What Hawkeye Almost Ended Up Looking Like
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What Hawkeye Almost Ended Up Looking Like

August 11, 2019


Somehow, in movies filled with larger-than-life,
super-powered characters, the totally regular dude with the bow and arrow still managed
to become a fan favorite. It’s pretty unlikely, when you think about
it, that Clint Barton better known by his superheroic alias of Hawkeye would ever become
so popular. But that’s exactly what happened, and his
upcoming return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Avengers: Endgame is generating tons of
hype among the MCU’s most ardent fans. Who cares about that whole “beat Thanos and
resurrect half the universe’s population” thing? Hawkeye’s back, and he’s got a new outfit! “None of this makes sense.” But sometimes what a character wears in a
movie is nearly as important as what the character actually does, and Hawkeye’s no different. That’s why it’s interesting to imagine an
alternate universe where Hawkeye had a different look on the big screen. For that thought exercise, we turn to our
exclusive interview with Charlie Wen, former head of visual development at Marvel Studios,
who dropped some knowledge about the direction he and his team almost went when designing
Hawkeye’s threads. Believe it or not, Hawkeye originally got
started in the masked adventuring game not because he wanted to make a difference in
the world, not because of some kind of trauma that forced him into a life of archery, and
not because he was bitten by a radioactive arrow. No, it was because he was working at a carnival
sideshow and got jealous of how much people loved Iron Man. That’s seriously it. Now, with that kind of origin story one in
which a guy decides to be a costumed crimefighter purely out of spite it’s no surprise that
the first version of the outfit he put together leaves a lot to be desired. That original outfit eventually morphed into
the more or less classic blue and purple costume that the character is best known for. But let’s be real: neither of these outfits
ever had any hope of making it onto the big screen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of Hawkeye’s most influential changes
occured in 2002, when Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch launched The Ultimates sort of a modern
version of the original Avengers team. Ultimate Hawkeye wears a sort of tactical
espionage outfit and a pair of shades. There isn’t anything particularly iconic or
even memorable about it, but it does look much more realistic… and far less ridiculous
than his traditional comic book purple. Charlie Wen explained that when designing
Hawkeye’s cinematic appearances in Thor and Avengers, the art from the first two Ultimates
runs penciled by Bryan Hitch, served as an overall inspiration. “I know we definitely referenced a lot of
Bryan Hitch’s work on the Ultimates.” Wen explained that the work he was doing for
Avengers was a departure from the comic books we all grew up reading even though the movies
of the MCU are well known for how close they stuck to the source material. “The kind of stories that I was telling was
definitely a lot more grown up stories, right? Not the kind that we grew up with. So were the costumes, it was a little bit
more gritty, a little bit more earthy.” “In Avengers, I was creating the Hawkeye
for something that was more urban.” “It’s not like he was in this whole superhero
world at all. He’s a normal guy.” About a year after The Avengers hit theaters,
another long-awaited superhero project started gathering steam: the Netflix series Daredevil,
starring Charlie Cox. And while Wen didn’t actually work on the
Daredevil project it seems that great minds really do think alike. According to Wen, he thought his approach
to Clint Barton’s cinematic design managed to find its way on-screen anyway, just in
the form of Netflix’s take on Matt Murdock. “So In a way, maybe I was envisioning a little
more of what eventually became Daredevil, for the Netflix series much later. That’s kind of the feel that I was thinking
about when I was doing that version of Hawkeye.” Crucial to Wen’s approach, he said, were the
qualities that definitively make Hawkeye less “super” and more “human”: “You know, I wanted to make sure that I also
portrayed a version that was more urban and more about a family guy. Who is Hawkeye as a person?” That vision of the character eventually appeared
along with Hawkeye’s wife and kids by the time Avengers: Age of Ultron hit theaters
in 2015. Funnily enough, that movie featured a costume
design that hewed even more closely to Hawkeye’s classic, non-Ultimate comic book design. Throughout the character’s existence, not
only has Clint Barton changed outfits with some regularity, he’s even changed identities. In the ’70s, he got mixed up with Hank Pym’s
size-changing gizmos and took on the identity of Goliath. And in the 2000s, Hawkeye took on yet another
super-alias: Ronin, a black-clad martial artist who’s as good at using a sword as he is a
bow and arrow. Meanwhile, the MCU’s version of Hawkeye seems
to have been fully reinvented yet again. The trailers for 2019’s Avengers: Endgame
revealed that Clint Barton seems to have shed his Hawkeye identity in favor of what appears
to be the cinematic debut of the Ronin outfit. While we don’t yet have much information about
what may have prompted the character’s latest change of clothes, it goes without saying
that Wen’s work designing a grounded, realistic version of Clint Barton undoubtedly had a
huge influence on the Hawkeye we’ve grown to know and love. Check out one of our newest videos right here. Plus, even more exclusive Looper videos with
Charlie Wen about the creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I wish you would die in New York battle Looper. You guys are really crap. It's been 1 month and you still are posting Endgame video! Seriously?

  2. Would’ve loved it tho if they gave him a cap styled cowl in dark purple. If they could update cap they could most definitely update Hawkeye.

  3. 98% of people won’t see this but I wanted to say

    👇🏻Enjoy👇🏻

    for the 2% of people I hope you have a successful future and all your dreams come true and accomplish more than you can dream of, have a nice day! And remember to stay positive, and don’t forget to smile 😃 and stay awesome 👍🏻 from a śmåłł ŷöûtúbėr mŷśëłf😉I WILL APPRECIATE ANY SUPPORT❤️🙏🏼

  4. My wife is a huge Marvel Movie fan. I always call Hawkeye "Hot Guy," and she gets sooo annoyed, lol.

  5. I went to middle school with Charlie! Dude was great in art class and was like 1st chair violin in orchestra. Scribner Jr High!

  6. Ah I knew that you were going to diss his classic uniform. You people just don’t get nerds like us. You don’t understand how cool that stuff looks to us. I think it would’ve worked fine on the big screen just like the other costumes worked fine. Goodbye.

  7. Dude out of all the people in the MCU people don’t care about Hawkeye. He’s so freaking boring, not to mention the guy playing him, (Jeremy Reiner) is ugly as hell.

  8. by the way this video talks about Endgame trailers instead of the movie itself leads me to think that this video was meant to come out before the release of Endgame but was just now found and put out.

  9. its good he didnt end up in his look in the comics hes such a badass but in comics he just look like a clown with a bow and arrow also i havw crush on jeremy renner

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