(Warning - major potential SPOILERS for Captain America: Civil War lie below. As Taylor Swift so sagely said: "Don't say I didn't say I didn't warn ya"...)
Now, Captain America: Civil War may well still be close to a year away from hitting our screens, but that's done little to abate the roaring flow of rumors, speculation and general over-excitement that's surrounded the movie since it was revealed last year.
One of the most fervently debated elements of that internet-spanning conversation? Just which side each of our heroes will end up on in the Avengers-dividing action. For the most part, though, we've thus far had little more to go on than guesswork and the original comic-books. Now, though:
It Looks Like Jeremy Renner Just Revealed Which Side Hawkeye Will Be on in the Civil War
Which...is actually kind of a big deal. After all, if there's one Avenger who really could end up on either side in the conflict, it's Clint 'Hawkeye' Barton. On the one hand, he's a long-time servant of the government, who clearly feels a strong sense of duty to the people he serves. On the other, he's fiercely protective of the privacy of his family, and decidedly independently-minded.
So, then, which side does it look like Clint's going to end up on?
Well, if this recently leaked image from the Captain America: Civil War set is any guide, then...
It Sure Looks Like Hawkeye'll Be Teaming Up with Captain America in Civil War
After all, that cap sure does read 'Team Captain America,' and - on the surface at least - that sure does seem pretty darned conclusive. After all, that cap very much has the look of the sort of team-bonding-inspiring merchandise that the production would give their cast to promote unity and such.
Or, alternatively - seeing as if that were the case, Renner probably wouldn't be wearing it where the paparazzi are - it could all just be an elaborate scheme to mess with us all, and throw us off the scent.
The big question, then?
Which Side Will Hawkeye Actually Be On?
Well, tell ya' what - let's take a look at the relative merits of the four (that's right, four) main possibilities.
Hawkeye'll Be on Cap's Side
Pros: Well, aside from Hawk's afore-mentioned independent streak and reluctance to reveal his family's identity (a likely by-product of signing up as an official government superhero), he's also besties with Black Widow, who seems pretty likely to end up on Cap's side. Add in his traditional comic-book affinity with Cap, and the image up above makes a whole lot of sense.
Cons: Despite all of that, Hawkeye is still a dedicated military operative, and not the most likely candidate for anti-governmental rebellion. The movie is also likely to need some conflict with formerly close superheroes on opposite sides of the 'war,' and he and Natasha's long-established friendship could be the most natural to divide.
The other leading option, though?
Hawkeye'll Be on Iron Man's Side
Pros: Alongside Hawkeye's governmental past, and his potential role as a 'spoiler' in the plot, there's also the distinct possibility that Tony Stark'll be able to offer a much more convincing plan to protect Clint's family than the rogue Captain America. Seeing as he's essentially retired at the end of Age of Ultron, there's a good chance that protecting his family is the only thing that'll pull Hawkeye back into action, which might just keep Tony in the race for his allegiance.
Cons: Well, aside from the arguments in favor of Hawk ending up on Cap's side, it's also worth noting that Iron Man and Hawkeye seem to actively dislike one another in the movies, which isn't exactly the greatest foundation for a team-up (though it would potentially make for some fun back-and-forth quip-athons).
The third option?
Hawkeye'll Be on Both Sides
Pros: Whether it's through turning out to be a double-agent (which is exactly the sort of trick Black Widow could persuade Hawkeye to pull) or simply the result of a change of heart, it's not too difficult to imagine Hawkeye changing horses midstream.
Cons: The only real problem with that? The movie's already likely to be hard-pressed to fit its giant piles of plot into a two-and-a-half hour running time as it is - so an elaborate sub-plot with Hawkeye having an existential crisis could fall by the way side. A double bluff may be more feasible, but could still be a step too far into the realms of the twist...
The final possibility, then?
Hawkeye'll Stay Neutral
Pros: Seeing as Hawk ended Age of Ultron looking for a simple life with his family, there's always a chance that he'll largely sit this one out, and that his appearances in the movie will be limited to rejecting Cap and Iron Man's requests for involvement, and then reacting to events on a TV screen alongside his family.
Cons: The chances of Hawkeye's involvement in the movie being limited to him sitting on his front porch glaring at intruders seem pretty monumentally slim. After all, he only just became cool in the movies - why would he give all of that up now?
Or, in other words?
We Still Don't Know for Sure Which Side Hawkeye'll Be On
The big question, then?