In the last nine months, Marvel Cinematic Universe fans have watched as all varieties of new storytelling flavors have been added to the franchise through the various original Disney+ shows. WandaVision, The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, Loki, and What If? have all been embedded within the larger canon, but each one has featured its own style and aesthetic that has allowed them to stand out. Soon we will be able to judge Hawkeye within that mix, as the series has been set to premiere just in time for Thanksgiving 2021 – and based on the new trailer it may very well end up being my favorite of the bunch.
There is a hell of a lot to enjoy in the trailer, from its surprise Christmas setting to its wonderfully playful tone, but there are two key elements in the preview that shine brightly and speak to my personal tastes: one being something we’ve known about the show for a while now, and the other coming as a fantastic surprise. In short, Hawkeye seems to be taking inspiration from two key resources, and as a result I am more excited than ever for the Marvel series.
The Primary Inspiration For The Hawkeye Series Is Positively Phenomenal
It has never been a secret that Hawkeye is taking a lot of cues straight from one specific comic run – namely the 2012 Hawkeye solo series by Matt Fraction and David Aja – and if it was a secret, it’s been an exceptionally poorly kept one. It was in that run that a special bond was formed between everyone’s favorite Marvel archer, Clint Barton, and up-and-coming hero Kate Bishop, with the former training the latter to take up his mantle.
The book arrived in the wake of The Avengers when Hawkeye was jokingly looked at as the guy with the bow and arrow fighting alongside superheroes, and it served to utterly decimate that profile by brimming with personality and wit. Kate Bishop is a perfect sparkplug to line up with the experienced hero, and the way that the two play off each other is exceptional.
Now, as seen in the Hawkeye trailer, that energy is being brought to into live-action and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it’s hard not to be giddy at the potential that is demonstrated. We’ve obviously gotten to know Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton well over the last decade – from his introduction aiming an arrow at Thor; to his standout role in Avengers: Age Of Ultron; to his fantastic arrival in Captain America: Civil War; to his dark turn in Avengers: Endgame – but he’s never gone toe-to-toe with a character like Kate Bishop before. And while I never at any point doubted that Hailee Steinfeld was a perfect casting decision by Marvel, the trailer by itself seems to provide all the proof necessary to show that it’s true.
Clearly it is not a direct adaptation, as that would be pretty impossible given the status of the canon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it certainly appears to capture the spirit of the Matt Fraction/David Aja book (not to mention features the lovable Lucky, the Pizza Dog), and that’s all I wanted.
The Hawkeye Trailer Suggests Mega Shane Black Vibes, And I’m Super Into That
What I didn’t know about Hawkeye going into today was that a two-word summation of the tone of the show seems to be “Shane Black,” and as far as personal tastes go there are few better ways to appeal directly to me as a movie-goer. Black himself has his own history with Marvel Studios, as fans will remember that he co-wrote and directed Iron Man 3, but it’s impossible not to notice how many moves head writer Jonathan Igla has taken from the filmmaker’s playbook.
With a filmography including movies such as Lethal Weapon, The Long Kiss Goodnight, The Last Boy Scout, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and The Nice Guys, Shane Black is best known for the way in which he has regularly blended three specific ingredients together: detective-led noir stories, “buddy” leads, and a holiday season setting. The style has resulted in phenomenal films that I personally revisit every Christmas, and to see Hawkeye take cues from that specific auteur genre is beyond exciting.
The material certainly lends itself to that approach. Clint Barton’s relationship with his family has become a key focal point for the character, as the character has not only dabbled in retirement over the years, but there was also that five-year span where losing them caused him to have homicidal breakdown. Because of this, having the stakes be about not missing Christmas with his wife and daughter is massive. It should also go without saying that the weary veteran pairing with a young up-start is a classic buddy setup that Hawkeye seems intent to celebrate to the fullest extent. We can't say at this point if there will specifically be a mystery for the characters to solve, but given everything we've seen thus far it feels like it would be foolish to discount the possibility of one unfolding in the series.
There is obviously still a lot that we don’t know about Hawkeye, particularly when it comes to the plot developments that prevent Clint Barton from being with his family on Christmas, but following that first trailer I’m primed to be excited by everything that this Disney+ original has to throw at me.
Featuring an extended cast including Jeremy Renner, Hailee Steinfeld, Florence Pugh (reprising her role as Yelena Belova from Black Widow), Vera Farmiga, Zahn McClarnon, Brian d’Arcy James, Tony Dalton, and Alaqua Cox, Hawkeye is now set to launch its eight-episode run on Wednesday November 24 – which also means that it will also technically be the first Marvel series to air episodes in 2022. To take a look at everything the Marvel Cinematic Universe has prepared to debut on the small screen in the coming months, head on over to our Upcoming Marvel Television guide, and be sure to keep coming back to CinemaBlend in the weeks ahead for more of our coverage of the Disney+ original.