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Could Jeremy Renner Play Hawkeye?
Exclusive: Actor reveals Marvel talks

27 November 2009  |  Written by Chris Hewitt  

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With just three short years to go before Marvel unveils the most ambitious superhero movie of all time, The Avengers, we already know most of the line-up. You’ve got Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, and we’d be astonished if Scarlett Johansson didn’t find a place in the team as Black Widow.

Which leaves, pretty much, Captain America and the supergroup’s can’t miss/won’t miss archer, Hawkeye. But, as exclusively revealed in this month’s issue of Empire (now on sale in all good newsagents), Jeremy Renner may well be the man to fill the purple tights of the latter Avenger. Which is ironic, because when Empire asked him about The Avengers, we were enquiring about the blue tights of the former.

“I don’t know if I’d be right for Captain America,” said the 38 year old actor, who’d previously been linked with the role of Cap on that there internet. “I met with the Marvel guys, actually, but we didn’t talk about Captain America. But one of the writers, Zak Penn, we’ve become friends over time and he was thinking maybe Hawkeye could be interesting. He sounds like an interesting character.”

True enough. Not to be confused with Alan Alda’s character from MASH, or indeed the hi-tech camera system that comes part and parcel with Wimbledon coverage, Hawkeye – aka Clint Barton – is a master archer, more than making up for his lack of superpowers with a keen eye, a steady hand and a never-ending quiver of tricksy arrows.

An Avenger since 1965, he’s long been an integral part of the team. So it’s pretty much a given that he’d crop up in The Avengers movie. But Marvel isn’t going to just pitch him into the action – the company is aiming to introduce him gently first, in a cameo.

But Empire’s conversation with Renner took place after Iron Man 2 wrapped so, unless they go back and add him in reshoots, all sneaky like, it seems more likely that he’ll crop up in Thor or The First Avenger: Captain America. Does Renner have inside info? “If I was a betting man, I would bet that Hawkeye would probably show up in Thor, and then be in The Avengers,” he said. “But do I know for sure? I can’t say. But I’d love for that to happen. It’d be fun.”

Marvel’s interest in Renner is further proof that the Californian native has finally punched through, thanks to his wonderful turn in Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker. But let’s sound a note of caution: it’s by no means confirmed that Renner will actually turn out to be Hawkeye. “No offer has been made,” he confirmed. “I think there’s a little ways from that.”

For one thing, Marvel may well be talking to a whole raft of young, blond actors and decide to go in another direction (say, Bradley Cooper). And for another, Renner’s been here before, and recently, having spent three months testing and chatting with George Miller about the role of Mad Max in Fury Road, only to lose out, seemingly, to Tom Hardy. But he’s surprisingly stoic about the whole thing.

“I’m just happy to get considered for big franchise roles like that,” he said. “I’m not [doing the] casting. If they see me that way, right on. If they don’t, I’m ok with it.”

So, what do you think, readers? If Marvel bring Renner on board, is he the perfect Hawkeye? And if not, who else might be able to pick up Barton’s big bow?

For more from Renner, and more on Iron Man 2, pick up the new issue of Empire, now on sale.

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Your Comments

Jeremy Renner would be great as Hawkeye. He was brilliant in The Hurt Locker and deserved his Oscar nomination. Its great that a charater actor working his way up in movies like SWAT and 28 Weeks Later gets to be a big star. More

Posted by JimmyThe Saint at 09:46 on 04 June 2010 | Report This Post

I'll be the first to admit that I havent read a single one of the Marvel comics but have thoroughly enjoyed both Iron Man films. I also became a Renner fan after the Hurt Locker...I think he could be good. Maybe a mahoosive franchise is just what he needs? More

Posted by Mahj at 09:43 on 04 June 2010 | Report This Post

Marvel really need to concentrate on this one
Having been a marvel fan since the tender age of 6, Hawkeye was always up there in my top 3. Behind Wolverine and Luke Cage, and just pipping Spid.erman to the top 3. So, needless to say, I'm nervous about this one. Clint is funny. He is Strong-willed, anti-authority and self-confident. Can this guy pull it off? He was ace in 'Hurt Locker' but can he pull off Hawkeye? I don't know. When I first heard Bradley cooper's name for Hawkeye, i was suprised to find that I knid of approved. And really More

