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Hawkeye TV Series Release Date, Cast And Plot

Ever since Hawkeye made his first movie appearance in 2011's "Thor," fans of the character from Marvel's comics have wondered if and when the MCU's version of Clint Barton would get his day in the spotlight. But though the trailers for 2012's The Avengers teased a heroic Hawkeye in action — who can forget that iconic shot of him jumping off a building? — the film itself did little to shed light on Barton's character, placing him under mind control early on (in a move that notoriously frustrated actor Jeremy Renner), and keeping him there until close to the end. In 2015, "Avengers: Age of Ultron" made more of an attempt to flesh Barton out, revealing that he was married with kids and lived on a farm. Still, of the original six Avengers, he remained the one we knew the least about.

Although Renner has long been rumored to have a solo film on his six-movie contract, the longer the Marvel Cinematic Universe went on without a Hawkeye movie, the less likely it seemed that Barton would ever be featured in more than a supporting role in the MCU. But that all changed when it was announced that several new Marvel television series would be coming to Disney+. Among them: "Hawkeye." 

Since then, quite a bit of information about the forthcoming series has been revealed. We've set our sights on everything you'll want to know about the "Hawkeye" series, including when to expect it, which characters might show up, and what it could be about.

What's the release date for Hawkeye on Disney+?

There were rumors in April of 2019 that a "Hawkeye" series, based around Jeremy Renner's Clint Barton, would be part of Marvel's Disney+ lineup, but information remained scarce about when we could expect the precision archer to shoot his way onto our TV screens. 

Even when the series began filming in early December 2020 (via ComingSoon.net), its release window remained a mystery. After all, so many big-name properties across the entertainment industry were seriously impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw release dates being pushed back months or even a year. 

Thankfully, though, we now have a concrete answer as to when "Hawkeye" will be dropping on Disney+. On July 29, Marvel finally announced definitively that the series will begin its run on November 24, 2021. That still gives us a bit of a wait to get our eyes on everything the show has to offer, but it's no doubt a relief to fans to finally have a concrete premiere date on the books.

Jeremy Renner returns as Clint Barton

As with Marvel's announcements for their other Disney+ series, such as "Loki" and "WandaVision," the unveiling of their plans for a "Hawkeye" series was accompanied by the confirmation that the actor who portrayed the titular character in the MCU would be reprising his role for the small screen. Two-time Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner has long been one of the more underutilized players out of the original Avengers and his series will mark the first time the character has ever had a central role in an MCU story. 

Clint Barton's only appearances outside the "Avengers" movies thus far consist of a brief cameo in "Thor" and a supporting role in "Captain America: Civil War" (which basically functioned as "Avengers 2.5"). Renner didn't even appear at all in "Avengers: Infinity War," his absence explained in a single line from Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), who says he's under house arrest. While Hawkeye did have a meatier role to play in "Avengers: Endgame," it'll be nice to see him finally take center stage in his own series.

Kate Bishop will appear as the new Hawkeye

Along with the announcement that Renner would be picking up Clint Barton's bow and arrows again came the exciting news that "Hawkeye" would see him passing the torch to Kate Bishop. As fans of the "Hawkeye" comics are well aware, Kate is Barton's protege who takes up the Hawkeye mantle herself and is eventually given Barton's bow to use as her own. 

In an interview with ScreenRant, series executive producer Trinh Tran indicated that "Hawkeye" drew inspiration from the recent comics from writer Matt Fraction and artist David Aja, in which Bishop is Barton's student and frequent accomplice. The character in the comics is young, strong-willed, and has long dark hair. Though Marvel did not initially have any casting news beyond the return of Jeremy Renner, it didn't take long for them to confirm that they had another Oscar-nominee lined up for the project.

Hailee Steinfeld is playing Kate Bishop

Way back in September of 2019, Variety reported that Hailee Steinfeld had been offered the role of Kate Bishop. However, that casting wasn't confirmed until over a year later when photos surfaced of Steinfeld filming the series in New York City. Speaking to Collider about her involvement, Steinfeld said, "I'm just so honored to be a part of the MCU ... It's been a wonderful experience, developing this character and taking elements of her from the comics and what we know with her history."

"Hawkeye" is Steinfeld's first live-action superhero role. However, she's actually no stranger to the genre or to Marvel's expansive roster of characters, having voiced Spider-Gwen in the Oscar-winning animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Additionally, Steinfeld also already has her own Oscar nomination under her belt for her role in the Coen Brothers' 2010 remake of True Grit — her very first feature film role, to boot — in which she starred alongside Matt Damon and Jeff Bridges. Considering Steinfeld's impressive resume, she seems more than capable of going toe to toe — or perhaps we should say, arrow to arrow — with Jeremy Renner in "Hawkeye," and could go on to play an even bigger part in the larger MCU than Clint Barton ever did.

