Hawkeye Showrunner Jonathan Igla Was Inspired By Mad Men And ... Hallmark Movies?

The first two episodes of "Hawkeye" are now streaming on Disney+, which means that we can probably expect no shortage of "Hawkeye"-related news in the coming weeks as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to dominate the movie and TV water cooler. MCU newcomer Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld), is front and center for the show's first episode, so much so that it almost plays like The Kate Bishop Show (not a bad thing, for fans of Steinfeld's Apple TV+ series, "Dickinson," which is also streaming new episodes now.)

Yet we do catch up with Clint Barton, played by Jeremy Renner, and "Hawkeye" makes a convincing case for the two-time Oscar nominee as an actor whose character — underserved by much of his "Avengers" arc — might have greatly benefited from his own solo adventure before this. "Hawkeye" also makes a convincing case for a Steve Rogers musical with show-stopping song-and-dance numbers ... but I digress.

Creator Jonathan Igla is out there promoting the series now, and in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter he revealed some of the surprising influences behind "Hawkeye," beyond Broadway. One of those influences? Hallmark movies. Specifically, Hallmark Christmas movies, which wove their way into "Hawkeye" and continued the Christmas-movie trend that the MCU has shown with other entries like "Iron Man 3."

Igla and his partner and fellow "Hawkeye" writer, Elisa Climent, do enjoy watching such holiday flicks when not penning superhero adventures. He explained:

"I couldn't say they did not inform the Christmas of the show, a little bit. In the same way that those movies are comforting, I was reading those comics so many times. There was something that was comforting and relaxing about it. To turn off the stress of the day and try to disconnect from work."

The Influence of Mad Men

Igla has a writing credit on six episodes of AMC's "Mad Men," and he also worked as a story editor on that series. Given his history with it and the fact that "Hawkeye" takes place in Manhattan, the same setting as "Mad Men," it should come as no surprise that some of that show found its way into "Hawkeye" as well. Igla talked about his time working with "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner, and how it informed his approach to "Hawkeye:"

"In addition to getting to work with the amazing writing staff [of 'Mad Men'], there was an extra advantage for me, because I was able to hear in my head, not just the character's voices as performed by the actors, but I could hear them in my head as performed by Matt. It gave me more insight into what he was thinking. I tried to do that in the [Hawkeye] room. I tried to pitch in character. I tried to pitch dialogue in the voices of the characters so the rest of the writers could hear what I was hearing in my head."

The "Hawkeye" creator also talked about being drawn to the premise of "a superhero on his days off," and he reiterated the influence of Matt Fraction and David Aja's seminal "Hawkeye" comics on this live-action show, which stars Renner, Steinfeld, Vera Farmiga, and Tony Dalton ("Better Call Saul").

"Hawkeye" is a six-episode series, with new episodes streaming every Wednesday on Disney+.