Hawkeye Writers Kept in Dark Over Black Widow Post-Credits Scene

The lines of communication are typically clear between those creatively involved among the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That wasn't always the case at least at first when it came to those behind Black Widow and their post-credits reveal and the team behind the Disney+ series Hawkeye. Despite the heavily secretive nature of the MCU, you'd think there would be better oversight considering Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) and Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and their established relationship in S.H.I.E.L.D. across several films for nearly a decade. Nope, that wasn't always the case with the 2021 film revealing Natasha's sister Yelena (Florence Pugh), who was presented her next target from Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) as Barton himself.

Hawkeye
Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye and Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop in Marvel Studios' HAWKEYE. Photo by Mary Cybulski. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

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With Yelena's introduction in a non-speaking capacity on the Hawkeye episode "Partners, Am I Right?" head writer Jonathan Igla spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the secret he was tasked to keep from his team that came straight from the top with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. "There was a length of time where I wasn't supposed to share it with the rest of the writing staff. There were a handful of things like that, which was challenging," Igla said. "I did my best. I like to think that I'm an honest broker and if somebody tells me not to share something, even if I think, 'Well the writing staff really needs to know this,' then I'm just going to trust their process …. I kept it under my hat for a while."

Hawkeye Writers Kept in Dark Over Black Widow Post-Credits Scene
(L-R): Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and Yelena (Florence Pugh) in Marvel Studios' BLACK WIDOW, in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

The secret was also kept from Black Widow screenwriter Eric Pearson, who was tasked to write Valentina in the post-credits scene. "They told me, 'and then at the end, this is the target.' And I was like, 'What does that mean?' They were like, 'Don't worry about it. You don't have to know that,'" Pearson said in July feeling guilty about the next creative mind tasked with its follow-up. "I was like, 'Who am I screwing over? Something is going on! I don't have an answer for this.' They were like, 'You don't need to. We are going to figure that out.'"

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Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye and Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop in Marvel Studios' HAWKEYE. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Igla assured them there weren't any problems at all. "I had made the case to Kevin and Lou [D'Esposito] and Victoria [Alonso] that Yelena had a place in our story and this was the right place for her next chapter. So I think the scene was created to support that," says Igla. "Obviously, the rest of the writing staff knew we were building pitches around her as soon as I got the thumbs up." New episodes of Hawkeye stream Wednesdays on Disney+. Black Widow is currently available also on the platform.

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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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