Of the six founding Avengers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, only one of them hasn’t gotten their own movie: Clint Barton, better known as Hawkeye. Unlike his longtime partner Black Widow, who’s finally starring in a standalone movie next year, Jeremy Renner’s archer character is instead being primed to co-lead an upcoming Disney+ series. That said, originally the plan was for him to follow in the footsteps of Earth’s other Mightiest Heroes and receive his own movie.
According to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, there was a deal in place for Jeremy Renner to lead a Hawkeye movie, but somewhere down the line, Feige decided the archer was a more suitable candidate for a Disney+ show. Here’s how Renner responded to this idea when it was brought to him, according to Feige:
He totally got it and said, ‘Let’s do it.’
The existence of Disney+’s Hawkeye series was first reported back in April, though one can logically assume Kevin Feige’s discussions with Jeremy Renner about it happened many months before. Remember, even though it wasn’t named at the time, Disney’s streaming service was announced in August 2017, so it could have been as early as then that Feige and the MCU brass were deciding that Hawkeye branching off was a better fit for the small screen.
In any case, as Kevin Feige informed Bloomberg, Jeremy Renner was fine with reprising Hawkeye for Disney+, so the movie was naturally set aside. For years there’d been talk about if Hawkeye would get his own movie, and while Renner was game for that, he also noted in 2017 that he didn’t want to wait too long for it to happen since he didn’t want to be in his 50s wearing tights.
With the MCU cinematic landscape becoming increasingly crowded, Disney+ offers an opportunity to spotlight both established and brand-new characters who otherwise wouldn’t be afforded the opportunity to lead their own big screen stories. Along with Hawkeye, other Disney+ shows that’ll star familiar faces include The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki and WandaVision.
Of course, Clint Barton won’t be the only Hawkeye in this Disney+ series. It will also introduced Kate Bishop, who’s shared that mantle in the comics for over a decade. The Hawkeye series will see Clint training Kate to be the new Hawkeye following the events of Avengers: Endgame, and while Kate hasn’t been officially cast yet, Hailee Steinfeld has reportedly been looked at for the role.
When we last saw Clint Barton in Avengers: Endgame, he was finally reunited with his family after they were dusted by The Decimation five years earlier. Barton spent that half decade filled with rage and killing criminals across the world as Ronin, but he agreed to take part in the Time Heist to collect the six Infinity Stones in the past and bring back everyone who Thanos snapped out of existence.
Now that his wife and children are back, it makes sense that he’s getting things in order so he can retire from the superhero life for good. And while some of you may have preferred that Hawkeye get his own movie as originally planned, at least now we’re getting six-eight extra hours of him rather than just two, and it’s been said numerous times that the Marvel Disney+ shows will be made with the same level of quality as the movies. So don’t think either Hawkeye is being shortchanged.
Hawkeye is set to debut on Disney+ sometime in late 2021 and has Jonathan Igla attached as the showrunner. If you’re curious about what MCU movies there are to look forward to in Phase 4 and beyond, browse through our comprehensive guide.