One of the biggest mysteries headed into Avengers: Endgame is which of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will live and which ones won’t make it out alive. And in a roundabout way, it seems like Marvel Studios has revealed that Hawkeye (played by Jeremy Renner) will live to see another day.
Marvel has been keeping everything that happens in Endgame tightly under wraps, but its announcement of a new Disney+ series starring Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye is what may have given away the surprise.
“The project is said to be an adventure series in which Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye, will pass the torch to Kate Bishop,” Variety reported, explaining that it was a limited series in its early development stages and does not have a name yet.
Bishop hasn’t been introduced in any Marvel movie yet, meaning the earliest we could see her is in Endgame (Marvel hasn’t announced that Bishop has officially been cast, nor does she appear in the movie’s credits on IMDB). And to be able to actually pass a torch to Bishop, Barton would ostensibly still need to exist after the events of Endgame. The series couldn’t be a prequel, since Barton hasn’t even met Bishop or relinquished his Hawkeye name yet. But in Endgame, Barton is expected to take on a new alter ego of “Ronin,” possibly introducing a way into bequeathing his Hawkeye code name to Bishop.
It’s similar to the Marvel heroes with future sequels (see: Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and the Guardians of the Galaxy) in the mix — because Marvel is making more movies featuring actors on multi-movie contracts, some of the MCU heroes can’t actually die permanently in Endgame.
Although Marvel hasn’t confirmed when the show is set or what its source material is, the Bishop and Hawkeye show seems like it will borrow from the 2012 Hawkeye series written by Matt Fraction and drawn by David Aja. In that imagining, Clint Barton was just a regular guy doing his part to bring some good into the world while fighting evil along the way — he wasn’t super powerful, like Doctor Strange or Thor or Captain Marvel. He was also immature, messy, and maybe not the most efficient superhero. Kate Bishop, his more skilled, smooth, and sardonic partner (who is also a beloved character with a dedicated fandom), cut through all of that.
Any Marvel fan will tell you that the Hawkeye in Fraction and Aja’s comic and the Hawkeye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are very different guys. MCU’s Hawkeye, if you recall from Age of Ultron, has saved money for a small hideaway cabin in the woods and is a dad to two children — not a pizza-eating, Netflix-bingeing, irresponsible bachelor like in the comics. It’s unclear how this series will reconcile the two takes on Hawkeye and whether that means adding a few new wrinkles to his relationship with Bishop. The show is still in its development stages, and the Disney streaming service it will appear on, Disney+, hasn’t even launched yet. The show is scheduled to premiere at the end of the year, however — after Endgame has come out and answered whether Hawkeye lives or dies.