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Marvel Mondays: 7 Hawkeye BTS Details That Fans Might Not Know, Including The Very Subtle Hulk Cameo

 Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld in Hawkeye.
Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld in Hawkeye.

For a long time, Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton felt like a permanent supporting player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The character appeared in many of the franchise’s biggest films but always as an important part of the Avengers instead of as a star. That finally changed in late 2021 with the arrival of Hawkeye on Disney+ – which stands as one of the best MCU shows to date.

With Loki Season 2 set to premiere at the start of next month, we are continuing our run of Marvel Mondays and following up last week’s deep dive into WandaVision with an exploration of Marvel’s first Christmas-themed adventure. There are a lot of fun stories from behind the scenes of Hawkeye, and we’ve collected a few of the best ones for you to read about below.

Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop in Marvel's
Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop in Marvel's

Kevin Feige Offered The Role of Kate Bishop To Hailee Steinfeld After One Meeting

Great as it is to see Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton get the spotlight in Hawkeye, arguably the best thing about the Disney+ show is the introduction of Hailee Steinfeld as fan favorite comic book hero Kate Bishop. It’s yet another phenomenal casting win from the people who introduced audiences to Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Chris Evans’ Tony Stark, and when you watch her performance, it’s impossible to imagine anyone else in the role. She pops with unique energy from her very first scene onward – which is why it’s not all that surprising to learn that Steinfeld was offered to play Kate after just a single meeting with Kevin Feige.

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In the documentary Marvel Studios Assembled: The Making Of Hawkeye, producer Trinh Tran notes that Feige had the idea of Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop in the back of his mind even before the start of casting on Hawkeye, and it didn’t take much to convince him that his instinct was correct. The Marvel Studios President and his fellow filmmakers brought the actor in for “a conversation,” and by the time they were done talking, Feige offered Steinfeld the part. Obviously it’s a job she ultimately took, and the rest is history.

Mark Ruffalo (as the Hulk) in The Avengers
Mark Ruffalo (as the Hulk) in The Avengers

Hulk Has A Very Subtle Cameo In The First Episode

There are a number of exciting, established Marvel characters who play standout roles in Hawkeye, including Linda Cardellini as Laura Barton, Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, and Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk (more on him in a bit). What you may not know is that there is a blink-and-you’ll miss it cameo from an Avenger in the premiere episode. If you look closely during the prologue flashback to the Battle Of New York, you can briefly see Hulk doing his whole smashing thing.

The focus of the scene is meant to be on Hawkeye, who is spotted by Kate Bishop saving her life during the violent alien attack, but there is a moment where you can also spot the biggest and greenest member of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. ILM Visual Effects Supervisor Vincent Papaix has confirmed that you can see “Hulk jumping from building to building and getting a blast from a Chitauri weapon.”

rogers: the musical save the city from hawkeye disney+
rogers: the musical save the city from hawkeye disney+

The Rogers Musical Was First Inspired By The Idea Of Hawkeye’s Reaction To It

Watching Hawkeye, you might think that the inclusion of Rogers! The Musical was purely manifested by the efforts of a musical theater geek to mesh together the MCU with their favorite genre. As it turns out, the origins are a bit more comedically cynical. Speaking with CinemaBlend in 2021, director Rhys Thomas explained that the “original conception” of the “I Can Do This All Day” number wasn’t about making a bold, bombastic stage production, but instead thinking about what would make Clint Barton groan.

According to Thomas, he “had this image of Jeremy [Renner]’s world-weary face sitting in a Broadway theater watching it,” and that inspired all kinds of ideas. Apparently this includes the representation of Scott Lang at the Battle of New York: “Putting Ant-Man in there….that feels funny. It was just all about, again, anything that annoys Clint, that felt right.”

Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) with Pizza Dog in Hawkeye
Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) with Pizza Dog in Hawkeye

Hailee Steinfeld Made Extra Behind The Scenes Efforts To Create A Relationship With Pizza Dog

Hailee Steinfeld worked hard behind the scenes to be the best Kate Bishop she could be in the making of Hawkeye. She was thoughtful about the character’s comic book history, had conversations with filmmakers about who Kate is and where she comes from, and she trained extensively for all of the required fight choreography. Oh, and she also made special efforts to create the best possible on-screen chemistry between the young archer and her canine friend Pizza Dog.

