Jeremy Renner first went into Marvel to chat with his friend Zak Penn who at the time was working on The Avengers film script. He initially went in for Captain America but ended up discussing the Hawkeye character. Two years later, Renner walked out on the stage of Hall H along with the rest of the cast of The Avengers in the San Diego Convention Center at Comic-Con 2010. Earth's Mightiest had found their archer.
When Whedon was hired by Marvel Studios to rewrite and direct The Avengers, he changed the script significantly and altered Hawkeye's role. As fans know, outside of his markmanskip skills the character of Clint Barton was nonexistent and as Renner put it, it wasn't the Hawkeye he "signed on to play." In the sequel, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Renner will have his chance to shine.
The witty and lone wolf Clint Barton personality from Marvel Comics was written out of the film, replaced by zombie Hawkeye who in the film's opening becomes a mindless minion of Loki. Just in time for the final set piece Battle of New York, Hawkeye returns to form. Renner said the following about his role:
"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's thoughts on his role in the film earned quite a few headlines and he hoped that he - along with the other Avengers stars - would have more time to explore their characters in the sequel. According to Avengers: Age of Ultron writer/director Joss Whedon at Comic-Con 2013, Hawkeye is the character he's enjoying writing this time around.
"It's very much a global Avengers film. A lot of the movie has to do with their place not just in America, but the world. Part of the fun for me, definitely this time around, is writing Hawkeye. He did get possessed pretty early by a bad guy and had to walk around all scowly for most of the movie so now it's nice to actually have the character there and see him interact with the other guys."
Whedon's intentional namedrop of Hawkeye is for fans, Renner and anyone who's reading Matt Fraction's brilliant and critically acclaimed Hawkeye comic series. With The Avengers sequel promising to dig deeper into the team dynamics and put them to the test, it's the right place for Renner to get a chance to bring Barton's personality to the table. The question is, will we see him cameo earlier?
Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on November 6, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie news!
Source: Marvel (via CBM)