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Hawkeye on Disney Plus: cast, story and what we know so far

Hawkeye Disney Plus
(Image credit: Disney Plus/Marvel Studios)

Hawkeye on Disney Plus has a release date of late 2021. The show, which will feature Jeremy Renner reprising his role as Clint Barton from the Avengers movies, sees the superhero teaming up with a new archer, known as Kate Bishop (who's officially being played by Bumblebee's Hailee Steinfeld). 

This has been a long time coming – Hawkeye is the only one of the original Avengers never to have a solo movie, at this point, and a TV show that introduces an understudy of sorts to the Marvel Cinematic Universe feels like something that hasn't been done yet. 

We're expecting this to be the last MCU TV show to arrive in 2021, following the release of WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, What If...? and Ms Marvel. 

Here's everything we know about Hawkeye on Disney Plus so far, including one very plausible theory about its storyline that we've attempted to unpack below. 

Hawkeye release date on Disney Plus

Hawkeye has no specific release date yet, but it is officially coming in late 2021, as confirmed during Disney's Investor Day presentation. Actor Fra Fee reportedly hinted on Instagram that the show will release in November, but there are still no official details on that one.

Hawkeye cast: who you'll see in this show

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Jeremy Renner returns to play Clint Barton in the Disney Plus Hawkeye series, reprising a role he's now been playing for 10 years since the original Thor.

After a long period of speculation, it was confirmed that actress Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit, Bumblebee) will be playing Kate Bishop, after the actress was photographed on-set in late 2020. 

Steinfeld decided to play Bishop because she trusted Marvel, according to an interview with Collider. "If there's anyone to trust, it’s Marvel. I’m just so honored to be a part of the MCU, and more so excited to be able to talk about it. It's been quite a while that I’ve been having to keep that a secret, and I'm not good at that. It's been a wonderful experience, developing this character and taking elements of her from the comics and what we know with her history. It's just very exciting to be playing a character, much like Emily, that is so loved by so many people."

It seems likely we'll see Bishop return in other projects on the big screen down the line – just like how Disney Plus show Ms Marvel will have its titular character appear in Captain Marvel 2. 

Other cast members confirmed for the show in late 2020 by Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige were Vera Farmiga as Eleanor Bishop, Kate's mother, Fra Fee as Kazi and Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez. 

A news story revealing Farmiga's casting by The Hollywood Reporter mentioned that actress Florence Pugh is also involved in the show. She is playing Yelena Belova in the upcoming Black Widow movie – presumably the Hawkeye show is meant to be seen after that releases in theaters. Perhaps Pugh's appearance is designed to connect the dots between the two, since Hawkeye and Black Widow were famously close pals in the Avengers movies.

In terms of behind-the-scenes talent, Hawkeye is being directed by Rhys Thomas (SNL, John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch) and British duo Bert and Bertie. The latter worked on episodes of shows like Jim Carrey series Kidding and dark historical Hulu comedy The Great. They also directed the Amazon Prime movie Troop Zero, which received mostly positive reviews when it was release in 2019. 

Mad Men writer Jonathan Igla is the series' showrunner.

Hawkeye trailer: is there one?

Unlike Loki and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Hawkeye didn't get a trailer at Disney's Investor Day presentation in December 2020 – simply because it's still filming. 

Hawkeye story: what we know

Some possible spoilers lay ahead.

For some time, the only official information we knew about the Hawkeye TV show's plot is that Clint is training up Kate Bishop, a fellow archer. With some scenes being filmed on-location in New York, too, it's likely the series is at least partially set there. 

After the events of Black Widow though, we may finally know more about the plot of the series, including one of its villains. The new details are hidden in the film's after-credits scene, which is set after Avengers: Endgame. In it, we see Florence Pugh's character, Yelena Belova, at the grave of Natasha Romanov (a.k.a. the Black Widow).

While paying her respects, Yelena is visited by her new boss Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine (the same character who hired John Walker after he was dishonorably discharged during Falcon and the Winter Soldier). Valentina shows Yelena a picture of Hawkeye and explains he is the man who killed Natasha.

Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova in the Black Widow post-credits scene.

(Image credit: Marvel Studios/screengrab)

Given the close bond between Yelena and Natasha, it's likely she'll want to take revenge on Hawkeye, even if we know that he's actually innocent. As such, we'll probably see Florence Pugh appear in the upcoming series as one of the antagonists.

Beyond that, and reaching into prediction territory, there are beliefs that set photos may have given away more of what the story of Hawkeye will actually be about – this show could well focus on Clint Barton dealing with hearing loss. 

There are a couple of reasons this seems likely. First, an eagle-eyed Redditor spotted that a background sign on the set of Hawkeye apparently translates as 'hearing therapist' – the caveat is, we're taking Reddit's word for that one:

Hawkeye set photo- sign at the back translates to "Hearing Therapist" from r/MarvelStudiosSpoilers

Clint's looking a little vulnerable in this photo, and this plot would allow the MCU to explore something different with one of its heroes than we've seen before. 

In addition, there is precedent to this in the comic books. Barton lost 80% of his hearing back in a 1983 comic book written by Mark Gruenwald. This idea was revived in a memorable issue of the 2012 Hawkeye comic book run by writer Matt Fraction and artist David Aja, where Clint became deaf again, and the story was partially presented using sign language diagrams. 

Since the show also features deaf superhero Maya Lopez, also known as Echo from the Daredevil comics, it seems fairly likely that this subject matter is integral to the show. This is all just speculation on our part, though, and we could be proven wrong.

That 2012 run is clearly a big influence on this series, which is apparent in a few ways. It's likely a touchstone for the dynamic of Clint as mentor and Kate as student – and the show features 'Pizza Dog', a pet that Clint acquires after facing off against a  criminal gang in those comics (the dog, who's actually called Lucky, enjoys pizza, hence the name).

As with all Marvel Cinematic Universe adaptations, however, we expect this comic to only influence the show, rather than be a direct adaptation. Barton has his own baggage in the MCU, after all, including his family, who disappeared during the Thanos snap in Avengers: Infinity War then reappeared after the titan's defeat in Avengers: Endgame. His family's disappearance led Clint down the route of murderous rampages against criminals – which surely has to be addressed in this show.

The rumored appearance of Yelena Belova, too, likely hints that we'll see some aftermath from Natasha Romanoff's death in Endgame.

Until we learn what the story is officially about, then, hopefully this gives you an idea of what to expect in Hawkeye when it lands.

How many Hawkeye episodes will there be?

Marvel's Hawkeye

(Image credit: Disney)

Marvel TV shows on Disney Plus will apparently be divided into either six 45-55 minutes episodes, or nine or ten half-hour episodes. Hawkeye, then, should fit into one of those two formats, but we're not sure which, yet.

Why a Hawkeye TV show makes perfect sense

It never seemed like Hawkeye was at the front of the queue to get an Avengers solo spin-off movie, but in the age of Disney Plus, the opportunity to tell a deeper story with Jeremy Renner's archer is more enticing. Finding a new angle on the character is definitely the tricky part – he's been through a lot across the different Avengers movies, and has retired from avenging twice already. 

It's hard to give Clint a clean slate at this point, then, but this is something that comic books have to deal with all the time when characters accumulate decades of personal history. Like so many Marvel heroes getting their own Disney Plus shows, too, we've never actually got to enjoy that much screen time with Hawkeye – on that level alone we're curious about this show. 

If the series manages to retain any of the texture of the comic that's seemingly inspired it, this could be a low-key terrific entry into the MCU canon. 

Samuel Roberts

Formerly of PC Gamer, Samuel is TechRadar's senior entertainment editor, and writes about everything to do with TV and movies. He enhances TechRadar's entertainment output, focusing on the biggest TV shows and movies that are relevant to this enormous site's audience. His publishing expertise is a great fit as we define this new direction for the site. Within months, Samuel added millions more sessions per month to the site, made enormous strides in ecommerce revenue and applied his expertise in SEO and passion for media to this fast-growing tech brand.