Hawkeye Was Originally Supposed to Be an MCU Movie

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Tran, Marvel chief creative officer Kevin Feige and the rest of the Marvel brain trust began to worry that they might not have enough time in a standard feature film to tell both Hawkeye’s story and develop the character of Kate, who’s played a significant role in Marvel Comics since her first appearance in 2005.

“It didn’t make sense that the two hour timeframe was the right way to go,” explains Tran. “So at that time, Disney+ was also launching and we were talking about characters going into that platform. In speaking with Kevin, he mentioned, ‘Well, why not just allow you guys the six hours of space so that you can get deeper into the characters of these two and form that dynamic and chemistry?’ So it made sense to move that over.”

At a press conference for Hawkeye, Feige said that the main impetus for giving Clint Barton his own series was simple: “Primarily it’s Jeremy Renner,” he remarked. “We want to see more Jeremy Renner…that goes back to the earliest days 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? It’d be pretty cool, and it could be neat.’ He said yes, then he won an Academy Award, and he still said yes.”

Feige added that Marvel always intended to “explore much more” about Hawkeye, whose role in the Marvel feature films was always more of a supporting one (although he got more to do in Avengers: Age of Ultron, where we learned he had a family). “The character’s history is vast,” said Feige. “Also the Matt Fraction run in the comics, which I’m sure people have been talking about, was a big tonal inspiration for us.”

Aside from seeing more of Renner in the role, Feige also said that Hawkeye is meant to fully flesh out the relationship between Clint Barton and his successor, played in the series by Hailee Steinfeld (Bumblebee).

“There are moments within all of Jeremy’s appearances where you see this mentor under the surface,” he elaborated, emphasizing a key scene in Age of Ultron where Barton motivates a young Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) to become an Avenger. “That was the kernel of how we could connect our MCU incarnation of Clint Barton to the Matt Fraction storyline and the relationship with Kate Bishop.”

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