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. Hawkeye got the serious short stick in the Avengers. And it doesn’t help RDJ “robbed” Hawkeye of his cynical shtick. There really isn’t much for him to do other than be the Archer guy.

    But what was up with Loki’s Staff that “controlled” your heart, but could be countered with a punch to the head? And Professor Selvig having a “backdoor” whiled under control Hawkeye not?

    • Go read a comic. all sounds plausible to me:]

      • Got to be honest, Hawkeye is not interesting in the comics or movies. They should just eliminate the character altogether

        • You should pick up Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye #1, which came out last week. Fantastic first issue; they make Hawkeye far more interesting than he’s even been in just 20-some pages.

          • Whhaaaaa? Aja is doing art full-time again?!? and with one of his writers from Iron Fist? I might actually go inside a comic shop this week.

        • Hawkeye is awesome.

    • Eh – I never thought he was controlling the heart but the mind. Hence “cognitive realignment” to fix. But hey I’m still pretty convinced the jewel in the staff is the Mind Gem.

  2. Hawkeye was awesome in the last part of the movie – I’d love to see more of that. Not really that keen on a Hawkeye solo movie though, but yeah, definitely give him a bigger part in the next movie he pops up in.

    I feel the guy’s frustration a bit. When you play a superhero in a superhero movie, you want to be a good guy lol. It sucks that he was being controlled and underplayed for the biggest part of the film, but in the end, it was for story progression (i.e. it was necessary).
    He knew what he was getting into (I’m sure he read the script), he did get his moment to shine and I’m sure the pay wasn’t that bad either. Plus, even as a henchman he was pretty badass! (nearly destroying a Hellicarier isn’t an easy task ;))

    • Yes he was awesome but I’m sure Renner wanted to have depth he was quite on dimensional.

  3. Renner did get the Shaft in Avengers. He was an excellent character but I do think he needs to be part of a Shield movie to go more into his story. The guy is a talented actor and to not utilize him more would be sad.

  4. Perhaps he and Scarlett Jo can do something like Clark Gregg’s character Coulson, show up in some short bridges between the major films. That seemed like an excellent way to do fill in and could relegate some of the SHIELD lifting to them and keep SHIELD out of the other movies. At least reduce how much story time has to serve the next Avengers film.

  5. I didn’t really care about Hawkeye in the movie.

    But, daamn he was the only character that’s not been explored. While reading the article I realized it would have been interesting to flesh out his character. But that would be impossible in an already crowded movie.

    I think Jeremy is a fine actor. We’ll see…

    By the way, Why did Whedon have to rewrite the story and scirpt?

    • Because Zak Penn just isn’t a very good screenwriter. He knows comics, and he can come up with half-way decent plots, but Ed Norton had to rewrite The Incredible Hulk (which I loved). A bunch of people had to rewrite X-Men 2 (which I loved). His name is attached to NOTHING good that he wrote all on his own.

  6. well obviously they want to make sure he can draw. No one saw MI4 for renner – they went cuz of tommy c… if bourne does REALLY well – then he might get a flic but I don’t see JR being a huge box office draw. He doesn’t project leading man status to me. But I agree with the article – I doubt it. And yeah his hawkeye was kinda screwed over in avengers lol

  7. Well Cap 2 could flesh out at least Black Widow and Hawkeye’s relationship if they don’t over crowd that one too (i.e. a million SHIELD agents, Falcon, Bucky, another villain). Maybe they can find a medium to put him in similar to Black Widows role in Iron Man 2. Maybe Ant Man?

  8. Hes right but I’d rather a Black Panther movie

  9. I would rather see Black Panther & Doctor Strange have their own solo movie before Hawkeye thats not to knock Renner, I’d just rather see him in Avengers sequel, a SHIELD movie, and even in a team up movie with him and Widow(I’d rather not see her get her own movie either) I just think the character doesnt need an origin story or solo movie…

    Marvel only makes big budget movie & character like Panther & Dr. Strange would make for interesting origin stories, Hawkeye is already established as a badass archer lets give hime a little something more to do in Cap sequel and definetly something to do in Ant-Man movie, which could use a beef up in action and star power, What do you think Rob?

