I’ll admit, I wasn’t exactly excited about Marvel’s upcoming Hawkeye spinoff series on Disney+. It seemed like an odd choice, given the character’s relatively minor role in the various Avengers films. But the studio dropped the official trailer this morning, and I might just change my mind. Hawkeye looks like a fun, comedy-action holiday romp and will debut on the streaming platform just in time for the Thanksgiving/Christmas season.
Per the official premise:
Former Avenger Clint Barton has a seemingly simple mission: get back to his family for Christmas. Possible? Maybe with the help of Kate Bishop, a 22-year-old archer with dreams of becoming a super hero. The two are forced to work together when a presence from Barton’s past threatens to derail far more than the festive spirit.
Obviously, Jeremy Renner is back as Clint Barton/Hawkeye, as are the actors who played his three children, Cooper (Ben Sakamoto), Lila (Ava Russo), and Nathaniel (Cade Woodward). And thanks to that Black Widow end-credits scene where Yelena (Florence Pugh) meets Valentina (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) at Natasha’s grave, we know that she’s been manipulated into blaming Clint for her foster sister’s death and may well be seeking revenge. Pugh’s inclusion in the cast list pretty much confirms that.
As for new faces, Hailee Steinfeld (who earned an Oscar nomination for 2010’s True Grit at the tender age of 13) plays Kate. It’s quite possible she’s being groomed to become the new Hawkeye in the MCU’s Phase Four, although that hasn’t been officially confirmed. She voiced Gwen Stacey in 2018’s animated Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, and certainly makes a strong showing here.
Vera Farmiga plays Kate’s mother, Eleanor Bishop, and Alaqua Cox plays Maya Lopez/Echo, a deaf woman of Native American descent who is able to perfectly copy the movements of other people. (Cox herself is deaf, and there’s already a spinoff series in development featuring Maya/Echo.) The cast also includes Bryan d’Arcy James; Tony Dalton as Barton’s early mentor, Jack Duquesne; Zahn McClarnon as Maya’s father, William Lopez; and Fra Fee as Kazi.
The trailer opens with the Barton family reuniting in a Chinese restaurant in New York City for Christmas. Clint is trying to make up for lost time by spending more time with his kids. We get some nice holiday scenes, including an amusing glimpse of a Hamilton-inspired Broadway musical, Rogers!, celebrating Captain America and the Avengers.
So, of course the peace is interrupted by news reports of a masked vigilante, possible the same vigilante who terrorized “the underworld” a few years back. And Hawkeye flashes back to that scene in Endgame where we see him dressed as Ronin. “The past has caught up with me,” he tells his daughter, while assuring her there’s nothing to worry about (yeah, right). And then he packs the kids off in a limo and promises he’ll still be home for Christmas.
The new incarnation of Ronin is, of course, Kate Bishop, who goes all fan girl the first time she and Clint meet while foiling some criminal activity: “You’re Hawkeye!” And naturally, trouble ensues—because Clint made quite a few enemies during his own vigilante stint, and it seems they are back and out for blood. Fortunately, the two of them make an excellent team. The car chase where Clint dissuades Kate from using a couple of arrows that he deems too “dangerous” is a highlight. Kate then makes a bulls-eye shot that explodes the Trust-a-Bro moving van that’s been in pursuit. “Your arrow’s more dangerous than that one?” There’s no sign of Yelena, but we’re confident she’ll show up eventually.
Hawkeye premieres on November 24, 2021, on Disney Plus.
Listing image by YouTube/Marvel Studios