Rumour: Did Jeremy Renner just talk his way out of playing Hawkeye?

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As a bonafide comic book geek, I say this with the utmost respect: Hawkeye is stupid. This is a character who hangs out with gods and godly men, and all he brings to the table is “I done shoot arrows, real gud!”

And yet, Jeremy Renner completely sold me on the character in The Avengers. Just a pity, that it appears that his mouth may also have sold him down the river without a job.

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There have been plenty of talks about contract renegotiations for The Avengers cast and lots of Phase 2 jabber from Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige lately, but yet through all of that, Jeremy Renner and his bow-slinging character hasn’t been mentioned once. One of CBM‘s sources claim they know why.

According to the source, Marvel are not happy about some things that Renner said about his role in The Avengers after the movie’s release, and they’ve decided to show the actor (and possibly even the character) the front door.

So what did Renner say, to land himself in this predicament? Well, it seems that he wasn’t all too chuffed about the fact that he spent most of the movie as a zombie fighting for the wrong side.

“For 90% of the movie, I’m not the character I signed on to play,” he said, adding that he would have preferred for Hawkeye not to have been brainwashed. “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? I was a terminator in a way. Fun stunts. But is there any sort of emotional content or thought process? No.”

Now I can’t really disagree with Renner here. For most of the movie, he was indeed just a human shaped arrow gun. But it was the moments before and after his brainwashing that made me like the character. Also, through Joss Whedon’s inspired handling of the character as the team’s long range scout, I felt that for the first time that Hawkeye actually belonged on a team with members who can either buy or level Manhattan Island on their own.

And yes, some Hawkeye fans were indeed also a bit bummed that their favourite hero was shooting arrows for the wrong team to begin with, but I thought it was an incredibly clever way of Whedon paying tribute to the character’s morally dubious past. Hawkeye actually began his existence as a reluctant criminal and along with his then girlfriend and also criminal, Black Widow, tried to rob Tony Stark. It’s only when Widow got seriously injured during the ensuing altercation though, he decided to rather turn over a new leaf.

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But all of this matters nought to Marvel, it would seem, if these rumours are true. Rumours that say that much like they did with Edward Norton and Hugo Weaving when they voiced their negative opinions about their roles, Marvel are simply moving on without them. According to the source, there is only the slimmest of chances that the character of Hawkeye will actually even appear in The Avengers 2, and if he does, he will be recast.

Read  Chris Evans addresses his "very emotional" MCU farewell tweet, says it wasn't a spoiler

That casting call might also apparently go out to somebody with not quite as big a name in Hollywood as Renner has, which will allow Hawkeye to become a regular character on Marvel and ABC’s upcoming spinoff TV series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Now at this point, there hasn’t been a single peep from Marvel or Renner to confirm or deny these rumours, so this could end up going either way. Personally, I really liked Renner in the role, but I will admit that he’s not quite the Hawkeye yet. I think that another big budget platform like The Avengers 2 would really enable him to make the character his own, but right now, pulling the ol’ switcheroo wouldn’t really upset me that much.

At least not when it comes to just getting a different actor, and especially if it means he may get some more screentime on TV, as the character’s popularity has boomed since the movie (and I can’t believe I’m saying this, since his solo comic is easily one of the top 5 books Marvel is putting out right now).

However, Marvel kicking out actors merely for voicing an opinion, one that is kind of factually true, does not sit easy with me. The studio has made some really great decisions up till now and it’s earned them warranted success, both creatively and financially, but that doesn’t mean that they can start running a hero sweat shop.

Last Updated: May 17, 2013

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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