In a recent interview with Empire Magazine, actor Jeremy Renner hinted that he may be in discussions with Marvel Studios to play Clint Barton, a.k.a. “Hawkeye” in the upcoming mega superhero movie, The Avengers after he has brief cameos in two upcoming Marvel movies including Kenneth Branagh’s Thor (a la Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury at the end of Iron Man). It’s nice to know that even with all of the Thor casting news, Marvel hasn’t forgotten the plan: Bring Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, and other independently successful superheroes together for one of the most audacious feats in blockbuster history.
It’s very cool that Renner is getting serious attention in Hollywood for his fantastic performance in Kathryn Bigelow’s likely Oscar-nominee, The Hurt Locker. It’s also the smart way to launch Hawkeye into his own franchise. A Hawkeye movie couldn’t get off the ground before an Avengers movie, but if The Avengers is a success, then Marvel could spin Hawkeye off into his own franchise. Hit the jump for Renner’s direct quote along with a brief bio on Hawkeye.
“Hawkeye could be interesting. They’re going to send me some stuff on it, see what it is. But I think they’re pretty awesome, trying to make superhero movies almost plausible and not just some fantasy thing.”
Renner’s definitely got the chops, and as The Playlist notes, in the comics Hawkeye joined the Avengers by breaking into their HQ, which is the kind of rogue behavior that mirrors Renner’s character in The Hurt Locker. Here’s a little bit more on Hawkeye:
Orphaned at a young age, Clint Barton took the classic way out for a precocious and physically capable kid – he ran away from home and joined the circus. There, he was trained as an acrobat and archer, although he later received a rude awakening when he discovered that his carnival mentors were criminals. (Lesson: Never trust carnies)
Inspired by the exploits of the Avengers, he became the costumed vigilante Hawkeye, and was eventually able to talk his way onto the team. His hot-headed attitude has gotten him into trouble from time to time, but his heart has always been in the right place, and for a time he enjoyed a successful stint as the leader of the West Coast Avengers.
IGN’s bio goes on about how he died and then came back and now he’s called “Ronin”.
The Avengers is currently slated to hit theaters on May 4, 2012.
Update: In an earlier version of this post, I made a statement along the lines of “All Marvel comics are awful.” Obviously, this was an exaggeration as I don’t read every Marvel comic and they can’t print that many books and not have some quality titles among their library. However, I stand my original point that the problem with superhero comics like Hawkeye is that they are so dependent on the status quo that there’s no point in reading them. And this is a problem that DC has as well with their superhero comics as well, although I find that DC imprints like Wildstorm and Vertigo have superhero comics that actually break the mold and I don’t see that with Marvel. Either way, superhero books are stuck in this awful pattern where they do gigantic events which change everything and then they just backpedal to bring everything back to where it was. It’s a never-ending cycle which never lets any character development. Do comic readers ever think that a major character is really dead? Superhero comics are rarely inventive and only serve to push fans to buy every line of comics (which are half-ads these days which wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t take 10 minutes to finish an issue so it’s always better to just wait for the trade paperback) but never rewarding readers and taking them to new places. And I don’t know if that’s the fault of the industry or if it’s the fault of readers who fear any radical change to their beloved characters.
I apologize for making a blanket statement about Marvel comics are awful. I should have specified that superhero comics are awful and then explained why. However, I still stand by that statement and I would rather read books that take super-powered characters, books like Planetary and The Umbrella Academy and Ex Machina, and use them to tell a complete story rather than spend endless money for a story that won’t trust me to accept a character going to new and unexpected places permanently.