Jeremy Renner Near Deal to Play Hawkeye in THE AVENGERS

     June 3, 2010

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When it comes to Marvel casting this week, we’re getting incrementally closer to the real thing.  The Josh Holloway item was just a rumor.  Neil McDonough is “in talks” to play Dum Dum Dugan.  But Jeremy Renner has been talking to Marvel about playing Clint Barton for some time, and now the actor is in “final negotiations” to join The Avengers as Hawkeye.

Renner’s star rose considerably over the last year after his Oscar-nominated turn in The Hurt Locker,  which opened up such opportunities as Peter Berg’s adaptation of Battleship and Paul Thomas Anderson’s untitled opus on religion.  Renner seems to have passed on Battleship, and the Anderson film could take awhile to come together, so the actor remains a free agent ready to don Hawkeye’s purple bow.  More after the jump:

hawkeye_comic_imageThe ensemble cast required for The Avengers, which Joss Whedon (Firefly) will direct, is approaching completion.  There’s Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man (of course), Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans as Captain America, Scarlett Johanssen as Black Widow, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.  (Of course, the big missing piece is Hulk — no deal has been made with Edward Norton to reprise his role from 2008’s The Incredible Hulk.)  Heat Vision reports that, to keep the budget under control, Marvel has talked all the featured players into a paycut.

This is all shaping up pretty fantastically.  Renner is a great get, and if there is any legitimacy to the Josh Holloway rumor (as Ant-Man, perhaps?)… I would apparently be at a loss for words.

For those unfamiliar with the character, here’s a short bio:

Clint Barton was an orphan, and ran away from the orphanage as a pre-teen to join the circus as a carnival performer, where he was trained in the use of the bow and arrow by the Swordsman and Trickshot. When he discovered that his mentors were both criminals he rejected them, leading to a beating by Swordsman which left Barton badly injured and hospitalized. Years later, he saw Iron Man in action, and was inspired and decided to become a costumed hero called Hawkeye.

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