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How the ‘Hawkeye’ series premiere recreated the Battle of New York from 'The Avengers'

Even from Kate Bishop’s window, the Chitauri still look as fearsome as ever.

By Benjamin Bullard
Hawkeye Still

True to its word, Marvel has spared no expense in bringing the big-screen spectacle of the MCU’s biggest action set pieces over to the small screen at Disney+. The debut of WandaVision at the start of this year set the tone for how huge the action could get (thanks to an energy field that swallows a whole town), and the big-budget stakes have only gone up from there.

**Spoilers ahead for Hawkeye's Season 1 premiere**

Now that Hawkeye has the screen all to himself with this week’s launch of the Disney+ series that bears his superheroic name, Marvel is at it again — this time with a spectacular recreation of the Battle of New York in all its 2012 The Avengers movie glory. This time, though, the pivotal moment in the Avengers’ epic confrontation with the forces of Thanos is seen through the eyes of a young Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld), as Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) swoops in outside her New York home to save her from certain death at the claws of an invading Chitauri.

It all happens right at the start of Hawkeye’s very first episode, and It’s a cool way to zoom in on some of the moment-by-moment encounters that The Avengers, amid all its insane action, could only gloss over nearly a decade ago. After all, there’s only so much time a 143-minute movie can spend chasing the MCU’s superheroes around Manhattan.

Nailing the look and feel of one of the MCU’s biggest movie moments was vital to grounding Hawkeye in the Marvel movie-verse right from the start, and show director Rhys Thomas says it required recreating the Battle of New York — a huge set piece that’s since been referenced numerous times within the MCU for its world-changing scope — entirely from scratch.

“The whole thing was completely done brand new, it was all new off the showroom floor, except there was one moment [from The Avengers] of Jeremy leaping off the building that we [used],” Thomas recently explained to The Wrap. “But we also had to shoot the other side. So we had our double recreate the leap as well. I had this great chance to look at dailies from the original Avengers, which was kind of cool.”

Fans of the original 2012 film remember how Hawkeye showed up big in key moments of the Avengers’ battle over New York’s streets, tag-teaming with Black Widow and other heroes to land some impossibly well-timed shots. But as the new intro to Hawkeye shows, he also put his eagle-eyed vision to use in other ways, spotting a young Kate Bishop in trouble and saving the day in a way that laid the groundwork for their future partnership as ace archers.

That partnership is already paying off with critics: Hawkeye has hit the bullseye with early reviewers, who say there’s genuine hero chemistry between Clint Barton and his sharp new protege. Check out the Battle of New York from a whole new angle at Disney+, where the first two episodes of Hawkeye are already streaming — and stay tuned each week as Marvel and Disney drop new episodes, leading up to the big Dec. 22 finale.