Connect with us


The ‘Hawkeye’ cast on telling a Marvel Christmas story and ‘Rogers: The Musical’



The cast of Hawkeye, including Jeremy Renner, Hailee Stenfeld and Vera Farmiga, talk about the new Disney+ series.

They cover what it was like telling a Marvel Christmas story, how Rogers: The Musical came to be, and Hailee Steinfeld taking over the Hawkeye mantle.

Video Transcript

It’s going to be the best Christmas ever.


So I took the kids to New York to see a show.

Sounds pretty cool to me.

KEVIN POLOWY: How did the idea to set “Hawkeye” over the holidays arise, and what excited you guys about the premise?

TRINH TRAN: Well, I think, for that very reason, we wanted to figure out a way to set it apart from all of the series that have come out, and all of the stories that are coming out, you know? It’s like, how do we set this particular one apart? And we love the holiday, we love a holiday event. Other than “Iron Man 3,” we haven’t really, you know, dived into that area.

And out of all the characters, Clint Barton made the most sense. He is one of the few Avengers with a family, with kids. Family is central to him, and especially after Endgame, where he lost his family, you know, took on a different persona for five years, and then got his family back.

He’s lost all this time, but yet again, he’s stuck on a mission that, now, there is a ticking clock of, well, is he going to be able to get home in time to spend the holidays? So it just made perfect sense that this particular character fits within this setting and time of year.

HAILEE STEINFELD: The fact that this takes place during the holiday time, it’s beautiful, and wonderful, and lovely, and heartfelt, and emotional. But it’s also complicated, and there’s a lot of layers, a lot of depth, a lot that can go wrong, a lot that does goes wrong. There’s just a lot happening. But I love that that’s the backdrop of our show. It plays such a huge part of it, and I love that.

KEVIN POLOWY: Jeremy, what about you? Why do you think Hawkeye and the holidays were ripe– ripe for a combo here?

JEREMY RENNER: The best gifts come wrapped in a bow.

TRINH TRAN: That’s why.



Nailed it. Pow!

KEVIN POLOWY: Did it feel like you guys were making, like, a Christmas series. Did it have that sort of spirit?

VERA FARMIGA: We started the film shoot by shooting at the loc– in New York City, on location, in New York City during the holiday season, when it’s completely festive, and decorative, and there’s no place– you know, it’s just, like–

TONY DALTON: Yeah, Christmas trees and stuff.

VERA FARMIGA: Christmas in New York is– it doesn’t get better than Christmas in New York. But then it shifted. And then we went to Atlanta–


VERA FARMIGA: –then shot in the soundstage, which, like, didn’t feel Christmasy at all.

TONY DALTON: Yeah, no, not even close.

KEVIN POLOWY: Are there certain Christmas movies that inspired you. And please say “Die Hard.”

TRINH TRAN: Well, “Die Hard” definitely is one of them. There’s definitely that style in there. there’s “Home Alone” that I really love, as well too. “Die Hard” obviously has the action, it has that character. So we looked at a ton of them. We looked at, you know, different Christmas music, as well too.

But most importantly is also, how do we integrate it into the MCU, and still sort of maintain that feeling that we’re after in all of the projects that we have, um, created?

KEVIN POLOWY: Clint is, like– he’s a family man, right? I think that’s one of the things that really has stood out about him over the years, like, his commitment to his family over the years. And you’ve really see it here. The guy is just trying to take his kids to New York for Christmas. Is that something you take pride in, especially as a father yourself, that he’s got to be like the daddyest Avenger?

JEREMY RENNER: The daddyest Avenger? Yeah, yeah, I would think so, for sure. I mean, it’s sort of where’s his moral compass lies. And I think it’s a big part of just the core of who Clint is. And I think him being the daddyest Avenger is a great expression of his moral code, and his fortitude, and his strength, and his selflessness. You know, all these things I think apply towards him, defines him as a hero.

KEVIN POLOWY: He’s the daddyest Avenger, I think we can say that.

TRINH TRAN: He is the daddyest, other than Scott Lang. Scott Lang, also, you know, is a dad, as well too. But Clint hasn’t spent those five years as a dad to his kids.