What about Hawkeye's family?

Around the same time that set photos confirmed that Steinfeld would be co-starring in "Hawkeye" as Kate Bishop, they also clarified the involvement of a few other key players in the series. Ben Sakamoto, Ava Russo, and Cade Woodward were all spotted on set, indicating that they will be appearing to reprise their roles as Barton's children Cooper, Lila, and Nathaniel (via ScreenRant). 

While Clint Barton was single (with multiple divorces) in Matt Fraction's comics, the Barton family has been a huge part of Hawkeye's characterization in the MCU, with the loss in "the Blip" functioning as his motivation for becoming the assassin Ronin, and the possibility of getting them back incentivizing him to rejoin the Avengers on their time heist

The most recognizable member of the Barton family is, of course, Linda Cardellini as Clint's wife Laura. Cardellini has most recently been co-starring with Christina Applegate in the Netflix series "Dead to Me," which has a third and final season forthcoming. At the time of writing, there has been no indication of whether or not Cardellini is involved in "Hawkeye" in any capacity. Let's keep our fingers crossed that she ends up making a surprise appearance.

Who else will appear in Hawkeye?

Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld are headlining "Hawkeye" but there are also a slew of other cast members and characters that have been confirmed for the Disney+ series (via Variety).

Oscar-nominee and "The Conjuring" series co-star Vera Farmiga has been cast as Kate Bishop's mother Eleanor, while Tony Dalton is slated to play Jack Duquesne aka Swordsman, who was one of Clint Barton's mentors. Dalton has had both heroic and villainous arcs in the comics, so it will be interesting to see in what direction the series takes him.

Speaking of characters from the comics, "Hawkeye" will serve as the live-action debut of Maya Lopez aka Echo. Maya is a deaf Native American woman who has the power to perfectly mimic human movements, giving her the ability to quickly adapt to a wide variety of skills and combat styles. She'll be played by deaf actor Alaqua Cox, who is from the Menominee and Mohican nations (via Instagram) and will be making her screen debut in the role.

Maya's father William will be played by veteran actor Zahn McClarnon, who you may recognize from "Westworld" and "Longmire." The Lopez family has a deep history in the world of the comics and Cox is already slated to headline an "Echo" standalone series. It remains to be seen if she and William will play a significant role in "Hawkeye," or if their appearances will serve as more of a set up to an eventual spin-off.

And on the villain side of things, Irish actor Fra Fee has been cast as a character referred to officially as Kazi. In a Tweet around the time of his casting announcement, Fee indicated that Kazi will indeed be a live-action take on Kazimierz Kazimierczak aka The Clown.

Hawkeye will be Florence Pugh's second MCU outing

There has been another very exciting addition to the cast of "Hawkeye." Florence Pugh, the Oscar-nominated actor who recently had a huge MCU breakout moment in "Black Widow" as Natasha Romanoff's spy-sister Yelena Belova, will be appearing in the series. Pugh's involvement was confirmed by Variety back in December 2020 but "Black Widow" gave us a better idea of what to expect from Yelena's appearance on the show.

In the film's post-credits scene, Yelena is mourning Natasha's death at her sister's gravesite when she's approached by Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), who was introduced in "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" as one of the newer behind-the-scenes power players of the MCU. The Contessa tells Yelena that she has a new target for her and it just so happens to be the man she claims is responsible for her sister's death: Clint Barton.

So, it appears that in addition to the myriad of villains Barton will square off against, he'll also be taking on the vengeance-seeking sister of one of his closest friends. That will no doubt be a confrontation teeming with tragedy and pathos for all involved. Does this storyline mean we'll also see Louis-Dreyfus appearing as The Contessa in the series? It seems very possible, but that hasn't been confirmed just yet.

We're gonna meet some new villains, bro

The primary antagonists in Matt Fraction's "Hawkeye" comics are members of the Russian mafia, whom Clint Barton dubs the "Tracksuit Draculas," due to their heavy accents and their unfortunate affinity for wearing velour tracksuits. These Russian mobsters have an extremely limited English vocabulary, relying heavily on the words "bro" and "seriously" to convey the bulk of their meaning, and drive much of the small-scale conflict of Fraction's comics, which tend to center on the tenants of Barton's apartment building. 

Well, bro, if you're a fan of the comics then you'll be happy to know that the Tracksuit Draculas have been spotted on the set of the Disney+ "Hawkeye" series. On February 20, 2021, Twitter user @CreamOrScream posted some candid images allegedly from the "Hawkeye" production that show three tracksuit-clad individuals standing in the back of a moving truck holding guns. Additionally, in December of 2020, ScreenRant reported that an on-set image appeared to show that the character Ivan Banionis, the leader of the Tracksuit Draculas, was also in the mix. Our money is on this being all but a confirmation that the Tracksuit Draculas will be factoring into "Hawkeye" one way or another.

