Having a tool like Disney+ to grow the MCU, has changed the way of how Marvel Studio tells stories.
2021 has provided fans with a look into the future of the biggest cinematic franchise of all time. After 23 movies over 11 years, the Infinity Saga closed the Golden Age of Marvel movies. In those 23 movies, Kevin Feige and company were able to introduce a wide variety of characters, villains, worlds, and now universes. This effort all led up to a climactic cinematic event that simultaneously wrapped up the Infinity Saga and launched fans into the future of the franchise.
A major player in that future is Disney+ and merging the stories of movies and television. So, in this new era characters that were once supporting players have now gotten a chance to become the faces of the franchise. Disney+ stories, so far, have adapted to the character attached to the title. Every series has a unique and genuinely personal style that replicates the theater entries in the MCU.
With the "superhero formula" in constant debate online, how does Marvel Studios make these projects feel unique not just from the films they connect with, but from each other as well?
How Does Hawkeye Compare to Other Marvel Shows?
The Executive Producer of Hawkeye is Trihn Tran, who has been a part of Marvel Studios since 2008. The Direct spoke with Tran about wanting to make Hawkeye "different" from not just other MCU movies, but also the other Disney+ series that have released in 2021:
"How do we make this different? Coming off of Infinity War and Endgame, big world-ending, with so many heroes involved, Hawkeye felt like it made sense to have more of a personal stake in the story, especially given that Clint is a family man. The family element is really important to him, which is why it's set during the holiday season. The big moment is, 'Is he going to be able to make it home in time for Christmas?'"
Tran went on to talk about how Clint Barton has personal problems outside Avengers-level threats, specifically stemming from Clint's "family man" quality, which allows Hawkeye to be a unique installment in the MCU:
"After Endgame, he lost his family for five years. Got them back, but has lost that time and space with his kids. So he is making up for it. So yes, there is a level of more of an intimate personal story we're trying to tell here. And it made sense. It really just depends on the character and the property. It really made sense for this particular one."
Hawkeye is set to spend more time with Clint Barton than ever before. Hawkeye is the last of the original six Avengers to receive a title project, after a decade in the universe.
The Universe Is Expanding
2021 will be remembered as the year that the MCU changed forever. Due to a variety of pandemic-related delays, this calendar has been stacked with more content than ever before. Not only is 2021 the year the most movies (4) have ever been released within the universe, but it is also featured as the first five streaming series in the MCU.
A hot start is an understatement, as WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier were released virtually back to back, providing nearly 4 months of nonstop MCU content. Only to be followed up by Loki and What If..? which controlled the middle part of the calendar for the red brand. Marvel Studios is now closing out a year of streaming dominance with the holiday series, Hawkeye.
Both WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier took very different approaches to exploring the characters at the helm after their setups in Endgame. WandaVision follows Wanda Maximoff recovering from the loss of Vision and spending 9 episodes dealing with grief. By the end of her run, she has developed into the Scarlet Witch and is a bigger player on the MCU board than ever before. While TFATWS takes a look at Sam Wilson receiving the shield from Steve Rogers and truly discovering what it means to be Captain America. This is done through a 6-episode geopolitical thriller featuring Bucky Barnes.
And while WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier expanded on major players in the MCU, both shows were surprisingly grounded and contained to those characters in the Marvel Universe. Loki, on the other hand, decided to put the pedal down a bit more as the show expands the universe on a metaphysical level, questioning fate, free will, and the existence of all living things. While also properly introducing the MCU multiverse that was later explored in What If..?
Hawkeye takes fans back to the character development side of things, as this is another contained story focusing on Clint Barton and Kate Bishop. And grounded doesn't even begin to explain the street-level quality this show has. Fans of the Marvel Netflix universe featuring Daredevil and the Punisher will recognize and appreciate just how grounded this gets.
Being able to identify the scale at which each character's story should be told has been a major asset to the creatives at Marvel Studios. Even in movies, audiences have seen a variety of characters deal with a variety of problems that properly develop their development and the universe at the same time. This is what makes these big team-up event movies seem so effortlessly cohesive. Getting to know these characters in their own unique way is an asset when bringing them on screen together for crossovers and ensemble projects.
Hawkeye gets to really flex that muscle while diving into a character that fans barely know, while also introducing a character that is being anticipated as a future MCU captain. So, while the multiverse is ever-present, dark magic is on the board, and there is a new Captain America, it is time to take a step back and simply hang out with Clint, Kate, and Pizza Dog.
Hawkeye drops its first two episodes on November 24.