KEVIN POLOWY: We got to talk about “Rogers– The Musical” on Broadway.


So I took the kids to New York to see a show.

KEVIN POLOWY: Are you guys testing the waters here to see if an Avengers musical could work?

TRINH TRAN: [LAUGHING] To see if people are really interested in it, maybe one day we can make a musical. [LAUGHING] I would love to be a part of that. I think it would be amazing. That idea just came as just an idea in the background for the series, something that is mentioned, and you would see a visual of some sort. And then it just kind of grew and escalated because we got more and more excited about the idea of actually doing something like this.

And next thing you know, there was set pieces, and we have a song and dance about it that Clint Barton is watching.

JEREMY RENNER: There was always an idea that we talked about. And then when it actually came back, it was the last thing that that I shot on the show. And because it was a full-on production. And we had tremendous musical talent and performers. And it was a real thing. You know, we’ll see what happens with it. I don’t know. Kevin got really excited about it too. So who knows, when he gets excited about stuff.

KEVIN POLOWY: And of course, we got to talk about the man whose character name is right there in the title. Because it feels like this could be a swan song for Jeremy Renner. How would you guys describe his energy on set? Does it seems sort of bittersweet to him?

TONY DALTON: You know, he always made it very comfortable to work around. And that’s always something that you really appreciate, because it’s the person who’s kind of guiding you with this whole thing. So, you know, it was a joy working with him, to be honest with you.

VERA FARMIGA: Yeah, but you do look for him, for tone.

TONY DALTON: Yeah, exactly.

VERA FARMIGA: You look exactly to him for all the cues, because he is so seasoned. But there is this bitter sweetness, I don’t know what it is about Jeremy. I mean, it’s just Jeremy in general.


VERA FARMIGA: He’s always like happy-go-lucky, yet brooding at the same time.

TONY DALTON: Yeah, yeah yeah yeah.

VERA FARMIGA: You know what I mean? But he has had to say goodbye to a lot of these characters, and a lot of them. I mean, he’s had to let go. And he’s–

TONY DALTON: And, well, and you’ve seen other guys say goodbye, right?

VERA FARMIGA: Yeah, yeah. And then to say hello to a whole new series. And it’s an interesting emotional dynamic.

KEVIN POLOWY: Uh, you’ve said this will be a bow passing from Clint to Kate as the new Hawkeye. Obviously, Haley was pivotal casting for you guys. What can you say about what you guys saw in her from the get go?

TRINH TRAN: She is talented beyond years. You know, one of my favorite of her project is “True Grit.” You know, she’s got that spunk, and she’s got that energy, she’s got that smart. And we knew as soon as she walked in the door and she was talking that she was this character that we have envisioned all these years.

You know, Kate Bishop is so appealing, for a reason, in the comics, right? There’s a specific– there’s some specific elements, and qualities, and traits, and personality about her that makes her so interesting to read. And Haley exudes a lot of those. And we just knew that, you know, whatever she was going to do with it was going to be magic and transform into the screen because of just how passionate she was, as well.


