Trinh Tran on ‘Hawkeye’: There is humour and heart

The executive producer of the mini-series describes it as a fun adventure between Clint Barton and his protégé and super fan, Kate Bishop

Have you wondered at the role of superheroes in the post-pandemic world? According to Trinh Tran, one of the executive producers of Hawkeye, the fifth show from MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) streaming on a digital screen near you, they are dealing with it in different ways. “Speaking specifically for Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), the struggle is of losing his family and having them back, and the loss of his best friend, Natasha,” says Tran over a video call from Los Angeles.

“The events of Avengers: Endgame has put him in a headspace where he is trying to figure out survivor’s guilt. He is also wondering if he is going to lose his family again. That is his mind-set at the start of the series. His guard is up. Is he going to allow someone like Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld), come into his life?”

(L-R): Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) Hawkeye, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Mary Cybulski. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. | Photo Credit: Mary Cybulski

Family first

The six-episode mini-series is different from the ones that have come before in its look, tone and action. Tran says this was by design. “We were trying to figure out how we can set this particular story apart from all of the other ones that are in the works or have been released such as Wanda Vision, Loki, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.”

The show, set a year after the events of Avengers Endgame, sees Clint trying to get home for the holidays. Family is the focus of the show, says Tran and what better way to do that than during the holiday season. “There is the emotional aspect of Clint having lost his family during the five-year blip. This is the first time they are going to be spending Christmas together.”

Tran describes the show as a fun adventure between Clint and his protégé and super fan, Kate. “There is humour and heart. It is set in the holidays in New York where we see both characters bond over their journey on a mission together.”

Blast from the past

The show explores Hawkeye’s Ronin avatar when he wreaked vengeance on those who survived the blip. “There was only one scene with Clint as Ronin in Avengers: Endgame. There were more opportunities to go back to gain insight to that past. We wanted to explore what it meant for Clint to change from Ronin to Hawkeye once he had his family back. How did he cope with the fact that he had turned into this different person.”

While it was not the best thing the character did, Clint felt that he was doing the right thing at that time, says Tran. “How his actions come back to haunt him affects his perception of who he is and how his family feel about him. We brought a part of his past into his life and pushed the boundaries of how far we can go with that storyline.”

Right fit

Making sure Kate Bishop landed correctly, in a way that fits into the MCU was important says Tran. “We wanted to ensure she connects with Clint in an emotional way.”

Speaking about casting, Tran says a few names were discussed for Kate. “When Haley came to meet with us, we knew that she was the right person in the way she carried herself and spoke. It felt like that was the Kate Bishop that we were looking for. At the end of the meeting, we knew that she was going to bring that vision to life. We have an amazing cast on this series including Vera Farmiga (Kate’s mum, Eleanor), one of my favourite actors, and Tony Dalton (Jack, Eleanor’s fiancée).”

Singing and dancing

One of the fun moments in the show is Rogers the Musical, a hilarious musical on The Avengers. “I love Rogers the Musical,” Tran says laughing. “It started off as a small idea that we wanted to put in the background of the story. It grew and we were excited about something like that actually being a part of the MCU. It turned into an idea and escalated into an event. We thought it would be fun to have all of the Avengers invited to an event like this with no one except Clint turning up…”

The Hawkeye story started off as a movie, Tran says. “As we were researching and trying to figure out the story, we realised there was so much rich material in the Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye comic run. We wondered how we were going to introduce a new character and have enough time to tell their stories. We figured why not move Hawkeye over to Disney Plus so that we would have six hours to dive into the character’s backstory.”

Hawkeye streams on Disney+ Hotstar in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam

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