The following digs into spoilers for the new Disney+ show, Hawkeye. You might want to go watch the first two episodes if you haven’t seen them yet.
One massive goal for the new Disney+ series Hawkeye is to introduce the MCU to Kate Bishop, a skilled archer and die-hard fan of Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) who has teamed up with him often in the Marvel Comics books, but is coming to life on screen for the first time thanks to Hailee Steinfeld. As we catch up with young Kate in the opening scenes of Hawkeye, we’re told that it’s 2012 — which, for MCU fans, means the time of The Avengers. And we discover that Kate Bishop was in Manhattan for the Battle of New York, and that devastating turning point. When we got time with Hawkeye producer Trin Trahn recently, we asked her when it’s OK for a new Marvel show to dip back into the MCU history, and her explanation is found in the video above.
It can be a difficult trick to pull off. You don’t want to keep going back into the pre-established history of the MCU, because any changes that you make can have a ripple effect on what we’ve already seen. This is partially what makes the time-travel heist in Avengers: Endgame so complicated, because present-day Avengers characters go back into multiple MCU movies, and when they do interfere, they create timeline rifts that lead to Disney+ shows like Loki.
Having Kate be a young girl during the Battle of New York, and lean toward archery because she saw Hawkeye in action, is actually a cool motivator for her character. As Trin Trahn explained to CinemaBlend:
It’s times like this, I really wish we all could travel to Marvel Studios’ headquarters and see the white board (boards?) around the office keeping track of the MCU timeline and seeing where every character is at any given time. There are moments when Captain Marvel reverses back to the 1990s, or WandaVision walks us through Wanda’s past to see how Tony Stark inadvertently messed with her childhood. These moments are significant, but they can’t mess with the timeline that has been established, because Marvel fans pay very close attention to those details. Probably too much!
Hawkeye has begun streaming on Disney+ with its first two episodes waiting for subscribers right now. It will be a six-episode season, so get on board before the story gets too far down the line.