After dangling the carrot that Hailee Steinfeld might star as Kate Bishop on the upcoming ‘Hawkeye’ series from Disney+, it now seems that she may not be allowed to do so, due to her contract with Apple TV+. Steinfeld headlines that streaming service’s upcoming series ‘Dickinson’, in which she stars as famed author Emily Dickinson. ‘Dickinson’ is one of the major offerings from that service, with Apple now jumping into the bloated streaming wars in an effort to compete with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO Max, and so forth. As part of her contract, Steinfeld must be “cleared” by Apple to take on any other work, and there is a non-competition clause, designed to keep her from doing work for another streaming service.
Last week, when Variety attempted to ask her about ‘Hawkeye’, Steinfeld quickly cut them off:
“That, I don’t know about! I don’t know. I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Steinfeld isn’t just in talks. According to reports, she has been offered the part and the production isn’t considering another actor at this time. It’s hers for the taking if only Apple will approve it. While neither Apple nor Disney would comment, Variety reports “given Steinfeld’s A-lister status, sources say she and her team should be able to negotiate around that.”
One major point that may help is that ‘Hawkeye’ is technically a miniseries, not an ongoing. The Marvel Studios shows are conceived of as consisting of six to eight episodes each and are — for now — only seen as running for one cycle, with the focal characters then returning in the movies.
Another factor that may help is that Steinfeld wouldn’t be the main star. That would be Jeremy Renner, who would reprise his role as archer Clint Barton from the films.
On the flip side, the idea behind Kate Bishop’s introduction is that she would replace the aging Renner in future films and possible TV projects. But the films would not be considered competition to Apple, although they might present scheduling conflicts. However, if Apple TV+ is anything like Netflix, they could just shoot whenever Steinfeld is available and release new seasons of ‘Dickinson’ when they’re ready, not adhering to a traditional schedule. But they may not be following Netflix’s example.
‘Hawkeye’ is reportedly about Clint Barton hanging up his bow and arrow, or rather passing them off to Kate Bishop, before retiring. Renner, who is 48, has expressed that he doesn’t want to continue playing a superhero into his 50s. And considering that most of the first batch of Marvel stars– Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson– are hanging up their super suits, it’s understandable that Renner would also be ready to move on. Written and executive produced by Jonathan Igla, ‘Hawkeye’ is being eyed to arrive on Disney+ in the fall of 2021. That leaves plenty of time in which Steinfeld could film her role.
‘Dickenson’ will be one of the initial offerings when Apple TV+ launches next weekend on November 1.