Poor Hawkeye. Marvel’s greatest archer can’t seem to catch a break in the film franchise. From a cameo appearance in Thor and a zombified role in The Avengers to not even making the cut for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Jeremy Renner has long talked about his desire to play the Hawkeye (real name: Clint Barton) he signed on for years ago, and in next year’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron, he’ll be finally getting some spotlight attention. Rumor has it, he might even be a key part of Captain America 3 in 2016.

He almost had a part in this year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier as we learned from writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely but his role was minor and so he was cut. If you pick up Captain America 2 on Blu-ray (available September 9th), you’ll learn from the audio commentary on the deleted scenes one key sequence Hawkeye was originally going to be a part of.

As Cap 2 (and 3) directors Anthony and Joe Russo tell us when they joined us on the latest episode of the Screen Rant Underground podcast, it was mainly scheduling that prevented Renner from having a role, but they had quite the epic plan if it did work out.

I know listening to the commentary in the deleted scenes, there’s sort of a sequence there where the strike team is tracking down Cap to the city gym. I think one of you guys mentioned originally that Hawkeye was going to be chasing down Cap. Was he going to be somewhat of an antagonist in the early versions of this film?

Joe Russo: What it was going to be, we were trying to complicate the relationship between Cap and his S.H.I.E.L.D agent friends. If Hawkeye got a call from S.H.I.E.L.D saying Captain America is a fugitive, would he listen to that call or not listen to that call? That sequence actually was heartbreaking for us to cut it. I think it ultimately might have been a conflict with Renner’s schedule. But there was a great sequence where Hawkeye was chasing Cap through Washington D.C. there was an awesome sequence where they confronted each other in a ravine on the outskirts of D.C. and Hawkeye was shooting a series of arrows closing in on Cap, Cap closing in on him. And then Cap took him down and he realized for the first time that Hawkeye was trying to trick S.H.I.E.L.D, where he whispered something into Cap’s ear that Cap had a tracker on his suit and to punch Hawkeye to make it look real, because there was a Quinjet hovering above where they were watching the feedback back at S.H.I.E.L.D.

So it was a cool sequence. But look, there’s a million iterations of films, and especially when dealing with Marvel movies where characters can come in or come out during the creative process. And you keep working and working like a Rubik’s Cube till you find the right configuration where everything lines up. So even though we lost that sequence, I think we may have streamlined the movie and made it a little bit more propulsive.

With the way Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe shaped up, it’s only Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner (Hulk) and Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton (Hawkeye) who didn’t get a role. Banner of course, did pop up in a post-credits button for Iron Man 3. They’re both set to get a lot to do in Age of Ultron but we can only hope both live through the film and get a significant roles in Phase 3. As for what Hawkeye’s been up to since the Battle of New York, we’ll learn about his mission in The Avengers 2.

More: Russos Talk ‘Captain America 3′ Villains

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is produced by Kevin Feige, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, from a screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, and stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp and Hayley Atwell, with Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier releases on Disney Movies Anywhere August 19, 2014, and on 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand September 9, 2014. Captain America 3 opens in theaters May 6, 2016.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie and TV news!