’Arcy James and newcomer Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez/Echo, who is also getting a spinoff series.
Helmed by Rhys Thomas and directing duo Bert and Bertie, Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye consists of six episodes.
Renner gave us a look at where we are in Clint Barton’s life right now. He said, “There’s an emotional sort of through line that ties in from ‘Endgame’ stuff, and it’s a lot of healing and these kind of things. But we start off with a very happy step forward into family vacation into New York at Christmas, and taking the kids to see a musical. And then everything kind of goes sideways from there.”
Steinfeld is a newcomer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and spoke about her character. “I really do feel like playing this character sort of forced me to find a confidence and a determination and discipline that’s always been inside of me, but I really had to bring it out of myself for this and do this character justice. I feel so lucky to be playing a character that is so loved by so many and that people have been waiting for some time to see brought to life.”
Renner said that working with Steinfeld was great. “She came in very prepared. She came in hot. She was ready. It’s pretty awesome. It’s pretty sad that it makes me feel old that I see a lot of people come in and see a lot of people go,” he laughed. “I’m like, a grandpa. It’s terrible.”
Thomas said of working in the MCU, “Obviously that MCU has already set a pretty high bar, the highest of bars, so stepping into this is obviously a huge opportunity in so many ways. You’re also inheriting such a vast universe and a real deep well of backstory. So, really, I think that the endeavor is essentially to try and match that as best you can and do it justice.”
Feige talked about giving Hawkeye his own series. “Primarily it’s Jeremy Renner. We want to see more Jeremy Renner… that goes back to the earliest day. Yes, we’re both grandfathers now of the MCU, and the trust that Jeremy had to jump into the MCU before moderators said things like, ‘Welcome to the MCU.’ It was, hey, you want to do this thing with us, and it’d be pretty cool, and I think it could be neat. He said yes, and then he won an Academy Award and he still said yes.
“I thought, that was pretty cool… [his scenes] were relatively small, obviously, and [in] ‘Ultron’ we saw a little more, and then he just started stealing all the scenes, but it was always the intention to explore much more.
Feige added: “The character’s history is vast, and also the Matt Fraction comics, which I’m sure people have been spending a lot of time talking about over these last few press days, was a big tonal inspiration for us. Seeing that and this new dynamic, there are moments within all of Jeremy’s appearances where you see this mentor under the surface.
“This reluctant hero. This reluctant mentor under the surface. One of my favorite scenes in all of our films is the scene with Clint and Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) in Sokovia where he basically says, you go out that door, you’re an Avenger, and motivates her to join the fight. And that was the kernel of how we could connect our MCU incarnation of Clint Barton into the Matt Fraction storyline and the relationship with Kate Bishop.”
Dalton talked about his character, Jack Duquesne, saying, “He’s sort of a family friend, and then he becomes in love with Eleanor Bishop (Farmiga), and they have a little bit of a relationship. You kind of don’t know where he’s coming from. I don’t know. What the hell else am I supposed to say,” he laughed. We won’t spoil anything, but keep an eye on him.
Farmiga spoke about joining the MCU in Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye. “There’s a couple of things. I love archery, just hands down. I am an archer. You guys don’t know this about me. My first job, I played an archer with Heath Ledger in a series called ‘Roar,’ where I had my bow and arrow and I had my 40-pound pull weight arrow and if I couldn’t…” she laughed.
She continued: “I’m good at it, and to be honest with you, so if I wasn’t going to be wielding that bow and arrow, I just wanted to be next to someone with true grit.” The group laughed, because Steinfeld starred in the film True Grit.
“To be honest with you, I have marveled at this young lady since that first movie, and I loved this sort of very delicate and complex maternal relationship with daughters. It is a tricky sport raising a successful daughter, you know, especially when the daughter and the mom have different ideas of what that success means.”
We’ve all seen glimpses of the Broadway show Clint takes his kids to in NYC. Feige spoke about “Rogers the Musical,” which is sure to be a highlight of the episode it appears in. [Note: Press was given two episodes to watch, so we don’t know if it will appear again or not.] Thomas joked that, “…it was an innocent suggestion in one of our calls that I quickly tried to backtrack on.”
Feige responded, “Which is true, but I loved the idea, and it gave a reason… it was a bit of a generic Christmas in New York. Clint taking the kids. It was a daddy weekend before christmas. I had met the amazing composer Marc Shaiman at an event a few… I’m not a social guy. So to even say I met him at an event – it was like, one of the three events I’ve been to in the last 10 years… his husband is a giant Marvel fan.
“So when Rhys said that it gave us context for the opening episode, context for why Clint is in New York, context for Clint seeing himself in the way the world sees Hawkeye. And it gave us an opportunity to have an amazing song by Marc Shaiman.”
Finally, Feige spoke about casting Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop. “Hailee did not audition. We were very, very lucky that Hailee was open to this because we very much believed that she was sort of the prototype for the character, and as occasionally happens, you know, the dream version of the character agrees to do it… I think there were some very early meetings and discussions, but we were very thankful that she wanted to jump into this role because we had a feeling that she would be great and she is.”