Living up to fan expectations can be a difficult task when developing new projects for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Ahead of the two-episode season premiere of Hawkeye on Disney+, the cast and crew behind the series talked to CinemaBlend about how fans can be both influential and intimidating. When asked about his experience joining the MCU and what he thinks about fan theories, Hawkeye director and executive producer Rhys Thomas said that he finds it all to be in good fun, even if he worries about letting people down. "You know it's terrifying because you see just how aware people are and how much attention to detail they have, but it's also thrilling to know that people take it so seriously," he explained.
Thomas also praised Trinh Tran for helping him keep a level head on Hawkeye. As a longtime Marvel Studios executive with credits going back to Iron Man, Tran is one of the most experienced minds behind the future of the MCU. Still, Tran acknowledged that sometimes it can be difficult to balance what different fans want. "Sometimes it is really hard because sometimes it's just like the theories are out there and you know some might be closer than others and some are just like completely like 'where did this come from?'" she explained. "What I find interesting as we go through it is you just never know how people are going to perceive certain storylines and characters and where they feel it's gonna take them too."
Balancing fan expectations with the reality of the production can be a tall task for many of the people behind the scenes of the MCU, including Marvel Studios President/Marvel Chief Creative Office Kevin Feige. While talking about the highly anticipated Spider-Man: No Way Home, Feige said that even though rumors are fun, sometimes fans set themselves up for disappointment by fabricating more than any one film can deliver. "The danger is when you get into the expectations game of wanting people to be excited about the movie they get, and not disappointed about a movie they don't get," he warned.
Recently, one actor has found himself at the center of a sea of fan theories, despite no longer having any association with the MCU. Actor Vincent D'Onofrio, known for playing the Kingpin in the Netflix Daredevil series, has found himself attached to both Hawkeye and Spider-Man: No Way Home. Though D'Onofrio says he isn't part of No Way Home's cast, many fans have picked apart the trailers for clues. Similarly, D'Onofrio has been rumored to appear in Hawkeye, even though there is little overlap between the Kingpin and Clint Barton in the comics. This latest rumor prompted D'Onofrio to troll fans on Twitter with retweets, likes and even poetry related to Hawkeye.
In Hawkeye, Clint Barton takes on a protégée named Kate Bishop to help him fight against a threat from his past. The two are confirmed to confront the likes of the Tracksuit Mafia, the Clown and a new vigilante named Echo, all while trying to get Hawkeye home for Christmas. The show will be available for fans to watch starting Nov. 24, exclusively on Disney+.
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