Hawkeye isn’t buff like Captain America, obnoxiously sexy like Iron Man, beautiful and mysterious like Natasha Romanoff, boyishly charming as Spider-Man, strong and smart as Hulk or a Himbago god like Thor – he’s just an ordinary dude with Jeremy Renner’s rugged looks and superb bowler skills Average with no superpowers. Many were initially skeptical of the indie series “Hawk” at first, but the Disney Plus show proved critics and audiences wrong.
Currently boasting 92% of critics on Rotten Tomatoes and 90% of audiences, Hawkeye has clearly won over the least ardent Avengers fans with his salt-of-the-earth humility, his tormenting and morally questionable process of grief, his steadfast determination to spend Christmas with his family and his new need for hearing aids . Rhys Thomas, who directed episodes one, two and the grand finale, says that’s the point of Clint Barton’s allure: He’s an ordinary guy, with normal setbacks and desires, dealing with a world more perverted than ours.
Starring Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop, Hawk’s wide-eyed stepdaughter, the early 1920s features memorable performances from Vera Farmiga as Eleanor Bishop, Alaqua Cox as Echo/Mia Lopez, Tony Dalton as Jack Duxin, and Florence Bowie as The role of Jelena Belova and Vincent De’ Onofrio as Kingpin — reprise his role from Netflix’s Daredevil series — has been stacked with the cast of “Hawkeye” with strong characters that we hope will appear in many of the upcoming MCU shows and movies. As such, Thomas faced a challenge that seems unique to MCU directors – how to flesh out the characters enough to make them interesting for the series on its own, while also not getting swept up in the canonical comic book anecdotal facts or releasing original concepts. To come in future projects.
diverse He chatted with the Welsh director about all things ‘Hawkeye’, including making Christmas the backdrop for crime-stopping superheroes and superheroes in training.
Did you know right from the start that you’d be bringing Kingpin from Netflix’s “Daredevil” to the show, and just a week later Daredevil himself appeared in “Spider-Man: No Way Home”?
Kingpin wasn’t on the cusp when I started the show, but I feel like his presence wasn’t far off at all. Like, we’ve always circled around this other “big bad guy,” but there was a moment when a Marvel executive came up and said, “You know, that’s what we’re going to do about it.” Regarding the larger plan and the crossover with “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” I didn’t know they’d do that. They do a great job at Marvel at keeping everyone completely isolated, and I think they’re doing that for your security. People seem to kind of assume there’s this room where everything is planned, but, no, they kind of make you focus on your own show and only give you the information they feel they need to give.
What are some of the challenges as a Marvel program director that come with the MCU continuity in mind? You have characters like Echo and Kate Bishop, who will be in future projects, and Yelena, who were introduced in “Black Widow”, and on top of all that, there’s the multiverse to consider
The great team at Marvel helps keep you honest on this front. I learned early on that the best thing I could do about it was to not worry too much about it and try to keep doing what I could with Kate and Clint and Elena and all those characters to do them justice on their own show and to treat it like that. These events only happen to them at this moment in Christmas time. Fortunately, I could focus on that, and when ancient stuff or the multiverse needed to get in, you always had someone at Marvel to help out or at least keep an eye on them. It was a strange feeling to enter the MCU as someone who was watching like any other fan. So, as a director, when you step onto the set and you have Jeremy Renner wearing the Hawkeye costume that you were helping design, and you introduce new characters like Echo and Kate Bishop and Jack Duquesne, and you also have to fit this around the holidays, he makes everything Very surreal. And I realized that, yes, we were filming at Rockefeller Center, but it was Rockefeller Center in the MCU. I think Kevin Feige says it’s best that “the MCU is like the world outside your window.” When I was directing, I realized that you are supposed to treat them as parallel realities slightly different from the ones you are in now, and you have to go along with them and follow their rules.
What did some say that you slipped up during the show that Eleanor Bishop was going to be a villain?
It’s always a tough job when you’re trying to bury the lead and when you don’t want the audience to step in because that’s going to screw things up, but you also don’t want to be like the TV series where it’s bad. The man just steps out of the shadows and there was no sign of it. Part of what we tried to do was, instead of necessarily looking for any clues, we really thought about characterizing her in a way that wasn’t a complete surprise – from the ways she spoke to Kate, to the argument she had with Armand Duquesne in Episode 1, which Kate misunderstood because Her assumption is that her mother probably could do no wrong. That’s what Kate takes and runs, and this obviously leads her to suspect Jack Duxen, and it’s again because she’s clouded over her prejudice towards him and because of his romance with her mother. So, he’s clearly always kind of been there. We also wanted to make people understand, in the end, that Eleanor is a mom who raised Kate herself and that her actions come from a place of protecting and nurturing her daughter, which is what we wanted to convey the most. Her actions are a bit misleading. Eventually, Kate completed a full course and realized her blindness and goodness to Eleanor. And it comes from that most emotional place, “I’m your mother, and that’s what I have to do, and you need to understand that, even if I’m thinking about it incorrectly.”
We have two lead characters who are either totally deaf or partially deaf – why was it important to show how one of the Avengers ends up with an injury that leaves him with a chronic condition? How did you make sure that appeared appropriately on the screen?
Part of the thing that makes Clint Barton unique, charming, and attractive is that he’s human. He doesn’t have superpowers – he can’t jump out of a car and back easily. When he smashed that window in the first Avengers movie, he ended up suffering pretty hard. We talked about this from early on that we need to keep reality alive, and that means showing that humans are hurt, beaten and broken. Each fight his crime had its effect. In some of the comics, he has a weakness, which is also a nice way to associate Eko/Maya, who is deaf in the comic books, with him. It unites them. It also gave Clint a chance to connect with her on a different level.
How do you make sure you maintain the Christmas cheer and vibe of the series while pairing it with the violence inherent in the superhero genre?
I feel that putting it as a backdrop to the violence made it seem a little more real. Bringing the height of the season to Rockefeller Center and the famous Christmas tree display seemed like the perfect place to stand-out outside the Christmas party for security company Bishops. And it all works because the show takes place in the final days before Christmas, so you knew Clint had a deadline to go home by then and the audience always knew he was headed toward that ultimate Christmas goal. The Rockefeller Center was the perfect way to bring everyone and everything together, balancing Christmas fun and imagery with music, chords of light and all its positive associations with the fight sequences.
What was the process of collaborating in the writers room for “Rogers the Musical,” where he writes songs and decides how you’ll organize them?
The process of developing the musical genre began right after we started principal photography. I mean, there was a piece in the script already where we knew we were going to put the musical, but in terms of how it’s going to be or what it’s going to be or how the music is going to sound, that everything was finished once we were in the production process. I was able to recruit Mark Scheman and Scott Whitman to help create the song and lyrics, and it all started casually between the three of us and some very fun text exchanges. He stayed pretty young for a little while, and it was kind of like a fun background project that was going on while filming the rest of the show. So the musical was a bit slow and we filmed it late in the principal photography – it was a busy day for the crew. We’d all shoot the Rockefeller Center sequences and all that kind of thing at night, and then hit the stage to do something fun at 11 p.m. on the same day.