Kevin Feige On Why Hawkeye's Holiday Setting And Street-Level Stakes Are Refreshing

To this point, the common assumption of how to set one piece of superhero media apart from others in an increasingly crowded blockbuster market has been to ape a particular genre with enough easily identifiable elements before dumping all the usual superhero tropes on top. After all, that's how you normalize the ideas that, for instance, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is a "throwback '70s political thriller" or that "Ant-Man" is a "crime/heist thriller." But for far too long, studios and audiences have collectively been ignoring the most common-sense and sneakily effective idea out there — set it during major holidays! Not only does specifically Christmas-themed movies or shows give you free publicity from the "It's a Christmas movie!" crowd, but I defy anyone to make a forgettable superhero production set during the most wonderful time of the year.

That's the delightful approach that Marvel is taking for their "Hawkeye" series, which is only the second MCU project after "Iron Man 3" to be set during Christmastime. While promoting the upcoming Disney+ show, Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige went into detail about how the holiday setting and the show's low stakes both make "Hawkeye" unique amid so many other upcoming productions.

'A Breath of Fresh Air'

Even though I usually roll my eyes at the advertising industry for barely even waiting until 12:01 A.M. on November 1 to switch into holiday-mode, for once I can't begrudge the instinct when it comes to promoting "Hawkeye." At least 75% of my interest in the series comes from the fact that the creative team has fully embraced the "Christmas in New York" vibe to it all, which Kevin Feige explained was something of a mission statement during a press conference interview for "Hawkeye" that /Film attended. According to Feige:

"['Iron Man 3'] came out in the summer. This is fun because it's a Christmas story taking place during the holidays. It's also based on early discussions about a limited time period, about setting a series in — not quite real time — but, essentially, in a six-day period, six episodes, six days. Will Clint make it home for Christmas? Which was fun and a breath of fresh air after world-ending stakes and Celestials bursting out of planets and multiverse shenanigans. This is, like Hawkeye himself, a grounded, family-based show.

I've always loved films or shows or specials that take place over the holiday season. I think there's a heightened amount of emotion and a heightened amount of conflict and tension that can occur in this glorious season. I've always honestly been looking for opportunities [like that]. We've announced a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' holiday special, which has literally been in the works for four years. This show has now come up and come out before that, though I thought 'Guardians' would be out first. They're actually very different. But I just love this time of year for the storytelling possibilities."

All I can say is, it's about time that the MCU finally leaned into their sense of holiday cheer. After Shane Black delivered one of the most memorable efforts in all of the MCU over eight years ago, it's long overdue that Marvel finally gave us another project timed for the winter festivities. Will this automatically make "Hawkeye" into a can't-miss event? Not necessarily, but it sure doesn't hurt!

"Hawkeye" debuts on Disney+ on November 24, 2021.