‘Hawkeye’: Bringing Christmas in New York City to Life
“Christmas season and the holiday season, [it’s] kind of like a character in itself for this show.”
There’s nothing like New York City at Christmas time, something Clint Barton is experiencing himself firsthand in Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye. What starts off as a family getaway to see Rogers: The Musical — with his three kids in tow, Cooper, Lila, and Nathaniel — quickly turns into a mad dash to try and clean up the mess of another “kid,” Kate Bishop. After Clint makes the decision to send his children home without him so he can detangle Kate’s situation, a conundrum is raised: will Clint make it home for Christmas?
The clock is ticking, and Santa is just days away, and speckled with a backdrop of trees, twinkling lights, tinsel, candy canes, nutcrackers, snowflakes, gingerbread, and so much more, welcome to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first holiday show. “I think there's no debating it, I think it's a hundred percent a Christmas show,” Kevin Feige explained to Marvel.com. “That's what people will see very soon.”
Set one week before Christmas, long-time Avenger Clint has a laundry list of things to do, and none of it include last minute shopping: retrieve the Ronin suit, clear Kate’s name, keep the Tracksuit Mafia at bay, the list goes on. This leads into a grounded mission without any alien threats, Asgardian gods, homicidal robots, and certainly no time travel. Clint must avoid a bunch of goons wearing matching tracksuits and also dodge some inflatable Santas.
Setting the series during the holiday season was always ingrained in the DNA of the show, as Feige continues, “Other than of course, more [Jeremy] Renner...our tonal touch points were more [of the comics run by Matt] Fraction, more Christmas. That is what we wanted to do because Fraction had such an amazing tone in that run. We wanted to experience that. We wanted to take our version of Hawkeye, which is actually quite different from his version of the comics and adapt Renner into that tone. What would it be like if he was thrust into that street level, New York City realm?”
“I definitely had Christmas songs playing when I was doing a lot of the writing and I had certain [holiday aspects] in my head,” Head writer Jonathan Igla said. “I love the vibe of it. I love the feel of it. I was thrilled to get to make a Marvel holiday show.”
But how much Christmas is too much Christmas? Does that limit even exist? For the creative team behind the show, the answer is no, with Feige himself championing more merriment for the series.
“It was Kevin who was always pushing for more,” Director Rhys Thomas explained. “I'd be the one saying, ‘I think we got enough” and [I’d be told] no, just throw in more.”
“There's not enough Christmas!” Executive producer Trinh Tran said with a laugh. “I told Kevin at one point, ‘Tell me when actually there is too much.’ When you actually tell me that there is too much Christmas, that’s when I know to pull back. And he never said a word in terms of that. He wanted more because it's about the festivity of the holiday season and spending time with family. So that was that. Christmas season and the holiday season, [it’s] kind of like a character in itself for this show.”
“What we try to do at Marvel Studios is take these incredible characters and these incredible stories and adapt them and readapt them to different genres of film. The holidays are a big, great genre that I'm one of those people that will veg out in front of a classic holiday movie every year. It's fun to be able to tap into that genre. And yet at the same time, be a very essential part of the MCU.”
But will Clint make it ho-ho-home for the holidays? The first two episodes of Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye are now streaming on Disney+.
Starring Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye and Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop, Hawkeye also features Vera Farmiga, Fra Fee, Tony Dalton, Zahn McClarnon, Brian d’Arcy James, and newcomer Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez. Helmed by Rhys Thomas and directing duo Bert and Bertie, Hawkeye debuts exclusively on Disney+ on November 24, 2021.
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