Considering the Tracksuit Draculas storyline from the comics is very tied up with Barton's characterization there as a single, childless guy living in New York City, there will no doubt be some changes to how the villains are portrayed in the Disney+ series. But, seriously bro, we're happy to see them, regardless.  

Hawkeye could bring us closer to the launch of The Young Avengers in the MCU

In the Matt Fraction comics, Kate Bishop is already a former member of the Young Avengers, but considering the Young Avengers don't yet exist in the MCU, it may make more sense for Hawkeye to be the property that sets up their eventual introduction. 

Kate isn't the first potential Young Avenger to enter the MCU. The first was Ant-Man's daughter, Cassie Lang (Emma Fuhrmann). In the comics, Cassie follows in her father's footsteps by using Pym particles to become the size-altering superhero Stature and is close friends with Kate Bishop's Hawkeye. 

Cassie has since been followed by Billy (Julian Hilliard) and Tommy (Jett Klyne), the sons of Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany). While the twins did disappear along with the rest of Wanda's conjured world at the end of "WandaVision," they did reappear as spectral voices during the post-credits scene in the finale. In the comics, Billy and Tommy grow up to be the Young Avengers Wiccan and Speed.

While a Young Avengers property hasn't been formally announced, Marvel maestro Kevin Feige spoke vaguely, but hopefully, about the prospect in 2021. Entertainment Weekly quotes him as saying of the possibility, "But, yes, you can certainly see that Phase 4 is introducing all sorts of new types of characters with the potential being endless. Now, all of us at Marvel Studios feel like Nick Fury at the end of Iron Man 1, as new actors and new performers come in and we tell them they're part of a bigger universe."

The Hawkeye comics feature a colorful cast of characters

Fraction's "Hawkeye" comics feature a wide assortment of interesting characters, any of whom would make a welcome addition to the MCU. Possible allies for Clint and Kate include Clint's brother, Barney Barton (a yet-to-be-confirmed rumor says he'll be in the show, according to ComicBook.com); his friend and neighbor, Grills; or Penny, the ex-wife of one of the Tracksuit Draculas. Bobbi Morse/Mockingbird and Jessica Drew/Spider-Woman also appear in the Hawkeye comics, although their roles as Clint's ex-wife and current girlfriend, respectively, would no doubt have to be rewritten for the show, since the MCU version of Clint is happily married.

In the case of Bobbi Morse, the character did appear on the TV show "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and was portrayed by Adrianne Palicki. According to a report by FandomWire, the character will be featured in "Hawkeye," although she will be recast and rebooted. Similarly, speculation is swirling among MCU fans that "Game of Thrones" star Emilia Clarke will be playing Jessica Drew in the upcoming "Secret Invasion" series, which she is confirmed to be starring in (via BroBible). If that turns out to be true, could the character make her first appearance in "Hawkeye"? At the time of writing, both of these rumors are just that, so it's too early to say for sure whether either character will actually appear on the series. 

Another rumored character is the formidable villain Madame Masque. In September 2020, a rumor surfaced that the series was in the process of casting for the role (via The Insider), but as with the other speculation, we don't have official confirmation just yet. 

Could other Avengers cameo in Hawkeye?

In one issue of Fraction's "Hawkeye," Clint briefly teams up with sometimes-Avengers Wolverine and Spider-Man to battle the Agents of A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics), an organization of villains that functions in the comics as a sort of anti-S.H.I.E.L.D. (a variation on the group was featured in "Iron Man 3"). However, it's only a minor subplot, and the "Hawkeye" series could easily nod to it while swapping out most of the details. Not only could "Hawkeye" substitute some different villains — although introducing the Agents of A.I.M. to the MCU would certainly open up a lot of interesting story possibilities — but it could also pull in a totally different pair of Avengers, possibly with closer ties to Clint than Spider-Man or the still-not-introduced-in-the-MCU Wolverine. 

Perhaps instead, Clint might team up with Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen), with whom he already has somewhat of a mentoring relationship. Other candidates could include Clint's former S.H.I.E.L.D. colleagues like Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), or even Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). Even someone like Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) could make sense, especially if Cassie shows up.

Hawkeye will introduce us to Lucky aka Pizza Dog

Arguably one of the best parts of Fraction's "Hawkeye" run is Clint's dog, Lucky. The two are introduced when Clint saves the pooch from one of the Tracksuit Draculas, and then adopts him. While his tag reads "Arrow," Clint renames him Lucky. However, in an issue told entirely from the dog's point of view, it is revealed that he thinks of himself as Pizza Dog, thanks to his great love of pizza. 