Animal trainer Jaquelyn Johnson talks about Hailee Steinfeld’s relationship with Jolt, the Golden Retriever who plays Pizza Dog, in Marvel Studios Assembled: The Making Of Hawkeye, and she mentions that the actors had the chance to bond prior to production. Steinfeld gave Jolt treats and pets, and by the time it came to shooting, they were well on their way to becoming “good friends.”

Vincent D'Onofrio on Hawkeye
Vincent D'Onofrio on Hawkeye

Kevin Feige Pitched Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin Being The Big Bad During A Zoom Meeting, And The Suggestion Dropped Jaws

For the longest time, there was a question regarding whether or not the Marvel Netflix shows (Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Defenders) counted as part of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe continuity. Hawkeye contributed to answering that question in a big way with the reveal of Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk a.k.a. Kingpin in its final episodes. Fans were delighted to see the actor back in the role on screen when the character made his Disney+ debut – but what you may not know is that the filmmakers behind the show had their own parallel experience when they learned that getting D’Onofrio involved with the production was an option on the table.

In Marvel Studios Assembled: The Making Of Hawkeye, Trinh Tran discusses how it all happened. The Hawkeye filmmakers were on a Zoom call with Kevin Feige, and he was the one who pitched Kingpin as the show’s secret big bad. The suggestion dropped the jaws of the others who were on the video chat, and everyone immediately began pondering whether or not Vincent D’Onofrio would do it. Feige placed a call, and evidently it didn’t take much convincing to get the actor back in the white suit he was born to wear on screen.

Vincent D'Onofrio as Kingpin in Hawkeye
Vincent D'Onofrio as Kingpin in Hawkeye

Kingpin’s Costume In The Finale Is A Direct Reference To A Specific Spider-Man Comic

When Kingpin shows up in the finale of Hawkeye, he wears a costume that is quite different than the threads he typically wore in Daredevil. Rather than donning one of his bespoke button downs with French cuffs, he instead wears a bright Hawaiian shirt with a red coloring that provides a sharp contrast to his jacket and slacks. Casual Marvel fans may question this sartorial choice, but the reality is that it’s a look taken straight from the comics.

Vincent D’Onofrio confirmed to CinemaBlend in a December 2021 interview that Kingpin’s Hawkeye finale look is specifically influenced by Amazing Spider-Man: Family Business – a 2013 comic from writers Mark Waid and James Robinson and artist Gabriele Dell'otto. The actor had that depiction of Wilson Fisk as his screensaver, and he specifically collaborated with the Disney+ show’s costume designer to bring that look to life.

Hawkeye cast
Hawkeye cast

There Was Another Finale End Credits Scene That Got Cut

There aren’t many opportunities to do full-on musical numbers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so the fact that one is in Hawkeye is special – and the filmmakers clearly recognized that fact. In addition to being the center of a key sequence in the first episode, Rogers! The Musical is also showcased in the end credits scene coda of the finale (a position of significance in the history of the MCU). It’s a delightful performance, but one downside of its inclusion at the very end of the Marvel show is that we didn’t get to see another extra bit that was meant to be included.

Hawkeye visual effects artist Elaina Scott revealed on Twitter in December 2021 that the original end credits scene in the finale was going to cap off a funny comedic beat of the episode’s big battle sequence. During the fight, a van full of Tracksuit Mafia members is shrunk by a Pym Particle arrow, and the vehicle is promptly scooped up by an owl. The extra scene that ended up being cut involved the van being dropped in its final destination: the bird’s nest. It would have been a funny moment, but I think it’s safe to say that most fans are satisfied with the reprise of “I Can Do This All Day.”

All six episodes of Hawkeye are available to stream with a Disney+ subscription, as is the documentary Marvel Studios Assembled: The Making Of Hawkeye. For further journeys inside the world of the MCU, head back to CinemaBlend next week for the latest edition of Marvel Mondays, and join us in counting down the days to the premiere of Loki Season 2 on October 5.