On the internet, rumors have an infectious life of their own. Last week, the rumor mill was running in full force and cranking out news that Jeremy Renner’s time as the Avenger Hawkeye was done. Lots of facts stacked up against Renner, so it’s not surprising that the rumormongers added 2 and 2 and got 22.
Fact 1- Renner himself got the ball rolling when he lamented the way Hawkeyes role played out in the Avenger’s film. “For 90 percent of the movie, I’m not the character I signed on to play. It’s kind of a vacancy. [He's] not even a bad guy, because there’s not really a consciousness to him. To take away who that character is and just have him be this robot, essentially, and have him be this minion for evil that Loki uses … I was limited, you know what I mean?”
While he has a point, from a certain perspective it could be seen as biting the hand that feeds him. Hugo Weaving had some less than complementary things to say about his turn as the Red Skull in Captain America: The first Avenger. Now it seems that Weaving will not be reprising the role, despite a multi-movie deal.
Fact 2 – Hawkeye hadn’t been mentioned officially by Joss Whedon or studio president Kevin Feige in any of the Marvel Phase 2 discussions. While most of the high profile Avengers have their own films, Clint Barton (Hawkeye) seemed to be getting the shaft, pun intended.
Fact 3 – Additional Marvel characters are being added to two of the forthcoming films. Agent 13 (Sharon Carter) and The Falcon (Sam Wilson) are both going to appear in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Joss Whedon confirmed that a pair of siblings will appear in Avengers 2. Who else could it be but Pietro “Quicksilver” and Wanda “Sacarlet Witch” Maximoff? With the addition of these new characters, less screen time, if any at all, would be available for Clint.
Fact 4 – As arguably the most street level of the Avengers seen thus far and as one very closely tied to S.H.I.E.L.D., the Hawkeye character could be tapped to appear as a regular, or even recurring guest, on the Joss Whedon helmed S.H.I.E.L.D. television program. Renner has already been on ABC television in the short lived series The Unusuals, but since then has climbed the Hollywood ladder with starring roles in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, The Bourne Legacy and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. His recent fame could make render him too expensive to play Hawkeye on TV. Recasting an unknown, cheaper actor might make an appearance on S.H.I.E.L.D. an easier pill for marvel to swallow.
Fact 5 – Marvel has little problem recasting major characters. Just ask Terrance Howard (War Machine), Eric Bana (Hulk) or Edward Norton (The Incredible Hulk). If any of the above mitigating factors became a stumbling block, Renner would be foolish to rely on the studio’s loyalty to keep him acting with bow in hand.
Despite the deck being stacked against him, Renner has the most important fact resting dead center of the bullseye.
Fact 6 – Perez Hilton reportedly contacted Marvel studios, who confirmed that Renner is “very much a part of the Marvel family” and implied that he would be appearing in future marvel films. Could it be surprise cameos similar to post credit Nick Fury in Thor? Or might there be even more secret goings on at the Marvel Studios lot?
The confirmation from Marvel Studios trumps all the other facts. Jeremy Renner’s hopes of returning as Hawkeye seem to be right on target.