Posted by MoonMunky at 12:24 on 05 December 2009 | Report This Post

He could play Hawkeye.......but to tell the truth, I always thought Hawkeye was just a tesco version of Green Arrow anyway. Yes I know - he has to be in the lineup somewhere - and if they can get the right actor in the part - who knows? it could turn out to be fun if a little retro. Bow and arrows? Hmmmmph..... Iron Man could take him with his little metal pinky..... More

Posted by ROTGUT at 18:33 on 30 November 2009 | Report This Post

L: HarryHavoc how annoying, when my father signed up for the monthy empire magazine, we got no free gift like promised! Now I hear people are getting assassins creed 2?! Oh empire, one livid customer. sp; you intend to get Hawkeye to fire in a few well aimed arrows into the desk of Empire HQ with a 'disgruntled' note your in the wrong thread my friend with that post, good luck with it all though :-) More

Posted by JIm R at 11:43 on 29 November 2009 | Report This Post

how annoying, when my father signed up for the monthy empire magazine, we got no free gift like promised! Now I hear people are getting assassins creed 2?! Oh empire, one livid customer. More

Posted by HarryHavoc at 00:25 on 28 November 2009 | Report This Post

I've read the ultimates comics and saw how hawkeye acts, I think renner would make an awesome hawkeye, I don't see anyone else that could play him More

Posted by loki1091 at 20:20 on 27 November 2009 | Report This Post

RE: Damn!
That's exactly what I thought! M*A*S*H remake-no way! More

Posted by bendoofus at 17:09 on 27 November 2009 | Report This Post

Hope they can work out a deal as it makes sense to try for someone who can bring something cool to the role. More

Posted by masonica at 14:45 on 27 November 2009 | Report This Post

Renner's fine
I haven't seen Hurt Locker nor 28 Weeks Later but I'm happy he's up for Hawkeye and you know why? That way Nathan Fillion can't be Hawkeye, because he's Captain America. Marvel just don't know it yet. More

Posted by mighty mick at 13:10 on 27 November 2009 | Report This Post

Not sure of this...
He kinda looks like a skinny Patten Oswald in that pic hahaa! I love Hawkeye, always have, started out as a bad guy, then turns good and gets trained by Cap, what's not to love? As for what film he be in, i'd say Thor, even though he's got a history with Cap, I'm hoping they do a WW2 Cap film where, at the end he falls into the ocean and gets frozen, then with a little tease at the end of the credits, he's found in modern day by , say...HAWKEYE whose part of a special ops force headed by Nick Fu More

Posted by DigitalMan at 13:02 on 27 November 2009 | Report This Post

He was great in The Hurt Locker and is an inspired choice for this role. I'm not that familiar with Hawkeye but the recent casting choices in the next few Marvel movies are pretty cool, so i'm confident that this is a pretty good deal! Who will be Wasp?! More

Posted by Seamie at 12:00 on 27 November 2009 | Report This Post

Yeah, awesome
Renner would be a superb Hawkeye. Hurt Locker showed he can do the whole "devil may care expert" thing to a tee. More

Posted by lisamoorish at 11:45 on 27 November 2009 | Report This Post

When I saw this title, I thought they were going to remake M*A*S*H! C'mon, he'd be a perfect Alan Alda substitute! More

Posted by bradthunder at 11:42 on 27 November 2009 | Report This Post

RE: Could Jeremy Renner Play Hawkeye?
Yeah, I think Renner would be good as Ultimate Hawkeye (agreed that the purple tights would have to go). It's a left-field peice of casting but a good one nevertheless. Renner was a very cool and calm character in both The Hurt Locker and in 28 Weeks Later but he also had this vunerability about him, and i'm thinking that it is this quality that has attracted the guys at Marvel to him - calm demeanor = steady mind - steady hand! More

Posted by lukeyboy at 11:22 on 27 November 2009 | Report This Post

I could see Renner taking on Hawkeye
He was great in The Hurt Locker and I also liked his work in 28 Weeks Later, it wasn't a greatly written role but he really brought something to it imo. I could definitely see him as Hawkeye if played like he is in The Ultimates (which is apparently being used as a template for The Avengers film) - a cocky yet totally professional black ops agent. I think the trick arrows/purple tights thing would have to go if he is going to be taken seriously as a character in the same world as Iron Man (God More

Posted by Marwood at 10:57 on 27 November 2009 | Report This Post

Yeah, awesome
Renner would be a superb Hawkeye. Hurt Locker showed he can do the whole "devil may care expert" thing to a tee. More

Posted by lisamoorish at 10:52 on 27 November 2009 | Report This Post

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