Continue Reading


Covid waste collection hit after KMC removes bins from streets | Kolkata News



Kolkata: Covid waste collection has come to a halt across the city with KMC removing streetside yellow bins that had been installed to dispose PPE kits, masks, gloves and other waste associated with Covid patients. The private agency that had been engaged by the civic body last year to clear this waste has also been compelled to stop the service after the bins were removed.
The decision to remove the bins amidst the pandemic has left households and neighbourhoods from where Covid cases are being reported in a fix. Several households with Covid patients are flouting the waste-handling norms and disposing Covid waste with their daily kitchen waste. But that is not possible in apartments with other residents objecting to this citing fears of infection during the door-to-door collection.
An octogenarian in Ballygunge and his wife had repeatedly urged the KMC for help in disposing their waste after they tested positive. “They told us we must engage private operators for bio-waste disposal. When we contacted a private operator, they asked for Rs 500 every time they would collect bio-waste till 1kg. For every kg more, they asked for Rs 50. But they also told us that bio-waste would only be masks and medicine disposables, not food and other household waste. We had little bio-waste, but took care to properly sanitise any food waste we put out during this time,” he said.
Civic authorities said the decision to stop the Covid waste collection was taken around August, months after the city emerged from the second wave. The reason, KMC officials said, was lack of use of the bins. “Widespread use of PPE kits during the first wave and them being dumped in the open around June-July 2020 had led to panic in the city. This led to the installation of yellow bins in September 2020. At the time, daily Covid waste comprising PPEs, gloves, masks, sanitary napkins, adult diapers and medicine foils across the 144 wards had touched 4 tonnes. But use of PPE declined sharply following the vaccination drive. After the second wave, hardly any Covid waste was dumped in the bins,” an official said.
With Covid cases inching up after the festive season, a section of KMC officials conceded the decision to stop collecting waste, at least from the Covid-sensitive areas, was perhaps hurried. “At a time when the city’s Covid graph is slowly rising, we should have kept the service alive in some neighbourhoods which have been reporting a spurt in Covid cases,” said an official.

Continue Reading


Konosuba Season 3 Release date , cast and plot



Konosuba Season 3 

Konosuba is a Japanese series by Natsume Akatsuki. It is the tale of a boy named Kazuma Sato who encounters an untimely demise. After his demise, he meets Aqua, a deity, and she gives him a shape in a similar galaxy that would give him the capacity to take up explorations and ward off demons.

Still, with these extraordinary capacities that he was conferred upon to utilize in the new World, he would dwell in, taking up Aqua to attend him.

There he understands her drawback, which is that her mind is absent sometimes. And now the only way for Aqua to go to immortality would be to overthrow the monster king.

So they organized a group of teams to battle the devil king, but soon Kazuma gives up on the debate and agrees to dwell on the path it is currently given to him, but that’s when he understands that every day in this being of his is a proposal to battle the devil king.

Release date

We can expect season 3 in 2022 with the extraordinary storyline with the production work going on. Sure to witness the release on the date they announced.

Everyone was thrilled to witness season 3.

Cast of Season

The cast of the previous season remains the same.

  • Arnie Pantoja
  • Kazuma Sato
  •  Faye Mata to cast Aqua
  • Erica Mendez to cast Megumin
  •  Christian Vee to cast Darkness.


With their enthralling storyline and characters, this season is going to be the best out of all. So excited to see this episode with all the previous cast’s extraordinary performance.No doubt they deliver the best in this season too.

With the announced date and crew’s reliable performance we can expect the best season of Konosuba in the upcoming sequel. Fans are excited to witness this.

Continue Reading


IATF 2021: Politicians and business leaders convene in Durban to plot recovery



With over 10,000 registered participants from 59 countries, the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) in Durban was the biggest pan-African business event to take place since the pandemic began. 

The seven-day fair was organised by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in collaboration with the African Union (AU) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat under the theme “Building Bridges for a Successful AfCFTA”.

It hosted over a thousand exhibitors in the Durban Exhibition Centre while the accompanying four-day conference in the city’s International Conference Centre brought together business leaders, senior officials and seven sitting heads of state.

On the final day of the trade fair on 21 November, Kanayo Awani, managing director of Afreximbank’s Intra African Trade Initiative, reported that deals worth $36bn had been signed during the event and that others had still not been completed. 

She said that 1,161 exhibitors, including 838 companies from 59 countries of which 46 came from Africa, had showcased their goods and services in a massively successful event.

Building bridges

The AfCFTA was the central theme of the conference. With 54 African countries signed up, the free trade area, which began trading in January 2021 at the height of the pandemic, is the largest trading bloc to have been launched since the formation of the World Trade Organisation. African leaders are optimistic that it will be able to help unlock the continent’s economic potential. 

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa opened the event on 15 November, declaring to delegates that “this trade fair is about building bridges. It is about connecting countries. It is about connecting people as well. Now Africa is taking concrete steps to write its own economic success story and this Intra-African Trade Fair is part of that story. Africa is opening up new fields of opportunity.”

