Jeremy Renner Wants The Hawkeye He Signed On For

3 years ago by  

[Update: Hawkeye gets a bigger role in The Avengers 2.]

The first time Hawkeye was name-dropped as a potential character to be introduced in Marvel Studios’ interconnected cinematic universe was back after the success of Iron Man, when rumors pointed towards Hawkeye and Black Widow showing up together in Iron Man 2. Half of that came true and it wasn’t until Jeremy Renner shared some interesting information about a meeting he had with Marvel that we had what came to be concrete info on the character.

Renner, who’s a friend of The Avengers (pre-Joss whedon) screenwriter Zak Penn, had gone in initially to discuss Captain America and instead got caught up in a conversation about the character of Hawkeye. They talked costumes, stories from the books, details about the character and ideas for how he could show up in Thor and later in The Avengers. Two years later, that came true when on the eve of Comic-Con 2010 he had officially signed with Marvel Studios to play Clint Barton.

Hawkeye did have his brief introduction as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and skilled archer in Thor and he was one of the six core heroes feature in The Avengers. Unfortunately for the character however, and actor Jeremy Renner, in a movie like The Avengers there’s very little time to explore the backstory of new characters like he who didn’t have his own prelude via a solo character film. Instead, Renner’s scenes were relegated to mostly doing action set pieces and for a large part of the film, he wasn’t even who he was supposed to be thanks to Loki’s trickery.

Jeremy Renner with Sniper Rifle 570x234 Jeremy Renner Wants The Hawkeye He Signed On For

Renner sniping again in The Bourne Legacy

In chatting with Hero Complex for The Bourne Legacy, Renner reflects on not being able to play the Clint Barton he learned so much from Zak Penn and a big part of that is possibly due to Joss Whedon’s rewrite of the story and script.

“At the end of the day, 90% of the movie, I’m not the character I signed on to play. I’m literally in there for two minutes, and then all of a sudden… All I could really work on was the physical part of it all, because that didn’t change. That was just the biggest challenge to overcome in playing the guy. Also, we’re pretty much introducing a new superhero character to everyone in a movie where there’s a thousand superheroes. So there’s not a lot of back story or understanding we can really tell about who Clint Barton is, or Hawkeye, and is he working for SHIELD or not. There’s a lot of unanswered questions, even for me. And I was OK with that. At least I was still in the movie. And I was glad for that. The closest thing I could really link to was Scarlett [Johansson's] character, Black Widow, because they have a history. And that definitely plays in the movie, I think. And obviously, you can’t go into too much just because there’s so much story to tell, but you definitely get a sense that they’re connected, and that there’s something really, really important that ties them together. And I could try to summarize it, but it can go a lot of places. That excites me, though, that there’s room for other things.”

Renner wasn’t a fan of playing bad guy Hawkeye:

“I prefer the good, because if we go to the evil part, or hypnotized or whatever the heck you want to call it, it’s kind of a vacancy. Not even a bad guy, because there’s not really a consciousness to him. The interesting part was being guilty about the bad things I did do when I was hypnotized. I think he’s already an interesting enough character. To really kind of take away who that character is and just have him be this sort of robot, essentially, and have him be this minion for evil that Loki uses. Again, I could just focus on the task. I was limited, you know what I mean? I was a terminator in a way. So yeah, fun stunts. But is there any sort of emotional content or thought process? No. That doesn’t exist in that time [that he's hypnotized]. It happens to be for most of the movie.”

Clearly, the twice-Oscar-nominated actor would rather have been utilized differently, but he has no regrets and was happy to be a part of such an important film and franchise.

“You know, there are a lot of people in that movie. And a lot of important characters. And my character, I felt like if I can help serve story, then I did my job.”

Renner also addressed the often-repeated question of whether or not he’ll get his own Hawkeye film as suggested by Marvel president of production Kevin Feige. While he says he doesn’t know and that it depends on Marvel (“we’ll see”), we all know the Hawkeye solo film is not going to happen simply due to the amount of other characters and stories that are taking up the studio’s resources (and release dates). Renner does happily speak about how cool his bow was in the film and he shares his knowledge of the character from the books being a lone wolf and not always a team player. Hopefully for fans (and Renner), we get to see that explored in The Avengers 2 and, if rumors are true, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier before that – a film which is seemingly shaping up to be the SHIELD movie.

Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014 and Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014.


More: Hawkeye Gets Bigger Role in Avengers 2


Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: Hero Complex

Hawkeye concept art by Andy Park.


FIND OUT MORE ABOUT: agents of shield, hawkeye, the avengers, thor


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  1. I don’t read the “Ultimates” version of the Avengers, which I assume movie Hawkeye is based upon. That said, I don’t consider the character Renner played in the movie to be the Hawkeye I grew up reading. That guy was part hothead, part smart a$@, and he generally butted heads with Captain America. Unfortunately, all the personality in the film has to go to RDJ, pretty much leaving the other characters with little to work with.
    The same thing is true of the X-Men movies and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. The screenwriters are so afraid of alienating the audience that they won’t flesh out any other characters

  2. Well, I wouldn’t blame Renner if he doesn’t decide to be on board for Avengers 2. Hawkeye is definitely a secondary character and if 90% of the time he’s not doing much of anything than the occasional stunt & is there for a couple of minutes, then what’s the point? Yes, I know he will cash in big time but he’s not hurting for that and if the character has changed for the most part into that he doesn’t want to represent or that wastes his time, then I say let it go. Do a quality film that utilizes your time and who knows that could lead to Oscar than just a cheap chunk of blockbuster cash.

  3. I want the hawkeye movie too. I was excited about this. Even if it was a Hawkeye/Black Widow team up movie, I want to see it. Hawkeye is brill and deserves his own movie.

  4. I agree, cuz i was not expecting hawkeye to be a bad guy for most the movie. And why couldnt they have more heroes in the movie, considering his character didnt have his own movie and only appeared briefly in thor, so at least he wouldnt be so left out in a way.

  5. i dont think a hawk eye movie would make much money, even a black widow one (may do better though) would do it. but I think it should follow in the shoes as agents of shield, and do a series, i think that would be a big hit and show back story.