With Hawkeye now streaming, we recently caught up with longtime Marvel Studios executive producer Trinh Tran (Avengers: Endgame; Avengers: Infinity War) to talk about developing the critically acclaimed miniseries, which sees Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) partner up with Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) on a fun-filled holiday adventure.
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While our time was relatively brief, Tran touched on exploring a new side of Clint Barton through these six episodes, why they opted for a six-episode miniseries over a full-length feature film, whether we could ever see Clint don his iconic mask, and how the Marvel Studios team deals with leaks and rampant internet speculation.
Check out the full video interview below and keep scrolling for the complete transcript!
ROHAN: You’ve been actively involved with Clint’s last two appearances - Civil War and Endgame - where he’s found himself entangled in messes that he didn’t start, but this time, he is a little more responsible for what's happening with the Ronin suit. What did you want to explore in this series that we hadn't seen from him before?
TRINH: Well, I definitely wanted to hit on the fallout after Endgame. I mean, he still has issues that he is dealing with, especially losing his family for five years, becoming Ronin, and then, getting them back. How’s he going to be dealing with all that once they’ve come back and he’s Hawkeye again, so there were a lot unanswered questions and things felt up in the air and I wanted to continue that story for Clint. I think that was the interesting aspect of trying to figure out what is the storyline for this series and then the other side of what makes it really interesting and why I gravitated towards continuing the Hawkeye story was because there is a different side of Clint that we hadn’t seen yet.
There is actually backstory in general that we haven’t seen yet, but one of which I find really interesting is inspired by the Fraction run is that there is a side of Clint, when he’s with Kate, comes off in a different way and I think it made sense in this particular series that we’re introducing someone like Kate Bishop, who is coming in this world, that we show a different side of Clint that can be a little bit more humorous and lighthearted, but ultimately, I think it’s because he is a human being, compared to some of our heroes. He’s without superpowers, but that’s what makes him the family man and the most relatable compared to everybody else, which is why I think it’s perfect in this particular series and why we’re setting it in the holiday season too.
ROHAN: Was there a specific reason why you opted to tell Clint and Kate's story in a Disney+ series versus a movie?
TRINH: Well, we started out talking about Hawkeye as a feature. We originally wanted to make a two-hour movie for Clint and Kate, but there was so much rich material and source material coming from the comics. We use the comics as inspiration and then carry that over to the MCU to make sure it fits in the most organic way possible, but what I was so fascinated about when I was reading those comic runs was that there was so much great stuff that I wanted everything, like as much as we can put in the series and I remember having that conversation with Kevin and going, “Well, how am I going to fit this all in? And, also introduce the new character? And tell Clint Barton’s story as well too?”
At that time, Disney+ was launching and he was like, “Well, why don’t we move this particular one over, so that you can get a six-hour timespan to be able to develop these characters as individuals and allow time for them to bond over the course of the mission that they go through, becoming partners. So, it made sense that this particular one got moved over, so that we had that time and space to carve out that relationship.
ROHAN: With WandaVision giving Wanda her most comic-accurate costume yet, is there a chance we could one day see Clint get his comic-accurate mask?
TRINH: Oh, the original H with the pointy ears? *laughs* It’s funny because this series is such a light-hearted tone, we had a discussion about how fun it would be to figure out a way in order for that to be incorporated one way or another, but what ended up happening was that - I believe there’s a clip out there that Kate makes fun of his branding issue - and that gets incorporated in terms of how she thinks Clint is like in the public eye and partly is due to some of the outfits that he’s been wearing. But, look, I think the big question is, would Jeremy wear something like that? *laughs* I think if you can get him into something like that, I’m in!
ROHAN: There's been a lot of speculation about a variety of big-name characters showing up in this series and in the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home. Since you're on the inside, how do you and the Marvel Studios team typically respond to internet speculation internally, regardless of whether it's right or way off base?
TRINH: Well, sometimes it’s interesting reading the theories and seeing what people are coming up with and I think some people, more so than others, I occasionally would hear that people are speculating about this particular subject or this particular character being in this particular project and it’s interesting to see where people’s headspace is at and how they are sort of connecting the dots to what has been released versus what we are working on behind-the-scenes and how much or not people are close to what we are thinking about. Obviously, I can’t speak in detail about all that, but it’s always interesting to read what people are thinking.
Hawkeye episodes one and two are now streaming on Disney+!