    • well they could always make a Black Panther movie featuring Cap. and Hawkeye. That would give him some more screen time and get us the BP movie we all want (except Marvel is would seem :P )

  10. i watched the avengers emh and before i watched it i was against him getting his own movie but he was a really good character in that show and actually one of my favorites, he has a attitude and actually saved them a lot. i dont know if this is his characteristics in the comics because i dont read them but he is a great character from that show. I am welcome to a SHIELD movie more now if that is how he is portrayed, if there is to be one. no way are they doing a movie for himself or black widow.

    • Couldn’t agree more! I’m fairly new to the Marvel fandom and wasn’t totally familiar with the not-so-lead characters. But after watching the movie and EMH I totally changed my opinion! I’ve read some comics with Widow and Hawkeye too and it would be a pity if they didn’t used his character more thoroughly! He’s a complex character which allows emotions and a bit of arrogance to interfere with his descisions but at the end still makes a good choice and saves the day. Not to mention he’s snarky and sarcastic as hell! Although I do agree with the comment up there, they used too much of the cynic attitude on Tony Stark so bringing up Hawkeye’s character like that would seem like a bad copy…

  11. I would be extremely dissapointed if Hawkeye and Black Widow don’t play a bigger role in Cap 2. It seems like that’s the closest we will get to a SHIELD film so I guess it will have to do..

  12. This situation is exactly what I’ve been bringing up in the Ant-Man threads. You can’t have an actor who’s gotten too big for his role playing a backseat in an ensemble cast. Like Halle Barry in X-Men. You need someone who can handle a lead role, but isn’t too big of a star, and is unlikely to BECOME too big a star.

    Jeremy Renner wants more, and I don’t blame him. Hopefully he gets a chance for a more challenging roll in Cap 2.

  13. Jeremy Renner is a professional. He at least waited for some time to pass before expressing any complaints about his role in Avengers. And he did so in a decent way. He didn’t whine about it. He made his case, explained why he was disappointed his character didn’t get to develop. But there’s good news. There will definately be another Avengers movie and we’ll most likely see Hawkeye in other movies.

    I don’t see a Hawkeye stand alone movie happening unfortunately. Renner is an up-in-coming star.

    • Agreed, at least he waited and didn’t cry like some actors would have. :D

    • I agree. I think with what Whedon says about Avengers 2 being more personal we’ll get a LOT more Clint Barton.

  14. I can feel for Renner to a certain extent and I don’t know what was originally in the script for him but in all honestly, there isn’t a whole lot to his origin.

  15. Id like to see Hawkeye with a mask,maybe alittle dark purple added to the costume.

  16. I agree that Hawkeye did get kind of marginilised for most of the film and became a gimmick/tool character in the movie (a badass one at that), either for the good and bad guys. I enjoy Jeremy Renner’s work and I also did feel cheated in both of his appearance. The aftermath of how he feels about being responsible for some bad events in the film and the experience of what occured-alien invasion- at all can definitely be taken advantage of in his followup appearance and have more of his personality and story take a shine. He doesnt need an origin story but exploration of his character would be nice.

    The plot hole of him being “controlled” through the heart (no conscious) but hit in the head, along with Selvig able to cheat bother me a little too. Maybe Hawkeye did other things that he doesn’t remember.

    I love the artwork- that is how I would like to see cinematogrophy should replicate this. :)

  17. Guess he wants a piece of pie, or Edward Norton got in his ear ;)

  18. Well, that’s what happens when you sign on to play a C-list character in a universe of A listers and for a multi-picture deal before there is even a working script; you get used. You should have known from the get go that Marvel is a very controlling studio and that there was never going to be a particularly strong collaborator relationship bewteen director and actor, especially in an ensemble blockbuster.

    Seriously Renner, if you’re looking for three dimensional roles with depth, humanity, and fairly fleshed out character arcs then you have to STOP with all of these generic action roles. MI4. AVENGERS. BOURNE. Your grey government assassin roles are becoming boring and repetitive. And it’s not even what you do best. You’re a fairly short actor and aren’t especially believable in them either. Leave the scowling and ‘hero shots’ in from of greenscreens to the Chris Hemsworths and Jason Stathams and please get back to character driven films with emotional realism.

    DAHMER. HURT LOCKER. THE TOWN. That’s the kind of diverse acting you do best. Please take control of your career, build collaborative relationships with other talented artists, and do work you can truly be proud of and don’t have to make excuses for before you lose the respect of all your non-comic book obsessed peers. Don’t just blindly accept whatever the Hollywood machine spits out to you while your contemporaries like Gosling and DiCaprio are consciously avoiding the lazy mistakes you are making right now and having better and more durable careers because of it. Just stop whining and make better creative choices.

