Where is Hawkeye in Avengers: Infinity War? It's a question fans have been asking ever since the first trailer, which kicked off with voice-overs from all of the original Avengers... with the exception of Hawkeye. Since then, the marketing push for Infinity War has moved up to full gear, with a series of trailers, TV spots, and even behind-the-scenes footage. But Hawkeye's absence has continued, and has been all the more noteworthy given that viewers have now seen footage of pretty much every other Marvel hero in action. It's left Hawkeye's fans pretty concerned; could it be that he just isn't relevant to the plot?
In interviews, directors Joe and Anthony Russo have been as cryptic as possible. "Hawkeye's on his own journey in this movie," Joe Russo explained. Property master Russell Bobbitt revealed that Hawkeye would be getting "a lot of cool new stuff," but naturally couldn't give any details. Hawkeye's role in the film is a mystery, largely because he's so far been completely absent from the marketing. Now, though, the latest TV spot has gone to new lengths to remove him.
Marvel Has Edited Hawkeye Out Of The Trailers
— Anton Volkov (@antovolk) April 12, 2018
The latest Infinity War TV spot, "Legacy," features a flashback scene showing Captain America and Black Widow walking forward. The footage was actually lifted from the original Avengers trailer, and it originally showed Captain America, Black Widow, and Hawkeye. The shot has been carefully edited to cut Hawkeye out. Marvel didn't try too hard, though, because when the camera zooms in on Steve Rogers, Hawkeye's arrows are still in-shot.
It's actually not unusual for Marvel to edit trailers in order to hide details. The trailers for Thor: Ragnarok, for example, altered the movie footage to hide the fact that Thunder God loses an eye to Hela. This is one step further, with Marvel actually editing an entire character out of a shot from a previous movie. And here's the most interesting question: if Marvel is editing Hawkeye out of old footage, have they deliberately edited the trailers and TV spots to hide him as well? It's possible Hawkeye is actually a key player in some of the scenes we've already seen teased, but Marvel have simply edited him out.
What Does This Mean?
Marvel's marketing approach for Hawkeye seems to be an exercise in reverse psychology. Hawkeye is hardly the most popular Avenger; what's more, in a battle with cosmic stakes, he's a lightweight hero with a bow and arrow. With so many powerful characters coming together in Infinity War, it would be easy for Hawkeye to be overlooked. Recognizing that, Marvel have carefully left him out of their marketing and merchandise. They've essentially manipulated the audience, until they're asking one simple question: Where is Hawkeye?
This may just be Marvel toying with fans, trying to stir up debate. More likely, though, is that Hawkeye does actually have an important role in the film's plot. Marvel's deliberate decision to cut him from the trailers, TV spots, and even the action figures has actually served to shine a light on him; it's made Hawkeye's role even more exciting and mysterious. If that's the case, it will be fascinating to see how it all pays off in Infinity War.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019