If The Mandalorian has proven anything to Disney, it’s that introducing big new characters in a TV series that forms part of a cinematic universe is a great idea. While Marvel is the undisputed master of the cinematic universe, TV series based on the comic book giant’s characters had historically been treated like side quests that don’t impact the main storyline due to how the various studio divisions were split up. That has changed with everything falling under Marvel boss Kevin Feige’s purview with planned future shows on Disney+ not only reacting to the events of the movies but actually informing them as well.
We already know that there are bold ideas awaiting for us in the WandaVision and Falcon and Winter Soldier series, but new reports reveal that Marvel and Disney also have some bold ideas for The Hawkeye series. This will be the first solo outing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for Jeremy Renner’s popular superhero archer Clint Barton, but the show will also be several new characters as well.
Firstly, after over a year of it being an open secret, we finally got official confirmation that Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld will be playing Kate Bishop in the show. In the comics, Bishop becomes the second Hawkeye after being taken under the wing of Clint Barton and shown the ropes. With Renner’s movie deal with Marvel winding down, this could be an important story to tell as it means we will see a continuation of the character in a different form with Steinfeld who will probably also feature in bigger Marvel team-up movies later down the road.
The appearance of Bishop was confirmed first by a tweet from Renner himself, then followed by some set footage which showed Steinfeld in the role:
Yes, fans of writer Matt Fraction’s iconic run on Hawkeye, that is indeed Lucky the Pizza Dog you’re seeing in those set pics. What a good boy!
Another interesting piece of information revealed via those set pics though is that scenes from the series will be taking place in the Chinese New Year of 2025, giving us a basic idea of Hawkeye’s timeline. We always knew the series would be set after the events of Avengers: Endgame, but given that The Falcon and The Winter soldier series takes place in 2023, this series will take place two years later and likely be impacted by the events from that series.
Secondly, comes news from The Direct, that Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova -soon to make her debut in the upcoming Black Widow movie – will also be appearing in the show. It’s strongly being implied that Pugh’s Belova will be taking over the Black Widow mantle left behind by Scarlet Johannsson’s Natasha Romanoff going forward in the MCU. The Black Widow movie is set in the past between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, so Belova is already out there doing her thing. And given the close relationship Barton and Romanoff had in the movies, it makes sense for Barton to act as some sort of mentor to Belova and it will likely bring about a lot of closure for his character too.
Thirdly – and perhaps most interestingly – comes the news from Variety that another new character will be introduced in the form of Maya Lopez, played by Alaqua Cox. Just like her character counterpart, Cox is a deaf Native American so this is spot-on casting. Lopez, who also goes by the superhero name of Echo, is another character with close ties to Barton in the comics and so its great to see that Marvel is keeping close to its roots with the new series. Perhaps most interesting about Echo though is that the character also has strong ties to Daredevil and was raised by his arch-nemesis Kingpin after he murdered her father.
Thanks to the Charlie Cox-led Daredevil series on Netflix (one of those aforementioned shows that just tangentially linked to the MCU), he is one popular character that has yet to form part of Marvel’s new plans. However, the non-competition clause that prevented Disney from reusing the character for two years after Netflix cancelled the Daredevil series has just lapsed at the end of last month. This is has prompted a new wave of #SaveDaredevil social media campaigns from fans as well as actors like Vincent D’Onofrio to get himself and Cox into the MCU proper. Maybe the use of Echo here in Hawkeye is the first step to making that happen.
Unfortunately, we don’t have many actual story details for Hawkeye right now, but it’s exciting that Disney and Marvel will be revealing new characters in the series. And it’s three strong female characters too, which is definitely what the MCU needs and is in line with their push for greater diversity. Hit TV series are turning out to be the new medium for exploring established franchises further and with so many exciting Marvel shows in the pipeline for Disney+, it looks like an exciting time for fans.
Last Updated: December 4, 2020