Marvel Studios treat their Disney+ TV outings as something like a very long movie, with a single overarching plot and one bad guy pulling the strings behind the scenes. So when you look at early efforts that only had one filmmaker directing all or most of the episodes, it makes sense in a way that doing that for a "normal" TV show wouldn't. So why has the studio, only a year or so into the experiment, already started to inch away from that, and more toward a more traditional TV model that features multiple directors and a producer or studio setting the tone?
Of course, even with Hawkeye there are only two distinct teams of directors working on episodes. So we asked Bertie (of the directorial team of Bert and Bertie) what motivated the change in approach.
"We can only imagine that that was a choice based on wanting to make sure that every episode had a lot of attention on it," Bertie told ComicBook's Adam Barnhardt. "It's such a huge universe, and when you're doing these action sequences, there's so much prep that goes in that...by being a team with [director Rhys Thomas], as we were, to kind of create and craft the whole thing with [producers Trinh Tran and Kevin Feige] and a whole team, but then to be able to concentrate on our individual episodes, it was actually a way of ensuring that each episode had its own stamp and its own arc and its own bigness, if you like."
So far, that approach has paid off. Hawkeye has not only managed a cinematic feel, but has blown up social media with each new episode, driving speculation and Twitter engagement in the same way that WandaVision and Loki did before it.
Hawkeye is set in post-blip New York City where Clint Barton aka Hawkeye has a seemingly simple mission: get back to his family for Christmas. But when a threat from his past shows up, Hawkeye reluctantly teams up with 22-year-old skilled archer Kate Bishop to unravel a criminal conspiracy. The series stars Jeremy Renner, Hailee Steinfeld, Vera Farmiga, Fra Fee, Tony Dalton, and newcomer Alaqua Cox. Episodes are directed by executive producer Rhys Thomas and directing duo Bert & Bertie; executive producer Jonathan Igla is head writer. The series premiered on November 24, 2021, and new episodes drop on Wednesdays on Disney+.