Disney has had a busy week. In the midst of the Star Wars Celebration (see our coverage here on SciFi4Me TV), they announced a launch date for their new Disney+ streaming service at the April 10th Investors Day, and they also provided a complete line up of the programming. As expected, this included the Star Wars franchise, Marvel, Pixar, and National Geographic, along with Fox favorites The Simpsons and Malcolm in the Middle. For many Marvel fans, two surprises were dropped in this list.
First was the announcement of a Hawkeye series with Jeremy Renner attached to star. Avengers alumnus Hawkeye will be the fourth show from the MCU to live on the new service as a standalone series, following Loki, Vision and Scarlet Witch, and Falcon and Winter Soldier.
The project is said to follow Renner’s Clint Barton taking on the new alter ego “Ronin” and passing the “Hawkeye” torch to Kate Bishop, who is a member of the group known as the Young Avengers. Fans have speculated who will and who will not survive Avengers: Endgame and with the announcement of this show, it appears Hawkeye will. The movie gives him a chance to take on the Ronin persona and pave the way for Bishop.
The real question will be how they plan on portraying Barton and Bishop. The 2012 Hawkeye series written by Matt Fraction and drawn by David Aja shows him as a regular guy trying to bring good to the world while fighting evil. No powers, just immature, messy, and maybe not the most organized superhero. A very different character than how the MCU has portrayed him. Kate Bishop, on the other hand, is more skilled, smooth, and sarcastic. Which direction the TV series will take Hawkeye is not known since they will have to work around the MCU take.
There have been no talks on who they will cast as Bishop, only that Renner will be a part of the series. Like the other three MCU shows, this one is expected to have six to eight episodes, and produced by Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige with large budgets.
The second surprise announcement, or more finally confirmed, was the What If series. The animated show is inspired by the comic books of the same name. They explore a pivotal moment in the MCU and change it to see what the possible outcomes could be.
The first episode will focus on fan favorite Peggy Carter and what would have happened had she, not Steve Rogers, taken the serum to become a super solder. Rogers would still have joined the fight, but with a suit made by Howard Stark. What would have happened had Captain America stayed “Skinny Steve”? The original actors, Hayley Atwell, Chris Evans, and Dominic Cooper are likely to return to voice their roles.
Feige told investors that this series would allow Marvel’s creative team to “tell new long-form stories in ways never done before” and that the TV series would also offer “the same level of quality you would expect from Marvel Studios.” He also emphasized the story lines would coverage across the TV series and movies.
These series are expected to debut within the first year of the Disney+ launch.