We recently got wind that Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye could go through a major transformation in Avengers 4 after Renner was spotted on set sporting a very unique haircut. Well, today brings the full-blown rumor that Hawkeye will become Ronin in or after Avengers: Infinity War next year.
MCU Exchange has the latest breakdown of not only the fact that Hawkeye becomes Ronin, but how and why the transformation happens. Be warned: what follows could be considered SPOILERS for both Avengers 3 and Avengers 4, so read on only if you want to know!
MCU Exchange doesn't give the full spoiler its source provided but the long and short of it is that Hawkeye will suffer some kind of terrible blow during the events of Infinity War, and that tragedy will push him to shed the Hawkeye identity and adopt a darker persona in the form of Ronin.
The site also warns that the dark event that happens in Hawkeye's life could possibly be cut from the theatrical version of Infinity War, but that if it isn't, fans will "absolutely know it when you see it."
Clint Barton moving into the darker Ronin persona is also given as the reason for the mohawk haircut that Renner was seen sporting on the Avengers 4 set.
Truthfully speaking: there is plenty of wiggle room when it comes to the backstory of how Hawkeye becomes Ronin; it doesn't need to be born of some tragedy like someone close to him (Black Widow or his wife) dying. After the events of Captain America: Civil War, Hawkeye is technically a man on the run from the law. Adopting a new persona would be a natural part of that life change. As a matter of fact, the very name "Ronin" could be a metaphor for Hawkeye's new life of being on the move with no ties to anyone or anything he used to serve.
Of course, with Thanos and The Black Order coming to Earth gunning for the MCU superheroes, Hawkeye could indeed be due for a big, tragic loss.
We'll find out when Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on May 4, 2018.