Hawkeye Season 1 Was Originally Much Darker

Clint Barton didn’t have a good time during the Blip. While he missed all the action in Avengers: Infinity War, who came back to bite him when he lost his entire family after Thanos snapped his fateful fingers. From there, it all went downhill quickly, as he took on the mantle of Ronin and began his killing spree.

This is obviously a very dark point in the character’s history. So, one would be forgiven for thinking of the recent Disney+ series Hawk Eye was going to be a grim affair.

In the end, however, it was much brighter and more playful than it had any right to be. Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld’s chemistry made the Christmas story fun, even with its dark crime moments sprinkled throughout.

In conversation with the show’s composers, it was revealed that at some point, Hawk EyeThe story of was to be much darker than what viewers got at the end.

Marvel planned for Darker Hawkeye


In an interview with BTL News, Hawk Eye Composers Christophe Beck and Michael Paraskevas spoke about their time composing the Disney+ series directed by Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld and described how it once had a much darker tone.

Beck recalled how he did Wanda Visionthe first series out of the gate for Marvel,” so when they approached him for Hawkeye, “it was an easy ‘yes’:”

“Good, [I did] WandaVision, the first series out of the gate for Marvel. And of course Michael was involved as an additional composer. As we were finishing this one, Marvel reached out to me and told me about this one and that they wanted me involved. I have a very long relationship with Marvel, so it was an easy “yes”.

He continued, sharing that originally he “thought [Hawkeye] would be a film noir-like vibe:”

“I knew very little [it] and I actually thought it would be a film noir type vibe and that would be reflected in the score. Over time, it turned out to be a Christmas comedy between friends! And it also felt like the perfect project to finally bring Michael [Paraskevas] as a full collaborator, as a partner, after five years. I pitched this to Marvel, and they were very enthusiastic.

Beck then revealed that “first [the series] was going to be a tone darker” but possibly “evolved into something much more playful:”

“…there was a little evolution as to what the sound of the score was going to be. At first, it was going to be a darker tone, focused on Hawkeye, his despair over the events of the Avengers, and the dark things he’s been through in his past. But the show, the story, and therefore the score have evolved into something much more playful, especially between Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld. And the idea that it would be a kind of “Christmas in New York”, we took it. Whenever there was an opportunity to sprinkle some Christmas magic, we did. Not just the grand sets we mentioned, but also the incorporation of classic Christmas textures into what was a more traditional type of Marvel superhero score.

“The incorporation of electronic elements” was Beck’s way of helping Hawkeye’s score become unique, which helped make “it’s more contemporary:

“That’s an excellent question! For me, it was the incorporation of electronic elements. If you listen to the main theme from the Hawkeye show, it has a processed bellsong. It has bell-like qualities, but it is most definitely synthetic and electronic in nature. This subtle electronic incorporation makes it more contemporary and introduces it to the Marvel universe.

Paraskevas stepped in to add how “there are even places where [they] took some classic Christmas carols and rearranged them in a more contemporary way: “

“Well, then we develop these synthetic bells throughout the score and incorporate them more and more with subtle musical cues. There are even places where we’ve taken classic Christmas carols and rearranged them in a more contemporary way to serve as subtitles. That’s how we merged that fun and festive tone with the superhero tone.

“[They] came on board while they were editing”, Paraskevas recalled, adding how they “I started writing themes just before [they] photo received:

“We came on board as they were going up. And it was fast because there were only six episodes. We started writing themes right before we received the image, then we adjusted as we dipped, and that’s when we started to change perspective, like the Chris said. We found what was organic to the story in the editing process.

Beck returned, noting how much he liked it “[he] had meaning for the whole story” while composing, allowing him to “create a holistic musical universe:”

“One of the things that I love about this miniseries that Marvel is working on is that I had an idea of ​​the whole story. In the beginning, like when I was working on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I was flying by the bottom of my pants. They’ve been preparing one episode a week for a long time and I just had to improvise. Here, on the other hand, I know where it’s going, so I wasn’t surprised by a plot twist later , and I was able to create a holistic musical universe.

Paraskevas ended by saying that Hawk Eye has been “almost like a longer feature film, with a long story arc to guide the music.”

Why Hawkeye’s lighter tone succeeded

Hawkeye Characters

Despite being a much lighter adventure at the end, it’s understandable why Hawk Eye was once going to be so dark: it’s easy to want to wallow in the tragic events of Clint Barton’s life.

However, this playful energy not only left room for everyone to explore, but gave enough space for Hailee Steinfeld’s hero to be introduced without drowning in all that pain. Some might even argue that those darker, more thoughtful moments were all the more impactful because of it.

Luckily, even with the shift to a more playful tone, the trauma Clint Barton suffered never felt lost. It was always a constant weight on his shoulders, never really letting up, even when he was cracking jokes.

However, such trauma never really goes away. Future writers will have to continue to juggle these harrowing experiences as more stories are told for the character. The real question is, when will it be? Maybe a second season? Only time will tell.

Hawk Eye is now streaming on Disney+.

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