Clint Barton may be retiring, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe won’t be without a Hawkeye. In Hawkeye, the fourth and final (for now) Marvel spin-off headed to Disney+, Jeremy Renner will return as the MCU’s resident archer to pass off his bow and arrows — and the Hawkeye codename — to a new generation.
Hawkeye won’t be on your TV for a while — Marvel won’t release the show until late 2021 — but the new Hawkeye is already a fan-favorite in the comics. Here’s everything that we know about Hawkeye so far.
Release date and logo
At Comic-Con International 2019, Marvel unveiled its Phase 4 plans, including when we can expect to see Hawkeye grace the silver screen. According to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, Hawkeye will debut in fall 2021, around the same time as Thor: Love and Thunder.
During the presentation, Marvel also shared Hawkeye‘s logo, which should look familiar to dedicated comic readers.
— Jeremy Renner (@Renner4Real) July 21, 2019
Yes, that’s the same logo that was used on Matt Fraction and David Aja’s award-winning Hawkeye series, on which the show will be based.
Right now, Jeremy Renner is Hawkeye‘s only confirmed cast member. Renner has played Hawkeye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2011, when the character made an uncredited cameo in Thor, and has appeared in five Marvel movies, including three of four Avengers flicks (the character was on house arrest during Avengers: Infinity War) and Captain America: Civil War (an appearance in Captain America: The Winter Soldier was cut for scheduling reasons).
However, we know that Renner won’t be swinging into action alone. At Marvel’s big Comic-Con presentation, Feige confirmed that Hawkeye’s protégé would be none other than Kate Bishop, just like in the comics. Bishop debuted in Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung’s Young Avengers #1 in 2005 and assumed the Hawkeye name in issue #12 (Clint was dead around this time).
Since then, Kate has played a supporting role in the Young Avengers books, big crossover events, and Clint’s own comics. She co-headlined Fraction and Aja’s Hawkeye and got her own comic in 2017. In the books, Kate is in her early 20s (she turned 21 in the second volume of Young Avengers), so Marvel will probably try to cast an actress around that age.
Other than the general premise — Clint Barton trains Kate Bishop to take over as Hawkeye — details about Hawkeye are pretty sparse. Cut Marvel some slack: The show is over two years away. Matt Fraction and David Aja’s run on Hawkeye, however, lasted from 2012 to 2015. It’s considered one of the best Marvel comics of the modern era, and it’s going to be the basis for the Hawkeye television show, so we do have a rough idea what’s in store.
Fraction and Aja’s Hawkeye was a story about what the famous superhero got up to between world-ending threats. As the recap pages explained, “This is what he does when he’s not being an Avenger. That’s all you need to know.” The series’ ongoing plot was a modest tale about Clint’s attempts to save an apartment building and its tenants from the Russian mob. Character development and humor, not the action, drove the story.
The series’ heart was the relationship between Clint and Kate (and their dog, Lucky, aka “Pizza Dog”), with the grounded young heroine serving as an excellent foil to the in-over-his-head Avenger. If Marvel is going to get Hawkeye right, it needs to recapture that chemistry. More than almost any other MCU project, casting is going to make or break this one.