Last year's Marvel Studios Disney+ show Hawkeye has been regarded as one of the best MCU offerings on the service yet. The story saw Jeremy Renner's Avenger caught in a Christmas mess with newcomer Kate Bishop, played by Hailee Steinfeld. The two of them went on to go up against the Tracksuit Mafia, Maya Lopez, and even the Kingpin himself.
Phase 4 has been all about introducing new blood to the wider cinematic universe, but Hawkeye seemed to do the most in that regard. For one, it introduced Bishop, who will no doubt go on to play a massive role in future storylines and potentially even join the Young Avengers––who's yet to be formed.
Then there's also Alaqua Cox's Maya Lopez, whose Native American deaf character had a personal grudge against Ronin––one which was promptly redirected to Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin, having been brought back into the loop from his previous show, Daredevil. She will also end up leading her own Disney+ series, Echo, at some point in the future.
There was, however, one character that was introduced who didn't get very far in terms of establishment in the wider lore: Tony Dalton's Jack Duquesne. In the comics, Jack goes on to become the Swordsman, a mentor and key figure in Clint Barton's life––he even goes on to become a temporary member of the Avengers in some stories.
So, where could the character end up after the events of Hawkeye?
The Future of Swordsman
During the Marvel Studios: Assembled episode focused on the Disney+ series Hawkeye, executive producer Trinh Tran commented on bringing Tony Dalton's Jack Duquesne to the screen.
Tran confirmed that they "wanted him to be the red herring" throughout the season; audiences should be asking themselves: "is he really faking it?:"
"With Jack’s character, we wanted him to be the red herring, we wanted people to really question whether or not he is acting as sort of like a buffoon, I guess, in a way, this entire time, or is he really faking it?”
In the comics, the character is supposed to be the Swordsman. The producer explained that while he's both "mentor" and "villain" to Hawkeye in the source material, they "wanted a different twist to it:"
“We really wanted to bring in Jack Duquesne, who in the comics is supposed to be Swordsman, and Swordsman in the comics is Clint Barton’s mentor. He taught Clint how to do archery and really is also a villain in the end. We wanted to explore that character, bring him into the series, but wanted a different twist to it.”
Tony Dalton, the man behind the character, revealed that his "brother got [him] all these comics books" about Swordsman to help him with the role. His takeaway? Duquesne was "this swashbuckler kind of Erol Flynn type of character:"
"My brother got me all these comic books about The Swordsman that were printed all these years back. So I just kinda, you know, got into it, see what this guy was like, and it was sort of this swashbuckler kind of Erol Flynn type of character. So I tried to kind of instill that a little bit into the character, this sort of debonair, kind of very classy sort of kind of guy, you know?”
The actor also noted the odd coincidence of how "[he'd] taken fencing... back in the day," which lined up well with his newly cast role:
""When I got the part, I hired a professional fencer, and we went at it for weeks. I’d taken fencing, oddly enough, back in the day. I took a couple of semesters back in college, so I knew what I was doing. But I needed to refresh it. It has been a long time."
Tran went on to tease the character's future in the MCU, saying that his mysterious end in Hawkeye "will actually allow a lot more opportunities down the line:"
“Kate does this one little smart move on him that he deflects. And we wanted to leave his character at the end as a mystery. And that will actually allow a lot more opportunities down the line if we want to explore Swordsman in the MCU.”
Where Will Swordsman Strike Next?
Tony Dalton is such a great actor, and it would be a shame not to use him in a more complex capacity. Not that his time in Hawkeye was detrimental to his role, but hopefully, in the future, Marvel will be able to utilize his abilities more––though, he was certainly a fun red herring.
It would be hard for the character to be somehow involved with Clint Barton's earlier life like he is in the comics, especially since the two met face-to-face, and no recognition was exchanged, past him being an Avenger. Given his swordsmanship, maybe he could still have a few lessons to depart.
With how he was used in Hawkeye, it is difficult to even predict a trajectory for the character––though there are plenty of mysterious threads for future storytellers to play with. Like, for one, how did he get out of his jail time predicament so easily?
Either way, exploring dangling plot lines and forgotten characters is the MCU's bread and butter. Have no doubt that Tony Dalton will be playing Jack Duquesne once again... probably.
Hawkeye is now streaming exclusively on Disney+.