Where Hawkeye Fits In The MCU Timeline

Get ready to celebrate the holidays with "Hawkeye." When "Iron Man" launched in 2008, no one could've predicted the extent to which superheroes would eventually overtake the box office. Comic book content is not only ubiquitous on the big screen, but on the small screen as well. Continuing on in its quest for world domination, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is now premiering its newest series, "Hawkeye," on Disney+.

As the MCU continues to expand, it can be difficult to keep track of when events are taking place. Currently spanning 26 movies and five TV shows (including "Hawkeye"), this universe is no longer totally linear, with events unfolding in separate timelines and soon, (probably) different universes as well. That's not even including all the properties supposedly set in the MCU that aired on Netflix, ABC, and other networks, which have been all but forgotten.

Personally, I'm really looking forward to "Hawkeye," which is said to be inspired by the beloved comic run by Matt Fraction and David Aja. I'm also excited about what the series could potentially begin setting up for the future (I'm looking at you Young Avengers!). After all, it's set to introduce Hailee Steinfeld's Kate Bishop. 

So, where exactly does "Hawkeye" fit into the MCU's increasingly complicated timeline?

Hawkeye's Own Timeline Explained

Jeremy Renner's Clint Barton made his first MCU appearance in "Thor" in 2011 and was a full-fledged member of the Avengers in the 2012 film of the same name. "Avengers: Age of Ultron" revealed Clint had a family, but his plans to hang up this bow and arrow to spend more time with them were thwarted by the events of "Captain America: Civil War." After helping out Team Cap landed him in hot water, Clint was forced into retirement thanks to a deal with the government that left him under house arrest. Clint was perfectly happy with this arrangement, until he witnessed the disappearance of his wife and kids from existence following Thanos' snap. The next five years would be spent suiting up not as Hawkeye, but as the far less forgiving Ronin.

Eventually, Natasha brought Clint back into the fold and the two ventured to Vormir to save the world, though sadly, only one returned. By the end of "Avengers: Endgame," Clint had been reunited with his family, who like many others, returned in what would come to be known as the Blip, which occurred in 2023. This places the current MCU timeline sometime later that year.

Where Does Hawkeye Fit Into The MCU's Timeline?

In a recent appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" Renner was asked about when "Hawkeye" takes place. His response was, "It's current. It takes place pretty much as it's released. It's kind of like, a holiday event, if you will. It takes place in New York over the span of the time that it's actually being released." He also explained that though "Hawkeye" doesn't take place in real time, it does span the week around Christmas.

When Renner says the series is current, he probably just means it's not a story set in the distant past or the far future. Or perhaps the actor just isn't as steeped in MCU lore as some of us and doesn't realize the show won't be set in 2021. "Avengers: Endgame" leaves us in 2023, but eagle-eyed fans noticed in "Hawkeye" set photos posted on Twitter that there was a poster in the background for Chinese New Year 2025, which will fall in January. This time jump was recently confirmed by director Rhys Thomas when speaking to Games Radar. The director stated, "We get to see where he's at, we're two years after the events of Endgame. And so we get to see what he's been doing and how he's dealing with his past." The Christmastime setting should put us in late 2024, going into 2025.

I'm not saying it won't be interesting to explore where Clint is at two years after the events of "Avengers: Endgame," but it is a little strange that Marvel keeps pushing the clock forward, rather than allowing real time to catch up to the MCU. Presumably, the company has its reasons, though I am curious to see if this will be the main timeline moving forward or if there will be some back and forth, which could get even more confusing. Most importantly, I can't wait to see Lucky the Pizza Dog!