Marvel went out with a bang in 2021 with their final show on Disney+, Hawkeye, delivering crossovers and big emotional payoffs for longtime fans. We saw Florence Pugh make her second MCU appearance as Yelena Belova, picking up a thread from the end of Black Widow. There were also Pym Tech arrows, nods to Clint Barton’s time as Ronin, and even a surprise appearance by Vincent D’Onofrio as the Kingpin, signaling the merging of Netflix’s Marvel shows with the MCU proper. For a while there, some fans were even guessing that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man might show up, since Spider-Man: No Way Home ends where and when Hawkeye takes place.
But as it turns out, there was one cameo that was left on the cutting room floor. In a recent interview with Metro, Hawkeye director Rhys Thomas (who helmed the first, second, and final episodes) talked about the cameos that never were.
When asked about that fan theory that Spider-Man might swing down to join the show’s final rumble in Rockefeller Plaza, the director said, “I think I asked that question too, because I was just like, we’re in New York and especially in this finale, there’s a lot going down here, it feels like someone might come to help and he’s doing this all by himself. But we never really talked about whether that would happen or not.”
So even if fans were eager to see Peter Parker and Clint Barton team up, it was never really in the cards. On the other hand, there was another cameo that was discussed: Scott Lang a.k.a. Ant-Man, played by Paul Rudd.
Thomas said he wanted to play up the “fun” and “amusing” dynamic that Rudd and Hawkeye star Jeremy Renner have in real life. But “ultimately, we had a lot of characters in the show and so it was determined that we’re going to keep it focused to [Clint].”
Nonetheless, Scott Lang’s presence lives on in Hawkeye, as the character gets a mention in the season finale and Pym Tech is used several times throughout the show. Ant-Man is even a part of the fictional Steve Rogers: The Musical despite not actually being there during the Battle for New York in the first Avengers film. (Although, technically he was, if you count the time heist from Avengers: Endgame.)
For now, Ant-Man’s next confirmed appearance is in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, where he’ll be facing off against Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conquerer. All six episodes of Hawkeye are currently streaming on Disney+.