I have been reading articles all over the Internet indicating that since Joss Whedon is a wee-bit notorious for killing off popular characters on series and movies he's worked on–which is true. You can find evidence of the tendency here, here, and here –that it somehow equates to a death of an Avenger.
It's not going to happen because, unlike the characters that Joss has killed in the past, his production company, Mutant Enemy does not own the Avengers, Marvel Studios does.
Each character that comprises the team is *literally worth millions of dollars in their solo adventures (Captain America: The Winter Soldier was the most profitable movie released domestically before being recently dethroned by another Marvel Studios property, [Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073), so the idea that Whedon is going to kill anyone–without some clever way to restore them to life if it came down to that–is little more than a flight of fancy).
That being said, the likeliest candidate for leaving this plane of existence probably isn't Hawkeye, but Iron Man, which Kevin Feige has compared to James Bond.
That being said, it's unlikely that [Hawkeye](movie:1070822) will be killed anytime soon. Despite this, it's a rumor that not only refuses to go away, but seems to gain strength the more it's repeated.
I think what's at the heart of it is that Hawkeye is considered by many to be the "weakest" Avenger–as if being great in hand-to-hand combat and a world-class archer is somehow a disadvantage–compared to characters like Thor, Iron Man and the Hulk. As I said, it's not going to happen.
For a start, Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) in the first Avengers film wandered about for most of the movie like a drone–which he essentially was, since he was in thrall to Loki and that staff gifted to him by Thanos–which was broken by Black Widow in a fight aboard S.H.I.E.L.D's Helicarrier (by "cognitive recalibration," a clever name for hitting someone upside the head). The character only played a heroic role in the last 40 or so minutes of the movie, which doesn't mean that Whedon couldn't still kill him off, but it would be an awfully douchy thing to do.
There's also talk about Hawkeye popping up in a movie with [Black Widow](movie:1070824) - a rumor I believe because because a Black Widow solo film is going to happen and a connection between the two characters was established in the first Avengers film–as well as [Captain America 3](movie:994409).
So, unless Marvel Studios is somehow launching cinema versions of Marvel Zombies (an actual comic, by the way) then the likelihood of Hawkeye dying is virtually nil.
* It's hard to tell if a Hawkeye solo feature would do as well at the box office as Marvel characters like Thor, Iron Man or Captain America. Then again, Jeremy Renner starred in The Bourne Legacy, which earned $276 million on a $125 million budget. Not terrible, but not exactly great, either.
What do you think, will Hawkeye die in [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035)? Hit me up in the comments below.