When Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and his team officially launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Iron Man (2008), nobody knew just how much the film franchise would change the movie landscape as we knew it 13 years ago.
Since then, the MCU has given Marvel fans 27 films — including its latest box office blockbuster, Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), starring Tom Holland in the title role — and unforgettable super hero actors like Robert Downey, Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/the Hulk), Josh Brolin (Thanos), Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter), Paul Rudd (Scott Lang/Ant-Man), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster), Michael Douglas (Dr. Hank Pym), Michael B. Jordan (Erik “Killmonger” Stevens), Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton/Hawkeye), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier), Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Stephen Strange), and late actor Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa/Black Panther).
The MCU also just released its fifth Disney+ Original series, Hawkeye, which starred Renner reprising his role as the Avengers’ archer, and introduced Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) into the Marvel Universe.
This departure from what Feige and his various production teams have been doing to date on Disney+ in 2021 is reminiscent of Netflix’s older Marvel series, including Luke Cage and the ever-popular Daredevil. Considering that Daredevil villain Kingpin/Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) just made his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Hawkeye, it serves to reason that the fan-favorite series served as some form of inspiration for producer Rhys Thompson, Feige, and their creative crew.
In a press conference before Hawkeye debuted, Feige shared some thoughts about the departure from Celestials and interstellar travel:
“This [Hawkeye] is fun because it is a Christmas story that is taking place during the holidays, and it also is based on early discussions about a limited time period. About setting a series in, you know, not quite real-time, but essentially in a-in a six-day period. Six episodes, six days. Will Clint make it home for Christmas? Which was fun and a breath of fresh air after world-ending stakes and celestials bursting out of planets and Multiverse shenanigans that this is, like Hawkeye himself, a grounded family-based show.”
One recent article noted that Hawkeye could be the catalyst for a brand new MCU, of sorts:
A new Marvel Cinematic Universe is on the horizon….
…Then there’s Hawkeye, a series that takes place in a single city over the course of a single week. It involved two heroes with no superpowers whatsoever—just the expert use of a bow and quiver of arrows. The series itself proves Marvel Studios can carry on the traditions of Marvel Television, focusing on street-level storytelling with characters as close to humanly as possible.
Far from the grand scale of Asgard in the Thor franchise or the ethereal nature of Marvel’s Eternals, Hawkeye represents a return to the gritty, action-packed, yet very human, stories that Marvel fans love.
At this time, it is unknown if there will be a second season of Hawkeye. However, an Alaqua Cox spinoff series, Echo, is planned and Steinfeld has confirmed that this is “only the beginning” of her MCU journey.
More on Hawkeye
The official description of Hawkeye reads:
Marvel Studios’ “Hawkeye” stars Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, who teams up with another well-known archer from the Marvel comics, Kate Bishop, played by Hailee Steinfeld. The cast also includes Vera Farmiga, Fra Fee, Tony Dalton, Zahn McClarnon, Brian d’Arcy James and newcomer Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez. “Hawkeye” is helmed by Rhys Thomas and directing duo Bert and Bertie.
Do you think the MCU is moving away from epic films and toward grittier street-level series?