'Hawkeye' Director Hopes Pizza Dog Will Encourage Viewers to Adopt Not Shop

Disney+'s new Marvel series Hawkeye just landed on the streaming platform, and as well as Clint Barton and Kate Bishop it also introduces another key character from Matt Fraction and David Aja Omnibus' comics: Pizza Dog.

The one-eyed pooch makes his adorable debut in Episode 1, where he is saved by Bishop (played by Hailee Steinfeld) from being hit by a car, and she then brings him home with her.

Director Rhys Thomas spoke with Newsweek about including the dog in the show, and how it could encourage viewers to adopt rather than shop for pets.

When asked if he intended that message to be conveyed to fans when they saw Pizza Dog, Thomas said it "absolutely" was.

"Oh, yes, absolutely. I mean, yes that's definitely a philosophy that I belong to," he said of Pizza Dog's inclusion encouraging people to adopt pets. "You know, that notion of the outcast dog is something that very much came from the Matt Fraction run of the Hawkeye comics.

"Clint's hard of hearing in this and it is about these outsider characters, in a way, kind of finding one another and, you know, finding that sort of meaning amongst one another.

"That's what I loved about that character in the Fraction run, that [Pizza Dog] is this unacknowledged kind of heroic salvation of Clint and Kate, that sort of is always there when you need him.

"And, you know, I think that's how a lot of people feel about their pets too, so it was fun to represent that somehow."

Rogers the Musical

Another fun aspect of the Disney+ show is "Rogers the Musical" which, as one might expect, is about the Avengers with Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, being the star of the show.

Barton (Jeremy Renner) takes his children to see the show since his superhero alter-ego Hawkeye also plays a part in the musical, and so viewers get to enjoy a catchy, camp stage version of the events of Avengers.

For Thomas, the musical was a "fun, silly idea" but he admitted he'd love to bring it back to the MCU in future, if only someone will "say the word".

Of including the musical in the show, he said: "That was a fun, silly idea that I had early on and trying to think how what would be a fun, annoying... you know, a fun way to meet Clint, like what was the last place he'd want to be?

"I just had this image of Jeremy, his world-weary face sitting in a darkened theater, watching this weird projection of his life, [it] felt really funny to me.

"I had the joy of working with Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman on that song, and, yes, ideas were of course punted around and I could easily keep expanding on it.

"Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, we were limited in sort of the practicalities of production in terms of what we could shoot but, yes, anyone just wants to say the word I'll gladly keep building."

He added: "To me, [the musical] wanted to have a quality of absurdity to it. So, it was always trying to find that line where it, you know, it's good enough that you believe it and that it's a Broadway show, but there's like an edge of parody to it as well to be had.

"Hats off to Kevin Feige and the team for embracing that, and, you know, in all fairness, wanting to continue to push that. So I hope that, if it did expand, that we would be able to take that point of view across the whole thing."

Hawkeye streams every Wednesday on Disney+.

Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop, Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton and Pizza Dog in "Hawkeye". Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.