Reported and rumored since last Fall, Jeremy Renner's role in Marvel Studios' The Avengers was finally confirmed in front of thousands of screaming fans at San Diego International Comic-Con in July. Renner will play Clint Barton, an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. who goes by the codename of Hawkeye and is known for his skills with a bow and his custom arrows.
Coming off an Oscar nomination for a role in the Oscar winning best picture, The Hurt Locker, Renner adds even more strength to the already-powerful cast of Marvel's epic team-up blockbuster. Prior to the buzz of The Hurt Locker however, Renner revealed in several interviews that he had met with Marvel about a role in Captain America but instead ended up in discussions about the character of Hawkeye.
While at that point there was nothing more to it other than his having a chat with the studio and friend Zak Penn (who wrote the earlier draft for The Avengers), he did reveal details that he probably shouldn't have, now that he's signed for a role with Marvel and that it just happened to be that exact character.
So, what do we know about Hawkeye from Jeremy Renner's words?
- He said Hawkeye would not cameo in Iron Man 2 but would likely intro in Thor.
- The character doesn't have any powers (staying true to the books) and that's why he's appealing to Renner. He's just a a normal guy who's extremely talented.
- Hawkeye's costume will be "modernized" and won't be at all like the original Hawkeye costumes from the main Marvel comics line, but more like the Ultimate version.
- His costume design will likely include sunglasses and a vest (again, like the Ultimate version of the Hawkeye).
Essentially, the Hawkeye costume Renner is describing matches this image:
All of that information Renner provided well before entering contract negotiations for the part, so concepts and costume design may have been altered since then. MTV interviewed the high-in-demand actor on the press tour for his role in Ben Affleck's The Town and took the opportunity to seek out some updates on his role in The Avengers and Renner reiterated what we heard before from him.
"I think it's going to be a little more reality-based. You can kind of tell with Scarlett [Johansson]'s character [in 'Iron Man 2'], it's going to be more of a uniform . . . and not a big purple, comics sort of thing."
Clint Barton will be a SHIELD agent alongside Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow character, who happen to sport similar costumes to what we've seen (and heard) from them in the film universe. But what about their relationship? In Mark Millar's 'The Ultimates,' Black Widow and Hawkeye are close partners and top agents - where do they stand in terms of The Avengers movie?
"We will [have a relationship], I think, in this one as well... We're kind of a team, and what that relationship is, is still to be discovered."
Perhaps there's more to their relationship than them being simple super agent partners?
Scarlett Johansson was able to introduce Black Widow in Iron Man 2 and I expect Renner will have a similar opportunity to show us his Hawkeye in Thor before they, along with our favorite superheroes, are brought together in The Avengers.
Thor opens May 5, 2011; The First Avenger: Captain America hits July 22, 2011 and The Avengers is scheduled to debut May 4, 2012 with Runaways not far behind.