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(Pocket-lint) - Marvel has released the official trailer for Hawkeye, showing what to expect when the next Marvel series hits Disney+. Coming 24 November 2021, it’ll be the fifth Disney+ show to expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Renner made his debut as Clint Barton, or Hawkeye, in 2011's Thor. Since then, Hawkeye has appeared in five MCU films. The character has a habit of being critically important to the plot of many Avengers movies. Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop is only now making her debut via the new series on Disney+. In the comics, the character is saved by Hawkeye as a young girl, and she begins training to emulate the famous archer and his skills.

Since Hawkeye is the next live-action Marvel TV series to debut on Disney+, we figured it's a good time to get caught up with the titular superhero. But rather than watch over two dozen movies and several shows, perhaps consider using our list of the movies and shows likely to be most important to Hawkeye's story.

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What to watch before Hawkeye

NOTE: Go to the bottom for a bulleted version of this guide to skip any spoilers.

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Thor (2011 - movie)

Let's start with the film that sees Hawkeye enter the MCU. It also serves as an introduction for Thor, Loki, and all of Asgard, of course, so don't expect a tonne of Hawkeye throughout the movie. However, you will see his early beginnings, like when he is working for Shield and guarding Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir.

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The Avengers (2012 - movie)

This is the first film in which Hawkeye starts stealing scenes from the heavyweight heroes.

We see a slightly more formidable side of the character at first when he’s put under the control of Loki and nearly shoots down the Helicarrier with his bow and arrow. The camera that follows his arrows provides some of the cooler shots during the battle for New York. Most importantly, to the future Hawkeye series, The Avengers reveals the special connection between Renner’s Clint Barton and Scarlett Johannsson’s Natasha Romanov.

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Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015 - movie)

Age of Ultron provides viewers with a ton of backstory for Renner’s Clint Barton. When he isn’t out avenging, he lives a pretty normal life at home, complete with a wife and three kids. Hawkeye also has a huge role in helping Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) become an Avenger. There is a lot of light-hearted humour, too, such as when Hawkeye makes fun of himself for using a bow and arrow in fights against super-intelligent robots. 

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Captain America: Civil War (2016 - movie)

In Captain America: Civil War, the Avengers break up and take sides. This momentarily pits Black Widow and Hawkeye against one another, as they take opposite sides. Natasha goes with Iron Man, and Barton, who comes out of retirement, sides with Captain America. Eventually, they both end up helping Cap, which leads to Barton being imprisoned in a superhero jail known as The Raft. But he is broken out at the end of the film. 

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Avengers: Endgame (2019 - movie)

Hawkeye was, surprisingly,y missing from 2017’s Avengers: Infinity War. But the opening scene of Endgame reveals a Hawkeye family BBQ. Unfortunately, it's spoiled by Thano’s snap, leaving Barton totally alone. Barton then spends the five-year gap in the film as a murderous vigilante out to kill anyone he deems unworthy of having survived the snap. Natasha pulls him back from his killing spree, with the hope of getting his family back.

The pair go to Vormir together to retrieve the Soul Stone. It’s safe to assume the events that happened on Vormir will tie directly into the new TV series. 

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The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (2021 - TV show on Disney+)

While Hawkeye wasn't featured in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, it does show the debut of another character, Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, who we might see more of the new Hawkeye series. That's because she talks about Hawkeye in the end-credits scene of our next film. 

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Black Widow (2021 - movie)

Black Widow serves as a swan song for Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanov.

While the movie doesn’t actually feature Renner’s Hawkeye, it is filled with references to his and Natasha’s past in Budapest. The end-credits scene is the most important connection to the new Hawkeye series, however, as it shows Louis-Dreyfus’ Allegra De Fontaine approach Natasha’s sister, Yolanda (Florence Pugh), with an offer to take down the man "responsible" for her sister’s death. She then shows Yolanda a picture of Hawkeye.

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Daredevil (2015 to 2018 - TV show)

This recommendation might come as a little surprise for some, but the MCU is likely to add some of the characters from Netflix’s run of Marvel shows to future MCU projects - including Charlie Cox’s Daredevil, Jon Berenthal’s Punisher, and Krysten Ritter’s Jessica Jones. None of them are expected to be in Hawkeye, specifically, but rumours point to the villain of Netflix's Daredevil, Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk, making an appearance.

It’s worth checking out the series just in case, as D’Onofrio’s Fisk might be one of the more brutal villains to ever appear in the MCU. 


Spoiler-free version: What to watch before Hawkeye

This is the same guide as above, only bulleted in list form and free of spoilers:

  • Thor (2011 - movie)
  • The Avengers (2012 - movie)
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015 - movie)
  • Captain America: Civil War (2016 - movie)
  • Avengers: Endgame (2019 - movie)
  • The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (2021 - TV show on Disney+)
  • Black Widow (2021 - movie)
  • Daredevil (2015 to 2018 - TV show)

Want to know more?

Check out our guide on upcoming Marvel films, Marvel post-credit scenes, plus how to watch every Marvel movie in chronological order.

Also read: 

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Editing by Chris Hall. Originally published on 30 July 2021.
Sections TV