In his address, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria said “the African Continental Free Trade Area must make the effort to ensure that Africa must be a marketplace where no country is left behind, we must ensure that we create jobs and enhance revenues for all parties.”

The conference featured a series of panels across different sectors, including agriculture, automotives, e-commerce, logistics, politics, technology and tourism.

Obasanjo calls for creation of “Made-in-Africa” brand

On the third day of the IATF former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo made a clarion call for the creation of an emblematic Made-in-Africa brand that will promote intra-African trade and boost the international export of African products.

Obasanjo told the audience that having such a brand would instil a sense of pride in each African country.

Former President Obasanjo of Nigeria at IATF 2021.
Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo speaking at IATF 2021. (Photo: IATF)

He said that the AfCFTA was working to remove the divisions that were brought about by colonialism, where Africa had been divided into regions based on the languages of the colonisers. According to him, the shared vision of IATF 2021 participants and traders is what will bring the AfCFTA to life.

“I have been impressed by the interaction of people at the IATF. People are working together, and this creates the environment in which miracles can happen,” he declared.

Talking tourism

With strict lockdowns and travel restrictions in place throughout the last two years, the tourism industry has gone through a period of unprecedented turmoil, and airlines came under significant financial pressure due to a drop-off in tourist numbers.

The “Think Tourism” panel on Thursday 18 November looked at ways to boost intra-African tourism given the reticence of many tourists to travel to parts of the continent because of low vaccination rates.

Abderahmane Berthe, secretary general of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) pointed out that there were 18.1m tourists travelling in Africa in 2020, a 74.2% drop compared to 2019. The 18.1m tourists generated $14bn of receipts and represent 4.5% of the global number of tourists, according to the UN World Tourism Organisation.

Cuthbert Ncube, chairman of the African Tourism Board, urged African tourism boards and governments to work together to help tourism to recover from the pandemic. 

“We need to start breaking the barriers that had separated us,” he said.

A strong domestic recovery in Africa would compensate for the drop in international demand, he added. The panellists said that the most successful tourism markets globally – such as the US, UK, Europe and Germany – have very strong domestic tourism industries, and this needed to be strengthened in Africa.

“We say Africa is open to business, but still it is a nightmare to travel from one member state to another. Integration between African states could enable our tourism sector to operate in a better way,” Ncube said.

Ethiopian Airlines emerged strong from the pandemic but is now encountering problems due to the country’s civil war. (Photo: Philip Pilosian / Shutterstock)

The panellists then spoke about the future of airlines in Africa. One of the sector’s major casualties during the pandemic was already troubled South African Airways (SAA), which filed for bankruptcy and was privatised this year. 

Africa’s “golden star” airline Ethiopian Airlines, which had emerged strong from the pandemic, is the latest carrier on the continent to run into trouble, with the country in civil war. Due to the instability, Addis Ababa, a major airline hub, will now be treated with caution by many tourists, the panel warned.

Talking tech

The conference also saw leading players in the technology sector discuss ways to increase investment into African technology companies, as well as the growth trajectory for different areas of the industry, including in fintech, health tech and mobile.

Angela Wamola, acting head of sub-Saharan Africa, GSMA, began the “Think Tech” session with a presentation on mobile connectivity in Africa. GSMA represents the interests of over 750 operators with nearly 400 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem worldwide.

Wamola emphasised that mobile money will be at the heart of the sub-Saharan economy in the future and said that 1.2bn people have currently registered mobile money accounts across Africa.

“The message is Africa is running the show when it comes to mobile money and therefore the lens we need to look at it is: mobile money is Africa’s greatest and key asset to lead for the digital economy,” Wamola said.

Wamola noted that in sub-Saharan Africa, 120m people will start using mobile money between 2020 and 2025, with almost a third from Nigeria and Ethiopia, driven by uptake among young people.

Fabian Whate, head of South African-based tech investment company Naspers Foundry, observed that at least 60% of venture capital investment in Africa is in the fintech sector. “This year we saw $4bn of venture investment [in Africa] that compares to an African economy of around $2 trillion. So really, we’re just beginning to scratch the surface.”

“As time moves on, we’re going to see further and further development across a broader array of sectors. As those sectors develop further and further, you’re going to see further capital come into them,” he added.

Precious Lunga, founder and CEO of Baobab Circle, a health tech startup using AI and automation to remotely support people with chronic health conditions, said the conversation has shifted around health tech since the onset of the pandemic. 

“When we had the conversation four years ago, people didn’t understand why health tech would be relevant across the African continent, because everyone was looking at tech investment through the fintech lens. Since then, that’s definitely changed.”

Tanya van Lill, CEO of SAVCA (the Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association), said she was optimistic about more venture capital funding coming into Africa. 

In South Africa, the venture capital industry is only 3% of the size of private equity and private equity in South Africa started in the mid-1980s. So if we’re already seeing $4bn invested on the continent, and it’s still a growing, nascent industry, just think what we can see in 20 years if it also has the opportunity to grow like private equity has.”

Van Lill said she has seen more investment in health tech, as well as an increase in e-commerce and commercial last-door delivery, as during the pandemic people would rather order online than go to the shops. She is also seeing a rise in edutech investment.

Final thoughts

In the closing plenary of the conference on 18 November, Acha Leke, Africa chairman at McKinsey, noted that Africa did not fare as badly from the Covid-19 pandemic from an economic perspective as previously feared, despite low vaccination rates compared to the rest of the world.

“The good news is that we didn’t lose 150m jobs as projected, we lost about 30m. So generally, we were not as affected as we feared by the crisis which makes it more exciting on one hand for investors to come and continue to invest in these markets.”

But he warned that Africa is in the midst of its third Covid-19 wave and vaccinations have been slow. The slow economic recovery has been compounded by Africa’s GDP slowing down even before the crisis.

However, he was upbeat about significant investments made in Africa’s health sector and prospects for the future: “25% of all the vaccines in the world are administered in Africa, but Africa produces only 1% of the vaccines. Again, it’s a massive opportunity,” he said.

Leke was joined on the final panel by a string of politicians, executives and senior UN officials, including South African trade minister Ebrahim Patel, former Botswana trade minister Bogolo Joy Kenewendo and Ibrahima Diong, UN assistant secretary general and director general of African Risk Capacity.

There were many talking points from the week, butAbdou Diop, managing director at Mazars, an international audit, tax and advisory firm in Morocco, provided a good summary of what Africa needs to do to prosper: 

“Africa is really full of resources, the continent is very young, it’s innovating, creating, investing.

“We need to educate, to industrialise, to gain food security, to bring energy to the countries, and all these put together will bring jobs. Also, we need to make sure this African free trade happens – because sometimes we have some countries that sign today and other days they close their borders.”

Following the conference, two days were devoted to Africa’s creative industries in a programme organised by the Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX).

Africa’s creative industry can create millions of jobs

The Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX), a programme put in place by Afreximbank to support Africa’s creative and cultural industries, ran for two days after the end of the conference.

Designed specifically for African creatives including digital innovators and experts, fashion, film, and music actors looking for ways to monetise their content across the digital landscape, the forum is a space to share, discuss and create solutions that will encourage creatives to find innovative ways to use existing technology to increase their remuneration and thrive in their careers.

It brought together the leading lights of Africa’s creative sector through substantial exhibition space, business to business/government meeting opportunities and a comprehensive programme of conversations, panels discussions, live performances, installations and screenings. 

Benedict Oramah, president and chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank said that the young men and women in the creative sector have turned it into tradable services with a global reach, appeal and impact.

Benedict Oramah, president and chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, speaks at CANEX. (Photo: IATF)

“At Afreximbank,” he said, “we fully understand the power of the creative industry to catalyse intra-African trade, create millions of jobs for the continent’s young population, and promote the emergence of national and regional value chains. We also know the power of creatives to catalyse industrial development because this is a bankable industry.”

About $128m of the $500m facility set aside as seed capital by Afreximbank towards CANEX has already been invested in the form of loans to artists and facilitation of initiatives aimed at activating the nexus.

The third edition of IATF will take place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, in 2022.

Continue Reading