    • You make some great points, but maybe you should address to Renner personally and not to the general forum, lol! Sorry, couldn’t resist!

    • Agreed. Hawkeye was easily the lamest character in the movie, which doesn’t do Renner any favours. Any actor in that role would’ve been shafted too.

      I could be wrong, but he doesn’t look like he can carry a blockbuster. He’s more suited to more character-driven roles like Hurt Locker and The Town.

      You’re right about him taking the wrong path, I guess Bourne will be the litmus test as to which path he should take.

    • Whoaaaa, lol he makes a great Hawkeye. You sound angry, they’ll make him happy in a “S.H.E.I.L.D.” movie. Has to happen, maybe even elude to past where the rock the signature gear.

    • Give the guy a break. There was no script when they signed on and Whedon has said that he had a beautiful back story lined up for him; zombie Hawkeye was one of the very last changes and it had to be done for the sake of the film. If you read the interview he is expressing his disappointment, but he is not whinging. I have read one critic saying a better actor would have fought harder for his character, what an idiot, a great character actor like Renner always puts the film first.

      As for the action, I think he is highly believable. He is quick and agile and most importantly different from the big, lumbering brigade with their photoshop muscles. The difference is important. If all the characters looked the same, how would a the God of Thunder stand out?

      Finally, Renner has been doing character driven work for the last 10 years. At nearly 40 he decided he wanted to have a go at some action, presumably before it was too late. To do what he has done from pretty much a standing start at 40 is amazing and in 2013/4 it will be 4 character driven pieces in a row. The first 3 of these films are with actors of the highest calibre. The final film he has developed himself and he will produce, as well as lead; if he had been a good little boy and not taken any risks, would he have got the funding? Renner has been quoted as saying that after the Town he was attached to two films which he was very excited about, both of which stalled, despite his 2 nominations. I think he has done what he needed to do and good for him.

  19. I think that he was in exactly as much of the movie as he should have been.

    If anyone really got shafted in The Avengers, it was Evans. Sounds like he’s also about to be shafted in the Cap sequel.

    • How do you figure Evans got shafted?

  20. I think a reality-grounded Hawkeye film a-la Nolan’s Batman trilogy (please excuse me bringing up DC stuff in a Marvel article) might work. Of course reality-grounded in Marvel universe can only go so far, but it can flesh out Hawkeye’s character more and of course his background such as how did he get the archery skill, his past, his relationship with Black Widow, how did he get into SHIELD, etc. Just go with different story telling/direction approach than other Marvel superheroes films is what I’m saying.

    • Dont want Nolan touching anything comicbook realted ever again. These are comicbook characters in comicbook worlds, Nolan was naive to try to change it to realistic, it takes away the escapsim and fantasy of the original source material. Whedon is great at writing both serious and humor and fantasy plus he knows how to write female characters, Nolan doesnt.

      • It doesn’t have to be Nolan. Could be any talented directors with a passion for comic book. They just need a unique style to bring out the best of Hawkeye. That’s why I said reality-grounded stories can only go so far in Marvel movie universe, or in any comic book movies for that matter. Don’t misunderstand my post. Renner said he wanted a Hawkeye film that’s really about him, fleshing out Hawkeye’s character. Being a talented actor that he is, it’s only natural that’s what he wanted. And seeing as Hawkeye don’t have any fancy-explosive superpower, maybe gritty crime action drama type of film that’s focusing on his character is one way to go, being detached with Marvel movie universe pure comic action that it is.

        • He may not but he’s done some superhuman type stuff like Hicks from Alphas. Maybe more of that, pushing his limits and potential. I wouldn’t even be mad if they finally said he was a mutant to sell some of his skill.

      • @ mara


      • YES! YES! YES! my feelings exactly. I HATE this real world s****. I want my fantasy – fantasy and my reality – reality. Burton Gotham owns Nolan Gotham.

        • Jeez just because you hate realism and other things like that it doesn’t mean they are s***.

          Hey guess what I very much prefer the grounded superhero movies where there is actually some kind of character development and the movie is not all about explosions and action.

          But I don’t think they are bad because of that.

        • Everyday of the week!

