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Theory: Here's Why Hawkeye May Become Ronin in Avengers 4

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Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye returns in next summer’s Avengers: Infinity War, despite not appearing in any of the teaser footage showcased at conventions this year, and again in its untitled 2019 sequel that we’ll refer to as Avengers 4. It’s here in the fourth team-up epic, the one that “ends” the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it, that Hawkeye (real name: Clint Barton) sports another costume re-design. And this one is the most intriguing outfit yet and one that carries with it some significant story implications.

Renner was one of the earliest Avengers actors to chat with Marvel about the role that would span many years and films, having initially come in long before Joss Whedon was involved in writing and directing The Avengers. Zak Penn, the original writer of the film, is a real-life pal of Renner and pitched the actor on the idea of playing Barton. Penn helped convince Marvel to use him even after he was off the project.

Related: Avengers 4 Set Photos Confirm Hawkeye’s New Suit

As a result, before The Avengers casting became official at Comic-Con International 2010 – that game-changing moment when the entire cast came on stage for that now-iconic photo opp - Renner spent a few years talking about Hawkeye. From what his Hawkeye costume would look like and why the character appeals to him, Renner slowly revealed that the ace archer would be grounded, based mostly on the Ultimate Marvel Comics version of the hero.

That’s important to remember because everything he said came true, and what he’s hinted at in the many years since, may come to fruition soon as well.

Hawkeye’s Marvel Cinematic Universe Costumes

Let’s recap Jeremy Renner's live-action Hawkeye costumes throughout the years. Like most MCU characters, from movie to movie there are new designs and gear since a major chunk of the business model revolves around Disney’s consumer products division. New character looks equates to new promotional material, licensing opportunities, and most of all, new merchandise.

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Renner first cameo’d in Thor (2011) where the archer was emphasized to be an elite, veteran marksman with heightened tactical awareness. Here he wore all black and is one of the few ‘named’ agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. For his real first full appearance a year later in Whedon’s Avengers Hawkeye wears standard tactical gear until the final act where he sports a version of the Ultimate Hawkeye superhero costume, sleeveless with maroon colors and a super advanced quiver featuring all sorts of trick arrows.

Related: Captain America: Civil War Set Interview With Elizabeth Olsen & Jeremy Renner

For the 2015 sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Hawkeye got an extra layer of outerwear for battling in the snow. It’s a long coat inspired by Hawkeye’s original Marvel Comics duds. He still rocks the vest underneath and later in the film.

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Hawkeye returned the following year for Captain America: Civil War, ever a loyal companion to Cap and Nick Fury (more on this later), and this time he got a new suit, a sidearm, melee weapons, and some new colors – for the first time sporting some purple and blue.

We don’t know precisely what Renner wears in Avengers: Infinity War since the single piece of official concept art (above) only reveals him from the upper chest up. From the neck collar featured in the art however, the suit does appear to be at least similar to his latest outfit from Civil War. Since most Avengers in the film are getting some visual changes however, we suspect the same will apply to Hawkeye.

Key Release Dates
  • Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
  • The Avengers 4 / Untitled Avengers Movie (2019) release date: May 03, 2019
  • Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
  • Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
  • Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
  • Thor: Ragnarok (2017) release date: Nov 03, 2017
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