What Does the Hawkeye Casting Mean for Future Spider-Verse Films?

If Hailee Steinfeld is, as rumors now suggest she might be, cast in the role of Kate Bishop in the [...]

If Hailee Steinfeld is, as rumors now suggest she might be, cast in the role of Kate Bishop in the forthcoming Hawkeye series on Disney+, some fans are inevitably wondering what that casting choice might mean for Steinfeld's other superhero role -- that of Spider-Gwen in the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse sequel and spinoff that have been planned since the movie wowed audiences and swept awards season. The question is complicated, or at least fans are wondering if it might be complicated, by the decision by Sony to break off their negotiations with Disney last month, effectively splitting the Spider-Man live-action movies from the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The question of whether the Spider-Man dust-up between Sony and Marvel/Disney will impact the way the studios interact with their talent, both in front of and behind the camera, is anybody's guess. The smart money says that it will have a pretty minimal impact. Still, the question is inevitable, so why not follow it down the rabbit hole a little bit and see what we come up with?

What we know so far: there are plans for more Spider-Verse content, including a sequel movie, a potential TV series, and an all-female spinoff. Steinfeld, one of the most sought-after young leads in Hollywood, is the presumptive star of the Spider-ladies movie, since Spider-Gwen is not only already a known quantity after Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, but one of the most popular parts of that movie.

"Oh my goodness! I mean, to be a part of this and play this strong female superhero in this film particularly is quite a privilege," Steinfeld told Entertainment Tonight during an interview in June. "The thought of a spin-off is, uh, incredible. If that were to ever happen I'd be honored to be a part of it. I'd love that opportunity."

There was a point not that long ago, when it seemed as though Marvel, DC, Sony, and Fox were all trying to avoid casting the same actors that everyone else has already used in superhero movies...but as the craze goes on, and so many of the best and most bankable actors in the world have appeared in big superhero franchise films, that sense of exclusivity seems to have lost some importance.

Since it is also very likely that Disney and Sony are significantly less put out over the Spider-Man disagreement than hardcore fans are, the idea that Disney would tell a performer they had to leave an existing role -- and an animated one, at that, where Steinfeld's face isn't even on the marketing -- in order to take the Hawkeye gig feels unlikely. Admittedly, there is a lot here we don't know -- including what Steinfeld's contract with Sony Animation looks like, what her prospective Marvel contract does or might look like, and what, if any, scheduling overlap there might be.

That last point, though, feels a little academic. In the same way Steinfeld might plausibly have scheduling conflicts that would force her to bail on future animated movies -- after all, TV's schedules are notoriously difficult to work around -- Jake Johnson, who played Peter B. Parker in Into the Spider-Verse and would also likely be included in prospective sequels, just took a TV lead as well. If Johnson can do Stumptown (13-24 episodes on a network schedule), it seems like Steinfeld could reliably knock out the 6-12 episodes of Hawkeye and still get the job done.

Spider-Man: Far From Home is still in theaters, and Avengers: Endgame was just made available on Blu-ray, DVD, and SVOD. Upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in Fall 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in Spring 2021, Loki in Spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, What If…? in Summer 2021, Hawkeye in Fall 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021.