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Marvel's Hawkeye Disney+ series eyeing Hailee Steinfeld to play Kate Bishop

Marvel may be adding another big star to its cinematic universe. 

The upcoming Disney+ series Hawkeye reportedly wants Hailee Steinfeld to play Kate Bishop, according to Variety

Hawkeye is one of several live-action Marvel series planned for Disney's new Disney+ streaming service, along with LokiWandaVision, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. All four series star the same actors who appear as their respective characters in the films of the MCU, with Jeremy Renner set to reprise his role as Hawkeye on his titular show. With Steinfeld reportedly gearing up to join him, the Avenging Archer will have to get ready to pass the torch — or rather, the flaming arrow.

As Variety indicates, Disney has already offered Steinfeld a starring role on the series opposite Renner. Should she accept, Steinfeld would portray Kate Bishop, a young archer who becomes the new Hawkeye in the comics after the apparent death of Clint Barton.

The outlet also speculates that the role would likely extend beyond the Hawkeye limited series, with the potential for Steinfeld's Bishop to appear in MCU films down the road. Given the fact that Steinfeld is already a big star — having headlined the Transformers spin-off Bumblebee, earned an Oscar nomination for her role in True Grit, and released several charting hits as a recording artist, including the single "Starving" — the potential for her going on to have an outsized role in the MCU seems high. 

But just who is Kate Bishop?

Compared to other Marvel mainstays like Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Hawkeye himself, Kate Bishop is a relative newcomer. While the three previously mentioned heroes all made their Marvel Comics debut in the 1960s during the Silver Age of comic books, Kate had a far more recent introduction. The character didn't make her first appearance until 2005, when she featured in Young Avengers #1. She quickly became a member of the titular team alongside other young versions of iconic Avengers such as Iron Lad, Hulkling, Patriot, and Asgardian. Kate had a decent run with the team, eventually adopting the codename Hawkeye and continuing the tradition of having an archer in the Avengers — or in this case, in the Young Avengers. The name makes sense for Bishop, too; like Barton, she has no actual superpowers. What she does have, however, is considerable skill with a bow and arrow — as well as other fighting techniques like hand-to-hand combat and swordsmanship. In other words, she's almost exactly like Hawkeye.

Kate Bishop's most memorable comic book run arguably occurred in the Hawkeye series by writer Matt Fraction and artist David Aja. The series, which ran for 22 issues from 2012 to 2015, centered on Clint Barton and Kate Bishop, who become crime-fighting partners who both go by the name Hawkeye. It focused on the mentor-mentee relationship between the two as well, with Barton teaching Bishop how to go about being a non-superpowered superhero. The series was very grounded and street-level compared to many other Marvel books, and it received loads of critical acclaim. The 14th issue in the series, "Pizza Is My Business," even picked up the prestigious Eisner Award for Best Single Issue in 2014. Since this Hawkeye comic series was such a resounding success, we wouldn't be at all surprised if the upcoming Disney+ show ends up being based on Fraction and Aja's run.

Although Disney has kept plans for the Hawkeye series close to the vest for now, and while we're likely many months away from a trailer, there's still some evidence to suggest that Fraction and Aja's incarnation will be the main influence for the series. For one, the artwork for the upcoming show's intro looks almost as if it were lifted right off one of Fraction and Aja's covers, as it shares the "arrow-H," all-lowercase Hawkeye logo that the duo invented for their series. What little we know of the plot — basically that Clint Barton will be training Kate Bishop to be the new Hawkeye — also lines up better with Fraction and Aja's run than any other Marvel Comics story involving the pair of archers, suggesting that the pair's 22 issues of Hawkeye goodness will form the basis for Disney+'s Hawkeye.

Hawkeye will be the fifth original MCU series to premiere on Disney+, sitting alongside Loki, WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and the animated series What If?. The series' premiere date isn't scheduled until the fall of 2021, meaning there's still plenty of time for us to learn more details about the series. If Hailee Steinfeld ends up taking on the role of Kate Bishop, then you can bet fans will be even more interested in learning everything they can about the MCU's newest archer.