A new rumor suggests that Marvel Studios is considering the possibility of a Hawkeye solo movie. If the film goes ahead, though, don't expect it to be released until "well after 2022."
Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye was introduced in 2011, cameoing in Thor. Since then, he's essentially been a background character in the MCU, only cropping up in the first two Avengers movies and Captain America: Civil War. Hawkeye was entirely absent from Avengers: Infinity War, although he's set to play a major role in next year's Avengers 4. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige suggested that Hawkeye not being in Infinity War was actually good for the character, drawing attention to him. "There are big, big story things coming up for Hawkeye," he promised back in April, "and Jeremy Renner is as strong an actor as anyone in the MCU and awesome as this character."
According to MCUCosmic, Marvel is toying with a lot of ideas for potential solo films. One of the characters under discussion is apparently Hawkeye, although the site stresses that this is a long-term plan, and we shouldn't expect the film to release until "well after 2022." MCUCosmic also cautions that Marvel may choose to use a "different incarnation" of the character, a comment that's sure to excite fans.
Which "incarnation" of Hawkeye is Marvel considering and how could that impact how the movie shakes out? The most obvious possibility is Ronin, an identity Clint Barton assumed after the deaths of his family in the Ultimate Universe. Set photos have teased that he'll adopt the Ronin identity in Avengers 4, presumably meaning his family died as part of Thanos's "snap" in Avengers: Infinity War. But that arc is likely to be resolved in Avengers 4; it's an open secret that the "snap" will either be undone or averted, given all the heroes killed off are signed up for sequels.
A more exciting possibility is that Marvel is interested in the team-up between Clint Barton and Kate Bishop. The studio is reportedly showing an interest in this kind of "Legacy Hero" right now, with rumors Kamala Khan's Ms. Marvel is in the works. In the comics, Kate Bishop is a member of the Young Avengers who became Clint's closest friend and ally. Writer Matt Fraction capitalized on this dynamic in his award-winning Hawkeye run, and it would be exciting to see that reproduced on the big screen.
Further, Marvel is doing a Black Widow movie that's a prequel for the character, which could mean a younger version of Clint could show up. Perhaps it's that incarnation that Marvel is considering for a solo movie. Like Black Widow, viewers didn't get to see Hawkeye's origin story in the MCU, which may be a good way to handle the character's solo film.
If MCUCosmic is right, though, we shouldn't expect any news for a while. The days of Marvel announcing an entire phase's worth of films at once seem to be long gone. Marvel feels that backfired a little, focusing attention on the future films rather than on the one the studio wanted to market. If this prospective Hawkeye movie really will debut "well after 2022," it will probably be several years before we hear anything concrete.