Hawkeye wasted no time in knocking Clint Barton back into the hero game, and after three episodes, he has the bumps and bruises to prove it. Still, he seems far more comfortable battling bad guys than sitting in the audience for Rogers: The Musical and watching the big climax of The Avengers turned into a musical extravaganza… featuring Ant-Man, of all people. The songwriters behind Rogers: The Musical spoke to CinemaBlend about the notes that Marvel had for the big “Save The City” number, including why a musical version of Scott Lang had a part to play with the Avengers.
Composer Marc Shaiman and lyricist Scott Wittman are longtime collaborators coming from backgrounds in Broadway, television, and film, and “Save The City” in Hawkeye proved that they brought their musical magic touch to the MCU. And luckily for Shaiman, he already had a background in Marvel, thanks to his husband as – to quote Shaiman – “a full Marvel nerd” who explained all the movies and the mythology behind them.
Scott Wittman, on the other hand, watched all the MCU films during the pandemic and wound up, as he said, “totally immersed by the end of a couple of weeks in the universe and loving it,” which involved at one point watching three films in one day. Marc Shaiman shared how they used their MCU knowledge to bring Marvel’s “very specific idea” to create Rogers: The Musical:
If “Save The City” was the closing number for the first act with the musical version of The Avengers’ Battle of New York, then Rogers: The Musical must have had a lot going on in the second act! Most of the audience in the first episode of Hawkeye seemed to be loving it, but it’s hard to blame Clint for having some issues with watching a singing and dancing version of himself, not to mention seeing a version of Black Widow in musical action. Scott Wittman elaborated on how the song calling on heroes to save the city really came to be:
Fortunately, even though Rogers: The Musical clearly took some hilarious liberties with what actually happened within the MCU, the production stuck with the good guys winning the day in The Avengers. The song actually had to accomplish a lot in not much time, as Marc Shaiman explained:
Fans watching from home could appreciate the humor of both the over-the-top musical number and watching poor Clint squirm, even if Clint himself didn’t see much in it to enjoy. As Scott Wittman pointed out, this sort of humor was a goal for the song:
But why exactly was it important to include Ant-Man, of all people? The Battle of New York of the Avengers vs. the Chitauri and Loki of course happened in The Avengers back in 2012, while Ant-Man didn’t premiere until 2015. When I asked what kind of creative notes Marvel gave them for writing the musical, Scott Wittman explained that Ant-Man’s inclusion came as a “request from Marvel that he’d be there,” and Marc Shaiman broke down why it worked so well:
I can’t speak for anybody else, but I didn’t know that I desperately needed a song with “–and get shawarma when we’re done!” as part of the triumphant rallying cry of heroes saving the world until Hawkeye’s preview of Rogers: The Musical. And honestly, what makes Ant-Man’s inclusion even funnier is that he was mentioned in the song before Hawkeye was, which had to make it all the more cringe-worthy for Clint.
But will we ever see more of Rogers: The Musical? The third episode featured a sign for the musical, but that doesn’t mean that Clint will change his tune about the show and decide to catch another performance. While only time will tell on that front, Marvel did release the full version of “Save The City” that is definitely worth checking out:
See what’s next for Clint and Kate with new episodes of Hawkeye releasing on Wednesdays on Disney+. The plot is thickening quickly with new characters debuting, and possibly hinting at the return of a familiar face. And if you need some MCU action even beyond the show, you can find plenty of Marvel content on the Disney streamer as well.
Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.