Warning: spoilers ahead for Hawkeye.
It’s already been a week since Hawkeye came to an end on Disney Plus, but we’re already missing seeing Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) and Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) on our screens.
The finale of the Marvel TV series set up several exciting new directions for the MCU to follow in future, including further development of Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), the upcoming Echo spin-off focusing on Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox) and the hopeful return of Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio).
We had lots of questions concerning cliffhangers, Easter Eggs and behind-the-scenes secrets following episode six, so we decided to go to one of the people who worked on the production for answers.
After the finale aired, Metro.co.uk caught up with Rhys Thomas, who directed the first, second and sixth episodes of Hawkeye and was also an executive producer on the show.
He opened up about ‘deep cut’ Easter Eggs, scenes that had to be changed or cut and how Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige was instrumental in making Rogers: The Musical a reality.
A Kate Bishop Easter Egg even eagle-eyed fans might have missed
Diehard Marvel fans rarely let even the smallest Easter Egg pass them by in the MCU TV shows and films.
However, there was a nod to Kate Bishop in the comics that may have been difficult to spot, if it was even discernible in the episode.
Describing the Easter Egg as ‘super deep cut’, Rhys said: ‘I don’t even know if you can see it because of the way the scene’s edited.’
He explained that at the end of episode two and the beginning of episode three when Kate and Clint are being kept captive by the Tracksuit Mafia in the warehouse, viewers should pay attention to a flickering light in the background.
‘This is a super deep cut, but I’m going to say it because it amused me. There’s a sort of display and the light is flickering. Our board operator, he’s worked on other Marvel projects, I think including Guardians of the Galaxy, he’s a huge Marvel fan,’ Rhys stated.
‘In the flickering lights he frequently programmes Morse code, and so that light is actually flickering the date of the first Kate Bishop issue of Hawkeye.’
He said that the member of the crew has ‘done it before on other movies that he’s worked on’, adding: ‘So that’s one that I think people would be very hard-pressed to spot’.
Praising the fans as ‘amazing’ for the way they ‘dig out’ the tiniest of details, Rhys also opened up about an Easter Egg he wanted to include in the show that had to be cut.
‘An Easter Egg that I wanted to put in, that we did work on for a little bit but then time got away from us – I was going to put in the episode of Winter Friends, which is a little mini moment within the Matt Fraction comic book run,’ he said.
‘There’s this show that Clint watches with the kids, and we started down the line of making that episode and I worked with Matt Fraction a little bit on figuring it out. The idea of it was it would just be Lucky – Pizza Dog – would be watching TV, and it would just be a moment of him watching this that the audience get to see.’
Rogers: The Musical might not have happened without Kevin Feige
Since Rogers: The Musical was introduced to the world in Hawkeye, some fans are hoping a full-length version of the production will be made in real life.
Rhys said that while they only had time in the Hawkeye schedule to ‘go for that one song’, it was ‘something that I know Kevin really enjoyed’, as ‘from the moment we started talking about it, he was just excited about the absurdity of doing it’.
The director initially ‘threw it out as a silly idea’, because he’d seen a mention of a Rogers musical appearing on a billboard in a script, although it was never explored further.
However, when he put it forward in a meeting, he brought up the idea ‘with a bit of a wince’, thinking that it was ‘stupid’ and the others wouldn’t want to proceed. To his surprise, Kevin ‘seized on it right away’.
‘I then immediately tried backtracking on it because I suddenly realised, “Oh wait, hang on, I’ve just said I’m going to make a Steve Rogers musical,” and in the MCU, what the hell does that mean? How do we do it? What is it? It immediately terrified me,’ the executive producer recalled.
‘But in all fairness, Kevin held tight, and was like, “No, we’re doing it,” with Rhys being told by the boss: ‘It was your idea, you can’t back out on this.’
Finale breakdown, from Mockingbird Easter Egg to altered fight scene
The finale of Hawkeye left the door open for several intriguing plot points, including the cliffhanger teasing Kingpin’s fate.
It also semi-confirmed a theory fans had discussed about Clint’s wife Laura, as it was revealed that she either was or had a connection to Agent 19, otherwise known as Mockingbird.
When asked what the future could hold for that storyline, Rhys stressed that it’s out of his hands.
‘In terms of where that goes, it’s above me, but it was fun,’ he said.
‘We’ve always seen Laura sort of there by Clint’s side at home and I think so the fun of teasing out or bringing out this aspect of her past was a pretty fun little thing to throw in and do, but I don’t know where that goes.’
Another aspect of the finale that Rhys shed further light on was the fight that Clint has with Kazi (Fra Fee), as it turns out the sequence was supposed to be longer and include another key character.
‘The Kazi and Clint fight in the office, there was going to be a much longer sequence where Clint was going to take down all of the TSM [Tracksuit Mafia] in a sort of almost Ronin-like way, that you’d sort of see this stealthy side, and it was going to be a much longer sequence, that we ended up just truncating and Yelena was going to come up in the office as well,’ he explained.
‘That was just a moving target of both script and logistics and stunt coordination and visual effects, all of this planning. It was a lot, for sure.’
The possibility of Spider-Man and Ant-Man cameos
Ahead of the season finale of Hawkeye, some fans speculated whether Spider-Man could swing by in a cameo, considering No Way Home was set around the same time as the Marvel series.
While an appearance from the webslinger didn’t come to pass, Rhys shared that he did ask the question, although it wasn’t extensively discussed.
‘I think I asked that question too, because I was just like, we’re in New York and especially in this finale, there’s a lot going down here, it feels like someone might come to help and he’s doing this all by himself,’ he said.
However, he then added: ‘But we never really talked about whether that would happen or not.’
Nonetheless, Rhys was interested in a cameo from another Avenger, considering the ‘fun, amusing’ relationship Jeremy has with Ant-Man star Paul Rudd.
Admitting that he considered the possibility of seeing Ant-Man and Clint ‘interact’, he said that ‘ultimately, we had a lot of characters in the show’ and so it was determined that ‘we’re going to keep it focused to him’.
How the return of Kingpin after Daredevil was kept ‘top secret’
While it was speculated that Vincent would return as Kingpin in Hawkeye, having portrayed Wilson Fisk in the Daredevil Netflix show, it was officially confirmed at the end of episode five, before he burst onto the screen in the episode six finale.
Rhys confessed that it was ‘tricky’ keeping Vincent’s involvement a secret.
‘It was incredibly difficult. It was introduced as a very hush hush, top secret idea. I literally didn’t tell anyone at home, I kept it as clean as possible because it was sort of for fear of death, do not say anything,’ he said.
The actor would ‘walk between his trailer and the set in a big black cape with a hood on it’, in an outfit that ‘resembled Voldemort’, the former Saturday Night Live producer said.
me out loud anywhere, and the set was very closed,’ he recollected.
‘They took it very seriously because you just didn’t want to spoil things getting to this last episode. Holding it until this last episode was, that was a tricky thing to walk.’
Rhys admitted that he feared the cameo becoming public knowledge when Vincent ‘interacted with a tweet or something from somebody and people immediately pounced on it’.
However, amid the rumours, the secret was protected, with Vincent referred to as ‘the boss’ on set.
Hawkeye is available to watch on Disney Plus.Credit: Original article published here.