Hawkeye’s Director Had A Very Funny Reason To Include Rogers: The Musical In His Marvel Show

It was the standout moment of the early Hawkeye trailers. We see Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), on vacation with his kids in New York City, attending a Broadway show inspired by the Avengers. Rogers: The Musical is a clever and meta joke in the opening episode of Hawkeye, a reference to just how popular the superhero team has become in the MCU, but also a chance to cast theater kids as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and pen musical theater numbers about The Battle of New York. But there was an even funnier motivation behind the creation of the show Rogers: The Musical, and Hawkeye director Rhys Thomas opened up about it in our interview above.

Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton never actually utters the line, “I’m too old for this shit” in Hawkeye, but he very clearly is playing the Roger Murtaugh part to Hailee Steinfeld’s Martin Riggs if Hawkeye were a Lethal Weapon model. The version of Clint that we get in the upcoming Disney+ show is grizzled, battle-tested, and grumpy. He wants to be enjoying Christmas in New York with his kids… not helping a kid named Kate Bishop get out of jams involving the Ronan suit. So a good amount of Hawkeye is spent reveling in the fact that grouchy Hawkeye has to endure punishment because he knows that helping Kate is the right thing to do.

Rhys Thomas says that he took particular joy in making life miserable for the fan-favorite Avenger. Maybe it’s because Renner is a good sport, and takes the abuse in stride. Maybe it’s because by this stage of his MCU career, Hawkeye’s the ideal fit for this put-upon humor, as the next generation of Young Avengers move into place. Either way, Thomas told CinemaBlend while talking up Hawkeye:

Once your brain starts running to, ‘OK, we’re going to make this musical. How good is this musical?’ Ultimately, again, the original conception of this, for me, was I sort of just had this image of Jeremy’s world-weary face sitting in a Broadway theater watching it. That was ultimately it. So then it just became about building off that. Who would he NOT want to see playing him? What character would… you know, putting Ant-Man in there. That feels funny. It was just all about, again, anything that annoys Clint, that felt right.

There are a number of things in the first two episodes of Hawkeye that “annoy” Clint, mainly because they are keeping him from a peaceful and relaxing Christmas at home with his family. They range from Kate Bishop to the track-suit mafia, to a mysterious character we will meet at the very end of episode two. But you will see for yourself once Hawkeye begins streaming on Disney+ beginning on November 24. 

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.