After being hinted at in Thor (2011), S.H.I.E.L.D. operative and dark horse Hawkeye a.k.a. Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) made his first official appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in The Avengers (2012), but he wasn't the character both fans and Jeremy Renner were expecting.
As you may remember, Hawkeye was under the influence of Loki's (Tom Hiddleston) (Infinity Stone-powered) mind control for a good majority of the movie, doing nothing but follow the whims and orders of the Asgardian schemer. If it were not for Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) slamming his head on a metal railing, Hawkeye would have stayed as a mindless killing machine for the duration of The Avengers.
Jeremy Opens Up About Clint
While Hawkeye was able to regain control of his own will just in time for the finale, audiences weren't able to get the chance to know more about him and fans of the comics weren't too pleased about that. Apparently, Jeremy Renner shared the same sentiments and revealed them in a recent interview at the London Comic-Con:
"I never really told anybody this, but in the first 'Avengers'…I was just getting to know who Hawkeye was, and then zap, I go round like a zombie, I’m like Loki’s minion. And I’m still not even sure who Hawkeye was at that point. So I’m a little frustrated, because I was so excited to figure out who Hawkeye was."
Pissed off that he wasn't able to get able to bring his own personal touch to the character in Marvel's first big superhero gathering, Jeremy Renner had a convenient solution for the writers who he thought were just not interested in writing Hawkeye at all:
"I just had a heart attack in every scene — I’d just be walking with… Scarlett Johansson, and just like be ugh [Renner said, clutching his chest theatrically]. And they said, ‘what are you doing man?’ ‘I’m giving you an option, if you just want to kick me out of this movie. Just you know, at any given moment, if you wanna kill me off, daddy’s gonna be having a heart attack."
Considering that the Oscar-nominated actor signed up with Marvel back in 2008 after being promised an interesting character to portray in the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe, his annoyance with being contractually obligated to play a walking drone is understandable.
But ever since Joss Whedon addressed this concern in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) by giving Clint Barton more screen time, character development and even a family-oriented backstory, Jeremy Renner lightened up and gained a newfound interest in the character, much to the relief of fans and the actor himself:
"I don’t really want him to die now. I really got to explore him a lot, and I can’t wait to explore him more, and there’s some really cool ideas coming up. Really cool ideas. Great deaths! Amazing ways to die."
More Hawkeye, Please
Hawkeye may look like a second stringer in the Avengers lineup due to his relatively mundane abilities (i.e. archery and witty sarcasm) but he is still a great character who can hold his own in a solo story, as proven in the short but impressive Hawkeye run from Matt Fraction and David Aja.
Now that Jeremy Renner is enthusiastic about reprising his role as the team's resident archer in the next two Avengers movies and is also open to the possibility of a Hawkeye movie (perhaps the next Gianthawk?) or even a Netflix TV show, all Hawkeye fans need to hope for now are the additions of Kate Bishop and Pizza Dog into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Russian tracksuit mafia is optional.
Check out Renner's take on Hawkeye SNL style below: