‘Hawkeye’ Star Almost Lost her Role to Other Marvel Standout

in Entertainment, Marvel, Movies & TV


Credit: Marvel

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has been off to a turbulent start since the end of Phase 3 with the completion of the immensely successful, Avengers: Endgame in 2019. Phase 4 had the formidable task of following up on this global phenomenon while starting on a nearly clean slate as many of the major story arcs of the previous three phases came to their conclusions. This phase sought to introduce new characters and storylines at break-neck speed with the release of 18 different Marvel projects, 10 of which were TV series that premiered on Disney+. While the main consensus of Marvel viewers agree that there has been an inconsistency with the quality of content in this phase, one of the standouts was Hawkeye and the portrayal of Kate Bishop by Oscar-nominated actor, Hailee Steinfeld. However, she was not the automatic choice as a new Avengers documentary reveals which actress almost had the role in her crosshairs.

Credit: Marvel Studios

The latest Marvel documentary, Assembled: The Making of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, revealed that Kathryn Newton who portrayed Cassie Lang auditioned for the role of Kate Bishop. The actress has built her filmography working on projects, such as HBO’s Big Little Lies (2017), the raunchy comedy, Blockers (2018), with John Cena, and a major role as the reporter, Lucy Stevens, in Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019). Her breakout performance in Freaky (2020) with Vince Vaughn solidified her potential as a leading actress.

Credit: Disney+

Test footage from the Hawkeye audition (2019) depicted Newton running a scene with Jeremy Renner where they both converse about Nick Fury during the duo’s first encounter. It was speculated that she was one of the top contenders until showrunners/directors, Bert and Bertie, took over to helm the series. Hailee Steinfeld eventually secured the role, but Kathryn Newton would stand out to another Marvel director.

Credit: Disney+

Ant-Man trilogy director, Peyton Reed, viewed Newton’s test footage for Hawkeye and it sparked his interest for the role of Cassie Lang. Reed expressed that he knew viewers would want a mature Cassie that was still a “bright, optimistic person in the way that Scott Lang is.” He continued that he wanted to find an actress who could also show that Cassie has grown to be funny like her father, as her chemistry with him would be crucial to the story. Reed felt that Newton had a brightness and youthful optimism that would be terrific for the Ant-Man and The Wasp sequel. She would later win the coveted role.

Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Stinger (Cassie Lang), and Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) in 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Phase 4 and 5 have been a rollercoaster of quality storytelling versus action-driven mediocrity. For every Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021), there was The Eternals (2021), but there have also been flawed gems like WandaVision, Moon Knight, and Hawkeye. Hawkeye delivered a familiar, but charmingly likeable crime adventure set during Christmas. It may not have always maintained a perfect balance of drama with comedy, but when it did, it led to unforgettable sequences like the hilarious “Rogers: The Musical” number and the gut-wrenching monologue Clint gave about Natasha at the Avengers memorial. Phase 5’s Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania struggled due to its character development taking a backseat to future Marvel movie setups. Despite these missteps, the performances from both Steinfeld and Newton were highlights that could keep the fanbase invested when they step into the Avengers’ shoes.

Assembled: The Making of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is streaming now on Disney+.


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