          • @The Ritty

      • Yeah, he just made the 3 best movies in the genre in my opinion. Batman is a character that works better grounded in some reality. Sure I like a pop corn flick without much story to it like Avengers, it was fun, but to me the Nolan Batman movies are so much better and have sooo much more depth and gravitas. You want fantasy go watch your DVD’s of The Lord of the Ring movies(which I also loved) and also those god awful Transformer movies. Nolan doesn’t know how to write female characters, suuuuure, that’s why Catwoman/Selina Kyle was so damn awesome in TDKR. Dawes wasn’t all that great in Batman Begins because of the performance, she was much better in TDK.

        Btw, anyone who thinks that garbage that Burton tried to pass off as Batman movies was better than Nolan’s movies is a damn fool…those were Tim Burton movies, not Batman movies.

        • LOL. Selina Kyle was awesome in TDKR? Uhm…

          • I think that Anne Hathaway was a much better catwoman than lets’ say Halle Berry. and i do feel that hawke guy did get the short end of the stick but JR made his time of the flim great. I do like Jeremy and think he is an great up and comer. someday he will be an amazing actor.

      • I thought of the same thing that a realistic movie for Hawkeye would be good.

        Hawkeye is nothing if There are Iron Man, Hulk…etc.

        No matter how you hate Nolan and grounded superhero movies.
        I believe Hawkeye would certainly fit into that world.

      • What constitutes a comic book world in print may not have anything to do with movie and television versions since they are two totally different mediums. And there really is no set comic book world as such, since many comics have a different feel and tone themselves. What Nolan did with Batman was not even grounded when you look at it from what you see in real life, and it was as much escapism and fantasy as James Bond. Batman lends itself to being on the same level as other action films because he is just a guy who has a lot of resources and training who fights highly creative criminals. There is no need for a lot of bells, whistles and crazy effects for that.

        As for the female character thing, well if we are going by Avengers and the Dark Knight Returns they both had femme fatales clad in leather beating on guys. Whedon’s other female characters tend to be the unattainable girl who happens to be a some kind of super-ninja, so his fantasy girls aren’t exactly meant to be feminist icons.

      • But there are Comicbooks that use realistic tones. That are a lot of them. In fact most comicbooks strive to connect to another genre then be all out comicbook.

  21. I really wish they would do movie based on the tidbits of history given out between him and Natasha. Best part is they could bring back Coulson. Basically build the story around him hunting her (interestingly I think this could be done from her point of view), turning her and end in Budapest.

    A pity it probably won’t happen.

  22. I think a Hawkeye and Black Widow mini-series on ABC should be made since Marvel\Disney won’t have enough time to make all these solo blockbusters. Guess we’ll see how Cap 2 shapes up or perhaps they’ll be included in the Hulk TV show. Phase 2…saturate every possible medium. And I’m fine with that.

    • A Shield t.v. show hhhmmmm…. sounds like a plan to me.

    • I also thought about the idea of a mini series… there are a lot of big name movie actors doing mini series’ so I’m sure they could get the actors to commit.
      The only thing issue is getting the series to make money. It seems like a bit of a gamble since there’s never been a superhero mini-series, plus it’ll have to be action packed which brings up production costs as well.

      Still, it’s a very interesting idea… I can sorta see it already:

      • Very cool poster 8)

  23. Hawkeye ain’t nothing but a fake as Green Arrow anyway.

    • green arrow is a traffic light. Green Arrow is a rip-off of batman. Rich playboy millionaire orphan with alot of gadgets.

      Marvel’s archer Hawkeye has alot more to him and originality. DC blows.

      • Please guys do not bring Marvel vs. DC arguements into this.

        Thanks, Have a nice day :)

    • They both are just Robin hood wannabes

  24. Oscar-nominated people, not “Ocar”.

    • Whoops. Fixed!

  25. Didn’t Hawkeye start off as an Iron Man villian in the comics???

  26. JR is the s***. Luv hawkeye. I wuldnt mind his own movie. Id def go c it

  27. I do wish that Hawkeye got more screen time I was very relieved when he had that scene with Blackwidow because then i could say to myself okay there is some emotional pieces of the character. But one thing I can say about Marvel is that there always looking for improvement so im pretty sure they’ll give Hawkeye a bigger part.

  28. I want Coulson back!!!! :(

  29. I guess I’m a Hawkeye fanboy, because I thought his character was the best in Avengers. He got to play a good guy and baddie, and held his own with Thor and Hulk. Considering the character is a 2nd rate superhero, he had a lot to do with the story.