Hawkeye actor confirms Disney Plus MCU show's major plot point

Hawkeye on Disney Plus.
(Image credit: Disney Plus/Marvel Studios)

Hawkeye actor Jeremy Renner has confirmed that the Disney Plus series will deal with a major plot point from Marvel's comics: Clint Barton will experience hearing loss during the show. 

"Hard of hearing, yeah," Renner confirmed to talk show host Jimmy Kimmel. "That was implemented, which is great. We used the comics a lot for the look and basis of the show."

This had been largely speculated by fans, after actors Renner and Hailee Steinfeld, who plays fellow Hawkeye Kate Bishop in the show, were pictured outside a hearing clinic on-set. It's one of the main storylines involving the Hawkeye character that hasn't been explored on-screen, yet. The show draws extensively from the acclaimed Matt Fraction and David Aja run of Hawkeye comics. 

Elsewhere in the interview, Renner confirmed when the show is set in the MCU timeline – handy if you're trying to watch the Marvel movies in order this holiday season, which is an increasingly arduous undertaking. 

"It's current. I can tell you it takes place as it's released – it's kind of a holiday event, if you will, it takes place in New York over the span of the time it's being released," Renner explained. "Not that it's in real time or anything, but it just takes place over a week in New York over Christmas."

Tony Dalton, best known for playing Lalo Salamanca in Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul, will feature in the show, along with Vera Farmiga and Linda Cardellini. The first two episodes arrive on Disney Plus on November 24, with the rest rolling out weekly in the run up to the holidays.

The week after the finale will see the debut of The Book of Boba Fett on December 29 – so there's a lot to look forward to on the streamer as this year wraps up. 

Check out the full interview with Renner here

Marvel digs deeper

In some ways, Hawkeye's arc in the MCU mimics the implausibly long and complicated histories that follow characters around in comic books. He's a veteran soldier who fought in the Battle of New York, clashed with Tony Stark and company during the events of Civil War, and murdered loads of criminals when his family disappeared after the Thanos snap – oh, and he traveled across time itself to help stop Thanos, and saw his best friend die as a result. 

That's a lot of baggage for one character in one series of movies – and this show looks like it hits the reset button, somewhat, even if it clearly acknowledges his time murdering folks in the underworld. His life seems more normal now, pitching this spin-off as a comedy-focused standalone series with a Christmas theme, which is quite a turn from murdering an entire street of Yakuza goons.  

The longer the MCU goes on, the more weird and complicated each character's life will get, particularly for the older superheroes – it's arguably why retiring Iron Man and Captain America when they did makes sense. 

How many stories Clint Barton has left in him remains to be seen, but this series shows it's not impossible to reset the status quo if a character ends up in a darker place than the viewer expects.

Samuel Roberts

Samuel is a PR Manager at game developer Frontier. Formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor, he's an expert in Marvel, Star Wars, Netflix shows and general streaming stuff. Before his stint at TechRadar, he spent six years at PC Gamer. Samuel is also the co-host of the popular Back Page podcast, in which he details the trials and tribulations of being a games magazine editor – and attempts to justify his impulsive eBay games buying binges.