‘Hawkeye’ creator names ‘Mad Men’ and Hallmark as unlikely inspirations

At long last, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s latest Disney Plus series Hawkeye is now streaming, and subscribers have the chance to introduce themselves to Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop, who herself is making the acquaintance of Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton.

The six-episode festive extravaganza has been winning hugely positive reviews so far, with many critics lauding it for narrowing the focus down from world and universe-saving shenanigans to strip the MCU back to its bare bones and tell a story of two expert archers engaging in a street-level battle against their enemies.

Given the festive trappings and bountiful action sequences, comparisons are inevitably being made to the first two installments in the Die Hard franchise, but in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, creator and lead writer Jonathan Igla revealed his inspirations are much wider-ranging and more unexpected than that.

“I couldn’t say [Hallmark Christmas movies] did not inform the Christmas of the show, a little bit. In the same way that those movies are comforting, I was reading those comics so many times. There was something that was comforting and relaxing about it. To turn off the stress of the day and try to disconnect from work.

Marvel wanted outlines for everything before we went off to script. We outlined them in order and generally outlined them as a group. That was also something we did on Mad Men, which I like, because I like everybody to feel as involved as possible on every episode. I certainly enjoyed that when I was a staff writer, to get to feel like I was involved in details on every episode. Then we all went off to write at the same time, to write the first drafts of the scripts.”

Having worked on Mad Men and Bridgerton in various capacities before boarding Hawkeye, Igla knows a thing or two about popular TV shows, and he’s clearly put that to good use on the comic book adaptation, even if a blockbuster-sized Marvel series is a million miles away from the smoky rooms Don Draper used to frequent, or the lavish period trappings of Shonda Rhimes’ Netflix phenomenon.