Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, is an integral part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it’s hard to imagine what the franchise would be like without him. However, there was once a time when Renner was less than satisfied with his role, as he said back in 2016 that he wanted to kill the character off at one point.
After being frustrated with being relegated to “Loki’s minion” in 2012’s The Avengers, Renner said, “I just had a heart attack in every scene. I’d just be walking with Scarlett Johansson and just be like ‘Ugh!’ and they said ‘What are you doing man?’” (via The Independent)
Jeremy Renner was not a fan of being “Loki’s minion” in 2012’s The Avengers.
Jeremy Renner further elaborated, saying, “I said, ‘I’m giving you an option, if you just want to kick me out of this movie.” Fortunately for us, Renner put up with his somewhat disappointing role in The Avengers and would be rewarded with much better character arcs in future Marvel projects. In fact, Renner’s Hawkeye is one of the few remaining original Avengers who is still an active presence in the MCU.
It’s definitely understandable that Jeremy Renner would have been let down with his role in Marvel’s The Avengers, considering his character hardly had any agency throughout the movie. As he mentioned, his character was just mind-controlled by Loki throughout. Of course, he would break free near the end and help the Avengers stop the alien invasion, but it was still an entire movie of taking the backseat.
Fans noticed, too, as there were plenty of people who complained that Jeremy Renner didn’t get to do more as Hawkeye in that movie. Marvel listened to the complaints, though, as his character would get a much more expanded role in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Specifically, we would get more of his background as we got to meet Clint’s secret family. Hawkeye would also play a major role in films like Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Endgame.
“I just had a heart attack in every scene. I’d just be walking with Scarlett Johansson and just be like ‘Ugh!’ and they said ‘What are you doing man?’ I said, ‘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’.Jeremy Renner on his role in The Avengers (2012)
While many fans thought that Jeremy Renner was getting sidelined by Marvel again since Hawkeye didn’t appear in Avengers: Infinity War, the complaints were quickly silenced when a post-credits scene revealed that the Snap took away Clint’s entire family.
This led to a major character arc for Hawkeye in Avengers: Endgame, where we saw him as Ronin. Of course, he also played a major role in reassembling the Infinity Gauntlet when he and Black Widow had to battle each other over who would die to obtain the Soul Stone.
Hawkeye On Disney+
Jeremy Renner would eventually even get his own Marvel Disney+ series with Hawkeye, which simultaneously introduced Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop and Alaqua Cox’s Echo, who is getting her own upcoming series. The Hawkeye series was one of the best-reviewed Marvel Disney+ series yet, and it even brought the Netflix shows back into the fold by introducing Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin as the secret big bad of the series. The Hawkeye series was really enjoyable, so hopefully, we’ll get even more of Jeremey Renner in the MCU in the near future.