Tony Dalton, who will play a new character in Marvel’s Hawkeye series, recently teased his character’s sword talents. Following the events of Avengers: Endgame; Hawkeye follows Jeremy Renner as the title character as he seeks to retire and spend time with his family following the “Blip.”
Things don’t go as planned, as Clint Barton is forced to team up with young archer Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) to battle with foes from his time as Ronin after the Snap. Clint and Kate will also face the battle against Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh); who is shown at the end of Black Widow pursuing Clint for his role in the death of Natasha Romanoff. Several essential characters and plot lines from Hawkeye’s comic book adaptation will appear in the show.
Two of the original six Avengers are dead after the events of Endgame; Steve is effectively retired, Thor is focused on rebuilding Asgard, Clint is attempting to properly retire, and only Bruce Banner survives. The MCU’s fourth phase (and technically Spider-Man: Far From Home’s third phase) has been mostly about legacy.
Members of the Young Avengers comics team, including Eli Bradley, Cassie Lang, Kid Loki, Tommy and Billy Maximoff, and Kate Bishop; are being groomed to take the place of the Avengers. Clint and Bruce both have their own shows, but they appear to be more concerned with establishing other characters (Kate/Yelena and She-Hulk, respectively).
Clint’s arrival in Hawkeye will add numerous crucial elements to his character from the comics; including his deafness, his one-eyed dog Lucky, and his mentor; Jacques Duquesne, played by Tony Dalton before Kate takes over the mantle.
Duquesne is the one who teaches Clint
In an exclusive chat with Screen Rant about the next show, Dalton previewed Duquesne’s (Jack) swordsmanship ability. Jack is described by Dalton as a quirky character with obvious knife abilities. His hilarity isn’t a sign of incompetence; and Dalton said he made it a point to convey Jack’s enigmatic motivations in his portrayal.
Jack hasn’t been seen in any promotional material yet; but given that the plot revolves around Clint’s time as a sword-wielding Ronin; he’ll almost certainly play a role in that period of Clint’s life. The following is the complete quote from Dalton:
Jack Duquesne is this sort of upper east side, New York, rich guy sort of maybe goofy in a way, but then again, you also can immediately tell that he’s got some mad swordsman skills. So, he’s a guy that you’re not too sure if he’s smiling because he’s dumb or if he’s smiling because he knows something and that’s kind of something that I was really trying to get across, you know?
In the comics, Jacques Duquesne is very significant to Clint Barton. Duquesne, also known as Swordsman, is the one who teaches Clint how to wield bladed weapons as a child. He has been a superhero and a supervillain in comic books for almost as long as Hawkeye himself; but he is most often shown as the latter.
Dalton claims that the character was based on Errol Flynn (Captain Blood, The Adventures of Robin Hood); a famed film swashbuckler who influenced much of Dalton’s portrayal. “Everything else is different from what it was in the comic books,” Dalton claims, implying that his study was based more on Flynn than Duquesne.
Much of Clint’s biography before the Avengers, including his tenure as Ronin, was merely hinted at; much like Natasha’s. Clint’s tutor before becoming an Avenger might have been Jack Duquesne; or the two could have met during Clint’s Ronin days.
In any case, whether he is an ally or a foe remains to be seen. Although the sword combat in the Hawkeye trailers was mostly aimed at LARPers; Clint may decide to pick up the sword again if Jack pushes him to. Hawkeye releases its first two episodes on Disney+ on November 24, and audiences will be able to witness Dalton, Renner, Steinfeld, and others.