Why Hawkeye Chose That Classic Marvel Cinematic Scene To Explain Kate Bishop’s Origin Story

The following digs into spoilers for the new Disney+ show, Hawkeye. You might want to go watch the first two episodes if you haven’t seen them yet. 

One massive goal for the new Disney+ series Hawkeye is to introduce the MCU to Kate Bishop, a skilled archer and die-hard fan of Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) who has teamed up with him often in the Marvel Comics books, but is coming to life on screen for the first time thanks to Hailee Steinfeld. As we catch up with young Kate in the opening scenes of Hawkeye, we’re told that it’s 2012 -- which, for MCU fans, means the time of The Avengers. And we discover that Kate Bishop was in Manhattan for the Battle of New York, and that devastating turning point. When we got time with Hawkeye producer Trin Trahn recently, we asked her when it’s OK for a new Marvel show to dip back into the MCU history, and her explanation is found in the video above.

It can be a difficult trick to pull off. You don’t want to keep going back into the pre-established history of the MCU, because any changes that you make can have a ripple effect on what we’ve already seen. This is partially what makes the time-travel heist in Avengers: Endgame so complicated, because present-day Avengers characters go back into multiple MCU movies, and when they do interfere, they create timeline rifts that lead to Disney+ shows like Loki.

Having Kate be a young girl during the Battle of New York, and lean toward archery because she saw Hawkeye in action, is actually a cool motivator for her character. As Trin Trahn explained to CinemaBlend: 

We’re always trying to figure out how we can connect all of our stories. There isn’t a difference in terms of our features and the TV series we’re doing. It is one MCU. And I think that’s a big challenge. Now we have a lot more projects and characters on the TV end. How does it all still interweave and connect in a way that would satisfy the direction that we’re heading towards? So in trying to figure out how Kate can come into this world, that moment, we thought, was pivotal to her. Timeline-wise, it made sense. And it was a moment that the audience, I think, really remembers as well. And hopefully there’s a little bit of nostalgia watching that (and) remembering that moment way back. But the important thing is getting Kate connected into that world and seeing him so that they can build that connection later on.

It’s times like this, I really wish we all could travel to Marvel Studios’ headquarters and see the white board (boards?) around the office keeping track of the MCU timeline and seeing where every character is at any given time. There are moments when Captain Marvel reverses back to the 1990s, or WandaVision walks us through Wanda’s past to see how Tony Stark inadvertently messed with her childhood. These moments are significant, but they can’t mess with the timeline that has been established, because Marvel fans pay very close attention to those details. Probably too much!

Hawkeye has begun streaming on Disney+ with its first two episodes waiting for subscribers right now. It will be a six-episode season, so get on board before the story gets too far down the line.

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.