Hawkeye: Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman on Writing Rogers: The Musical

Hawk Eye, which debuted November 24 on Disney +, picks up the MCU’s continuing story two years after the changing circumstances of the Universe of Avengers: Endgame. Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) hopes to have a calm and uneventful Christmas with her family, but those plans quickly derail when her path crosses that of Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld), a skilled archer who has her own personal history with Hawkeye. The series also promises to follow up on the sequel to the MCU movie Black Widow, who saw Yelena Belova (Florence pugh) being led to mistakenly believe that Clint was responsible for Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett johansson) died on Vormir. The show also features Vera Farmiga, Fresh Fra, Tony Dalton, Zahn McClarnon, Brian d’Arcy James, and Alaqua cox, as well as Jolt the Golden Retriever as Lucky the Pizza Dog.

This week, Collider had the chance to chat with the songwriter and lyricist Marc Shaiman and co-lyricist Scott wittman, who brought the in-universe Rogers: the musical to life on screen in Hawk Eyefrom the first episode, “Never Meet Your Heroes”. The song “Save The City” was then released as a single after the show’s premiere. During the interview, which you can both watch and read, the duo shared how they were first approached by Marvel boss Kevin Feige, how they collaborated on writing the song. on Zoom and how the pandemic inspired the debut of “Save The City.” They also explained how they got big names on Broadway (like Adam pascal) to participate, their reaction to seeing the response from fans to the first trailer and whether they would be willing to come back and write a full musical.


Collider: I think I should say congratulations. Is this the wrong thing to say?

SCOTT WITTMAN: That’s a good thing to say. I’m glad it makes people happy.

MARC SHAIMAN: We’re in show business, so we’re used to hearing much worse things. So thanks.

Image via Disney +

I want to start at the start of the process. When it came to figuring things out in terms of the song itself, did you sort of come up with it to Marvel or was it rather that they approached you with, “This is the idea that we want, how can you get there ”?

WITTMAN: They came to see us. Marc had met Kevin [Feige] at an Oscar event two years ago when we were nominated for Mary poppins. And so he …

CHAIMAN: Mary Poppins Returns.

WITTMAN: Yeah. Sorry. And he…

SHAMAN: Yes [it was] Mary poppins, we would be 97 years old.

WITTMAN: So they started some kind of relationship. And then Kevin … Someone introduced this to Kevin and he said, “That’s a great idea.” And the next thing you know, he thought, “I had the perfect guys to do it.” So it all came out.

CHAIMAN: Yes. And I believe they thought it should be at the Battle of New York. Maybe I should have done more research before the interviews to remember, but I don’t think there were other scenarios. Like, “And then we chose.” I think it was the Battle of New York. And it felt right to us to create like a closing of Act One. You can certainly imagine the curtain falling on the end. Although the big ending that’s there in the TV show now with the kind of jazz hands ending, it’s a lot of fun. And Scott had the idea to start the song, with the idea of ​​”Save the City,” that it’s New Yorkers begging the Avengers to come and help them – because who else but the Avengers could face. what was happening ?

WITTMAN: And we were also in the midst of the worst part of the pandemic when New York City was hit hardest as of this writing. So it became the idea of ​​… “Someone, please save the city” was part of it.

SHAIMAN: Yeah, that was back when New Yorkers opened their windows every night at 7:00 p.m. and banged pots and pans to say thank you to all the frontline workers. Did we actually write this whole song on Zoom? I do not remember.

WITTMAN: Yeah, we had to write it on Zoom.

Image via Marvel Studios

RELATED: ‘Hawkeye’ Director Rhys Thomas on Exploring the Cost of Clint’s Superhero Life in the Disney + Series

I was also curious if there had ever been a conversation about the possibility of placing the song elsewhere in the MCU, but Marc answered my question perfectly. I’m sure fans would have been curious if there had been more than one song, like seeing a potential First avenger-set tune or something.

WITTMAN: Well, yeah. But Captain America is a very … He’s got such a great story because it goes back to the 40s and things like that.

What was the process behind the involvement of some Broadway greats? Because Adam [Pascal]obviously sings quite loudly on the track. Was it a little more to trick people into keeping it all a secret?

