Captain America: The Winter Soldier was very much a S.H.I.E.L.D. reunion party, however there was one agent noticeably not on the invite list.
Despite the presence of Nick Fury, Maria Hill, Agent 13 and Black Widow, Hawkeye wasn't to be seen at all in the Captain America sequel.
Now, while speaking to CinemaBlend, writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeeley have explained his absence and their attempts to throw him into the action. Originally it seemed like they did plan to bring along Clint Barton, but his role was continually reduced until it simply disappeared. McFeeley said:
We knew we wanted Falcon there, we knew we wanted [Black Widow]. You’re introducing Winter Soldier. Fury’s got a bigger part in this one. It just started to seem like he was going to kind of get a crappy part.
If we were going to use him, we really wanted to use him well.
Failing an actual appearance by the archer, the writers did plan to explain his absence in the script. However, eventually this little reference was also cut. McFeeley stated:
We toyed around with, and maybe even shot a line or at least in a draft there’s a line where we explained he’s off somewhere doing something else.
Hawkeye doesn't seem to receive quite as much onscreen love as the rest of his superhero comrades. He was in Thor, but basically did nothing. In The Avengers he was mind-controlled by Loki for the majority of the film (because, as Joss Whedon explained, there just wasn't much for him to do) and now even the smallest mention of him was taken out of [Captain America: The Winter Soldier](movie:254973).
Now, I'm not particularly a fan of comicbook movies, but I've always felt Hawkeye is a little redundant in The Avengers. Sure, he'd kick serious ass in most situations, but when working beside super-soldiers, billionaire geniuses, indestructible angry dudes and a frickin' Norse God, a guy who's just really good at a, quite frankly, antiquated form of warfare doesn't exact rule the roost - even with his explosive and USB arrows.
But we shouldn't feel too bad for him. Both Robert Downey Jr. and Kevin Feige have suggested Hawkeye is expected to have a pivotal role in [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035).
What do you think? Do you have love for Hawkeye, or do you think he's a little bit pointless? Get debating below.