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The Hawkeye television series opens by showing a scene from the in-universe Broadway musical "Rogers" that is telling the story of the Battle of New York. In true Broadway form, each of the Avengers that were at the battle comes out and sings some sort of catchphrase and then goes back to dancing - there's Iron Man, Cap, Thor, Hulk, Widow, Hawkeye, Ant-Man... wait what??

Obviously, Ant-Man was not at the Battle of New York. I highly doubt that the Hawkeye showrunners forgot that, so putting him in the musical must have been a deliberate choice. It was funny, but was it added purely for comedic effect, or for some other deeper reason?

Why did Ant-Man appear in the Rogers musical?

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  • 3
    Pretty sure it was actually Mephisto. Jan 12 at 9:55
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    Downvote because Clint even calls this out himself. Jan 12 at 18:03
  • 3
    @ThePopMachine Sure, he calls out that Ant-Man wasn’t there. That’s not the question I asked. I asked why they added him to the musical, which I don’t think Clint addresses. Jan 12 at 21:55
  • 4
    Clearly, the musical was written by a Variant who escaped the branch timeline where Ant-Man was running around in New York.
    – notovny
    Jan 12 at 22:13
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    Actually, the early previews of Rogers didn't feature Ant-Man, but a dedicated, passionate, grassroots campaign coalesced around the hashtag #releasethepymcut and achieved a stunning victory for fandom culture. Jan 13 at 11:31

3 Answers 3

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The writers of the brief bit of Rogers: The Musical we saw in Hawkeye shared the following with ScreenRant:

"Scott and I were writing lyrics. I was like, 'We have to get things like Tesseract into the song, and Chitauri, and shawarma," said Shaiman. "[Marvel] knew the situation," added Wittman. "They wanted to musicalize the battle of New York. They did ask that Ant-Man be included in it because they wanted something where Clint would sit in the audience and go, 'Wait, he wasn't there. Why is he in this show?' That's just an example of, to both of us, of their humor, their sly humor.”

“The main purpose of the song is for Clint to be kind of horrified at what he's seeing," continued Shaiman. "So we knew that we had to write, hopefully, a good, entertaining song, but it had to also be the kind of style of Broadway that would make someone who doesn't love Broadway musicals, not to mention someone who lived through what is being portrayed, just be kind of like, 'What this?' That was a perfect Marvel sense of humor, the fact that they wanted Ant-Man to be in it to show how usually people get these things wrong."

ScreenRant

So, basically, the writers of the show and the writers of the musical wanted there to be something that shouldn't be there, to make clear how bad the musical itself was (even in-universe and not just out of universe) and how much Broadway messes real events up with adaptations.

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    The Asian dude who doesn't look like any of the original Avengers is Ant-Man :) twitter.com/AntManNews/status/1463651271072796678 Jan 12 at 16:39
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    Would the in-universe Broadway bunch be "The Ensemblers"? 😄 Jan 12 at 18:12
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    Seeing as the surname "Lang" is sometimes Chinese, I wonder if the idea is that the producers knew Ant-Man's name (Scott Lang), but not what he looked like, and made a bad assumption?
    – ruakh
    Jan 12 at 19:07
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    I actually liked the musical. I'm only saying this because I know you guys can't downvote a comment.
    – Blueriver
    Jan 13 at 13:45
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    @Blueriver But they can be flagged for moderator intervention /s
    – Peter M
    Jan 13 at 14:27
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This is normal and requires no explanation.

I know, I know, Peter Nielsen's answer has an explanation, with a citation and everything, and I voted it up for that. But even without Marvel's ‘sly humor’, this is exactly the kind of inaccuracy that you'd expect in a Broadway musical. If the producers of Rogers expect their audience to know Ant-Man, and they have him in later scenes, then that's all the excuse they need to put him in this one.

To demonstrate this, let me look at a recent real-world historical Broadway musical, Hamilton. Off the top of my head:

  • Burr, Lafyette, and Laurens weren't in New York when Hamilton arrived and met Mulligan. In fact, Hamilton didn't meet any of those three until after he joined the army.
  • Burr was not at the duel between Laurens and Lee. Lee's actual second was some guy you've probably never heard of.
  • Neither Jefferson, nor Madison, nor Burr confronted Hamilton about the Reynolds affair. The conversation between Hamilton and three Democratic-Republicans did happen, but the three were James Monroe and two others you've probably never heard of.
  • There are so many inaccuracies in the election of 1800 that it would take up too much space to list them all here. Suffice to say that it did not go down as shown.
  • Also, the Presidential election of 1800 was not the cause of Burr's fatal challenge to Hamilton. The actual cause was a gubernatorial election in 1804, not depicted in the musical, where Burr lost to somebody you've probably never heard of.

And there are many others that I could think of if I checked but are not coming to the top of my head. I could also give examples from other historical musicals, such as 1776, Evita, and Six. But this is scifi, not history, so there's no need for a comprehensive list. The point is that Broadway (and the West End) do this sort of thing all the time.

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  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. While this seems to justify making fun of Broadway musicals, it doesn't really add anything to Peter's answer, which acknowledges this without really needing to dig into this level of detail.
    – DavidW
    Jan 13 at 17:49
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    @DavidW : Yes, Peter's answer is good, but it risks understating how much Broadway does this. It's not just something that Broadway might do that would horrify Clint; it's something that you'd expect Broadway to do (if not with Ant-Man then in some other way). At first I was going to just make a comment on that answer, but then I thought that examples would help, so I wrote this. I don't know to what extent you like having multiple answers with different perspectives on scifi.se, but I wrote this answer in hopes that it would be useful but never get voted up higher than Peter's. ☺️ Jan 13 at 17:58
  • Taking into account the liberties that Hamilton did with the truth, it’s almost like Rogers got too much right! Jan 14 at 3:24
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This is an in-universe explanation consistent with what's seen, but with no explicit support: Ant-man was a consultant for the musical

Consider:

  1. What Avengers are available and willing to provide inside information about the Avengers? Rogers, Romanoff, and Stark are dead, Clint clearly was not involved (and it doesn't seem likely that Bucky or the Falcon would be involved), and Thor is off-planet. Banner might have been involved, but

  2. The musical seems to reflect Ant-man's level of knowledge about the individual Avengers. Ant-man admires Rogers' appearance - and the musical notes that Rogers and Thor are "easy on the eyes." Ant-man doesn't know Romanoff very well, so all the musical notes is "she's a knockout who can knock you out" and likewise Clint Barton simply seems like a really nice guy.

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  • 'Ant-man is one of the few living people who witnessed Rogers saying "I can do this all day"' — when did he witness this? May 23 at 9:30
  • Darn. I thought that Antman was observing the fight between the two Captains in "Endgame" - but while he went to the same time period, he wasn't with Capt. I'm going to delete my answer after people have a chance to read this mea culpa.
    – Andrew
    May 23 at 23:20
  • Ah yeah I think Ant-Man heads downstairs to assist in stealing the Tesseract briefcase. I think the answer's still good, it's just the "I can do this all day" bit that might be wrong. Does Cap say it in the battle at the end of Endgame? If so I think Ant-Man might still be underground at that point, but I could be wrong. I think Bucky heard him say it during the fight with Iron Man at the end of Civil War. May 24 at 9:01

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