WITTMAN: It was really fair, “Who can sing it?”

CHAIMAN: Yes. I can not sing. I find myself writing music that I can’t sing.

WITTMAN: We wrote a verse in a chorus and then before we continue with the rest of the song, we wanted to make sure that was the right direction. So the only person who [we] could … adapt vocally it was with …

CHAIMAN: Adam Pascal. I mean, it occurred to me, Adam. I met him, I think, once really in passing, but I texted our mutual friend Seth Rudetsky who had done quite a Broadway show with him. I said, “Can you give me Adam Pascal’s phone number?” I’m going to text him to see if … And can he attach a B flat or a B and hang on to it? And Seth said to me, “Are you crazy? He can literally hit any note and hang on to it, with or without vibrato, however you want.”

So I texted Adam Pascal out of the blue and said, “It’s Marc and Scott. And they asked us to write a song, it’s basically like the musical Avengers. And would you … “And before I can even finish the question he just texted,” Yes. ” And he was at home like everyone else. And a lot of singers or performers by that time had all got their own microphones at home to try and keep working … as little or as much as possible back then.

So Adam, then another friend named Ty Taylor, who I had just met, those were the first two guys I texted. The only guys I knew who could possibly hit all those notes and sing that kind of theatrical rock and roll style. And they sang the whole song and did a demo. And those voices that they recorded at home are the voices that are on your recording. They’re even a little warped here and there, but we didn’t want to try and capture lightning twice in a bottle. We loved what they sang so much.

And luckily, they had to be in the actual number and shooting. There are a lot of other names on Broadway that are just the voices of the Avengers – because of COVID they couldn’t bring in a whole bunch of people. Flying people was very … [they] couldn’t do it with everyone. So it’s a very old-school musical where people sing on screen, it’s not really their voice. I don’t want to crush anyone’s bubble. Pop anyone’s bubble. But they are phenomenal singers like Rory Donovan, Christopher Sieber, Derek Klena.

WITTMAN: Shayna Steele.

SHAIMAN: Shayna Steele, Bonnie Milligan. I mean, phenomenal singers, every one of them. And we were also excited to do it, but we couldn’t tell anyone. You know, six months of hanging on to this. So it was so exciting when they finally put the song… that little bit in that first trailer. And then seeing the reaction from Marvel fans was so exciting. It was passionate.

WITTMAN: Yeah. I got my favorite compliment I ever had [which] was someone wrote, “It’s slamming.” It’s better than a New York Times rating.

Image via Disney +

It’s the modern equivalent, I think. I would love to know the thought process behind adding Ant-Man to the song in the musical. Was it just for the “He wasn’t even there, but we’re going to put him in anyway” joke?

WITTMAN: Yeah. It makes Clint say, “Wait a second. I didn’t quite get it.” But that was a request from Marvel.

SHAIMAN: It’s a perfect example of the sense of humor they have in movies. And so do we … Scott and I both knew that. I mean, that was the main point of the script, is that Clint is dragged into the musical from this Avengers musical. And he just roll his eyes and say, “Why am I here? And what is it? It really happened to me. And now they’re singing and dancing and what is Ant? -Man done in there? ” So that was all part of the script. And we were more than happy to oblige. It’s hysterical, this guy who dances like Ant-Man.

Are you both prepared for the possibility of this becoming a full-fledged musical in real life? And if so, are you ready to come back and do it all?

SHAIMAN: Yes, we are up to the challenge. Yes. If only Kevin Feige were on social media, I’d say he’s flooding him with requests. I mean, but a lot of people say it. So, you know, Marvel works in mysterious ways.

The first three episodes of Hawk Eye are currently available to stream on Disney +, with new episodes airing weekly every Wednesday.

Jonathan Igla - Hawkeye
Jonathan Igla, chief writer of “Hawkeye”, breaks down the first two episodes, from the initial meeting of Kate and Clint to this episode 2 more closely

He also talks about the scene that was part of his original presentation to Marvel and his wish to see “Rogers: The Musical” in real life.

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