Jeremy Renner says the ‘Hawkeye’ LARP scene was inspired by Comic-Con

The first two episodes of Hawkeye exploded onto Disney Plus on Wednesday and have been warmly received by Marvel fans. The debut episode “Never Meet Your Heroes” introduced us to future Young Avenger Kate Bishop, but the second “Hide and Seek” had more of a focus on Clint Barton himself.

Clint’s mission in this episode was to retrieve his Ronin outfit which, in an unlikely twist, had ended up in the hands of a Central Park LARPer. This led to a hilarious scene in which he fake fought his way through a medieval battlefield and dueled a ninja before a baying crowd of Vikings. Having agreed to throw the fight, Clint gave the LARPer ‘the greatest day of his life’ and walked away with the Ronin gear.

Now Jeremy Renner and director Rhys Thomas have commented on the scene in an interview with EW, with Renner explaining that he took inspiration from an interesting source:

It was pitched to me, and I was like, we gotta have that in there! Based on my personal experience at comic cons and these kinds of environments, it’s just me sort of saying ‘hey man, I love the fans.’ If Clint Barton was going around play-fighting with a bunch of people at Comic-Con, I figure they’d get a big kick out of that. I thought it was a cool way to show a sense of humility and bring a different kind of humor to the show.

Thomas agrees:

Clint’s a guy that fought Thanos, so watching him now in this fantasy sequence with these live-action role role-players enacting their version of battle felt amusing. Jeremy has obviously lived a life with fans of the MCU for a long time, and so he kind of enjoyed that world and wanted to do something that acknowledged it.

I had some hesitation because I was worried it might get too broad — like, how do we walk the line without making fun of it? That was sort of the challenge going in, but then you wrap your head around it and you have that image of Clint having to don this armor and swing this sword and people dying in slow motion all around him. Clint’s confusion in slow motion as these people are falling around him was joyous.”

So far, Hawkeye has nicely balanced comedy and action, roughly mapping itself onto Matt Fraction and David Aja’s killer run on the comics. Judging by the peeks at upcoming episodes we’ve seen in trailers, that tone is set to continue, and I’m looking forward to them upping the ante next week.

A peek at IMDB listings indicates the next episode will see Florence Pugh returning as Yelena Belova, with the post-credits scene in Black Widow hinting at impending conflict. With both her and Alaqua Cox’s Echo arriving, we’re sure to see some sparks fly.

Hawkeye airs Wednesdays on Disney Plus.