Like so many other "Hawkeye" characters, the inclusion of Lucky aka Pizza Dog was confirmed thanks to some candid snaps from the show's set. The canine companion will be played by a golden retriever named Jolt (via CBR.com) and the character's inclusion in the series opens up a wide range of story possibilities. In the comics, he even partakes in a few adventures of his own, accompanying Kate when she moves to L.A., helping Clint track down Tracksuit Draculas, and even getting shot at one point. If the series goes this route, don't worry — Lucky recovers just fine, remaining a Very Good Boy and getting many pats. 

Jonathan Igla is writing and executive producing Hawkeye

Since Marvel announced their Disney+ shows, they've been employing an impressive stable of talent behind the scenes, including veterans from some of television's biggest shows like "The Handmaid's Tale" and "Empire." Now, another TV heavy hitter has joined Marvel's Disney+ ranks in the form of Jonathan Igla, who is serving as writer and executive producer for "Hawkeye," according to The Hollywood Reporter.  

While Igla has produced several other shows, including the short-lived but critically beloved "Pitch," he's best known for his work on AMC's juggernaut series "Mad Men," where he served as a writer and executive story editor. Although Igla's resume doesn't boast much experience with the high-octane action the MCU is known for, his style may just be perfect for the more subdued, character-driven "Hawkeye." After all, while "Mad Men" wasn't exactly famous for its action scenes, it's been widely celebrated for its outstanding characters, snappy dialogue, and strong storytelling, leading us to conclude that "Hawkeye" is in more than capable hands with Igla. 

Introducing Hawkguy

One of the biggest clues that Marvel dropped during their presentation at San Diego Comic-Con about what to expect from their "Hawkeye" series was simply the logo, which was obviously heavily inspired by Matt Fraction's highly-acclaimed run of "Hawkeye" comics. Fraction's storylines — which gave Clint the apt yet slightly disparaging nickname "Hawkguy" — all revolved around the question of what a superhero does when he's not being a superhero. While Fraction's run did have its fair share of bad guys and sinister plots, each issue tended to focus less on Clint Barton's extraordinary abilities and more on his regular, unexciting, day-to-day life.

Even narrowing down the potential routes for the "Hawkeye" series to just Fraction's storylines, that still leaves plenty of possibilities. But no matter which way the Disney+ series decides to go, if it's using Fraction's comics as a roadmap, we can expect for it to be focused on small-scale personal conflicts and character relationships far more than giant world-threatening stakes and hugely powerful supervillains. Igla's involvement could be a further indication of that.

What's Hawkeye's life like after the events of Endgame?

Clint Barton had a rough time during the first act of "Avengers: Endgame." The sequel to "Infinity War" opened with Barton's wife and three children turning to dust before his eyes, and the next time we saw him after the film's five-year time jump, he had left the superhero mantle of Hawkeye behind, and had become the ruthless vigilante known as Ronin. His best friend Natasha eventually tracks him down in Japan after he has just murdered a street full of Yakuza, offering him hope with their plan for the time heist. But while Clint is ultimately able to get his family back by the end of the movie, it's at the cost of Natasha's life. 

With the "Hawkeye" series assumed to take place after the events of "Endgame," that leaves a lot for Clint to be reckoning with the next time we see him. Not only will he likely still be mourning the loss of Natasha — and probably dealing with a decent amount of survivor's guilt, to boot, since he also tried and failed to sacrifice himself for the Soul Stone — but he'll also have to face the horrible things he did as Ronin. That's not even to mention that he'll have Yelena on his tail seeking retribution for Natasha's death. Additionally, we can probably expect to see how the Barton family is coping with the aftermath of "the Blip," as it was dubbed in "Spider-Man: Far from Home" — which, as we saw in that film, can be pretty a sizable adjustment.

The theme of the series is "anyone can be a hero"

As Renner quipped when introducing the series at San Diego Comic-Con, "I get to teach someone else how to be a superhero without superpowers." Hawkeye's lack of powers has been a running theme in the MCU, most notably when he pointed out the absurdity of fighting an army of robots with a bow and arrows in "Age of Ultron." But for Clint, being a hero has always been more about a mindset than superpowers, and it seems that theme will carry over to his solo series.

When taken alongside previous reports that "Hawkeye" would see Clint Barton pass the torch to Kate Bishop, it seems safe to assume that the main focus of the series will be on Clint training Kate and grooming her to eventually take over for him, teaching her that she doesn't need powers in order to accomplish great things. This is in line with Fraction's comics, which are much more interested in Clint's everyman qualities than in his enhanced skillset.

On a similar note, according to a report by ScreenRant, on-set photos of Renner wearing a hearing aid indicate that Barton's hearing loss will likely play a factor in "Hawkeye," as it did in Fraction's comics. Considering we know Echo will be appearing in the series, it looks like hearing loss and deafness may turn out to be a substantial part of "Hawkeye."

And with a theme like "anyone can be a hero," we won't be entirely surprised if Clint Barton winds up taking a backseat at some point in the season, and Kate steps up as the new main character.